Special guest Percy Ballah preached a powerful message from Psalm 139. Percy is pastor of Impact Center, a new church in Trinity Square. Psalm 39 is an encouragement to not keep our struggles hidden but to get them out in the open to God and others. It also gives us perspective in considering the brevity of life. This message is overflowing with hope and is perfect for anyone going through the valley.
Everyone wants to be happy. It’s a basic human desire. Despite the intensity by which people search and the great amounts of money spent to find happiness, few seem to find it. Even many Christians seem to struggle to find a full and complete joy even though the Lord promises it. Psalm 16 says, “in His presence is fullness of joy”. Pastor Scott walks through the psalm looking at the heart and life habits of David to discover the secret of his outrageous joy. This is a good message for anyone who wants more joy and is especially good for those who want joy but struggle to find it.
Throughout Scripture God is likened to a shepherd and his people are likened to sheep. Of all the animals God could compare us to it’s fitting that he chose sheep. They are not very smart, they are prone to wander and they cannot survive on their own. God is the good shepherd who takes care of his sheep with great compassion. This message draws much from the classic book A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller. The author was a shepherd for about a decade in East Africa so his insights into the psalm are profound. Psalm 23 is medicine for the anxious soul. It remind us that God has chosen to take responsibility for us. Knowing God’s presence is with us at all times dissolves fear.
Some say that David may have been just a young man in his twenties when he penned Psalm 27. He was on the run and at times was hunted by 3000 soldiers who wanted him dead. The temptation to fall into debilitating fear was very real continually for David. This psalm is an inside glimpse of how David kept his heart from fear and how he encouraged himself in the Lord. He set his gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. He gave himself to “one thing”—the pursuit of God. He spent himself in the relentless practice of communion with the Lord. And out of his times of gazing on God’s beauty and contemplation of God’s majesty, David was able to stand firm despite his adversaries breathing out violence. He knew that he dwelt in the “tent of God” and no man, no beast, no devil, could touch him. He was in the sovereign care of His Father. This message is a strong encouragement to those struggling with fear and is also a fierce admonition to seek the Lord in prayer.
This is a sweet message on the importance of God’s people dwelling together in unity. Deep spiritual unity is good and pleasant. It is like a fragrance that draws people into it. It creates an atmosphere that is conducive for growing beautiful things. It is designed in such a way that it will always manifest divine life. Scott gives lots of examples and illustrations to help paint a clear picture of what unity looks like in the church. Toward the end there are some plain thoughts given on the work that is required in order to enjoy the unity God intends.
In this short Psalm the question is asked in so many words, “How can we experience depth of intimacy with God?” In one sense, no one is worthy or holy enough to come close to God, but through Christ we can! Once we are adopted into the family of God the way we live will determine our relationship with God. If we cultivate bad character our prayers will be hindered. If, however, we practice virtues like humility and meekness, honesty and mercy, we will find ourselves enjoying close fellowship with God. The end of this message contains a strong warning to Christians who disregard the clear commands of God.
There are many places around the world that we might describe as lovely but there is none more lovely than the dwelling place of God. The psalmist tells of the glory of the presence of God. It’s so incomparable that he says he’d rather spend one single day in the house of God than one thousand days elsewhere! This message is a reminder of the great worth of being near to God and all that flows out of it. Scott also discusses the common experience of feeling distant from God in the valley and yearning for the embrace and whisper of God that brings inner strength and joy. This message is especially relevant to those who find themselves in a dry and weary place. God will bring forth springs of living water in our desert in due season!
It seems to be the human condition to struggle with anxiety, fear, panic and worry. These things rob us of the joy and peace the soul craves. Psalm 139 contains truth that can serve as a wonderful remedy for excessive anxiety. David, who wrote the Psalm, tells of God’s intimate knowledge of us, God’s presence with us at all times and God’s care. The reason God puts so much attention on us is because we are designed and crafted by God Himself. We are His living, breathing, animated works of art, His treasured possession. When we begin to understand these great truths, we find rest. Why worry when we are in the everlasting arms of God?
This Palm Sunday message sets the table for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In this message, from Matthew 21 and Psalm 118, we explore how Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem leads up to our future triumphal entry into the New Jerusalem. We look at how Jesus overcame sin and death, and now by His Spirit enables us to see how God works all things, especially hard things, for our good as Jesus prepares us for that Day of our glorious entrance. Jesus conquered sin and death for the whole world, and now we follow Him in this world as overcomers to the glory of God.
Guest preacher Nick Fatato teaches on Psalm 1. This psalm includes a warning against aligning our lives with destructive tendencies and an encouragement to intentionally root our lives in the Word and the power of God. We can choose to live by default or by design.