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Psalm_16_sermon Embedded in Outline Revised May 2010

Psalm_16_sermon Embedded in Outline Revised May 2010

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Published by Doug McFall
Rough copy of a sermon I have given on two occasions.
Rough copy of a sermon I have given on two occasions.

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Published by: Doug McFall on Nov 22, 2010
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11/22/2010

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Psalm 16: Joyful in the Lord’s Presence ~ 1
st
Presbyterian Strasburg
 Scripture Introduction:
Opening remarks by me---grateful to be back at your fine church
Reading the Psalms with a ‘tri-perspectival’ approach courtesy Tim Keller article inRedeemer ReportReading this Psalm - what is it?one of 10-12 Psalms of confidence of trust-elements of these Psalms (Bullock)
 Sermon Introduction:
In his landmark book 
 Desiring God 
, John Piper makes these vital statements by firstplaying off the words of the First question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
“The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever…The happiness of 
God 
in God is the foundation of 
our 
happiness in God…For God is most glorified in uswhen we are most satisfied in him.”
He grounds this well in much of Scripture and commends a “Christian hedonism”which has impacted many for good in the evangelical church.
“Delight yourself in the Lord” Ps 37:4 …we are commanded to be joyful— isn’t this astounding? “Rejoice in the Lord always” – Phil. 4and yet There are many things which can rob us of our joy---sins, struggles, sickness, being sinned against, a fallen world, mental health issues, fears…According to Mark McMinn, a Christian counselor,
Fear is like a cancer that invades our faith and robs us of joy. Christianauthor Ben Patterson describes various “joy busters” in his book
He HasMadeMe Glad 
(Patterson, 2005), and each of them pertain to fear. In our fear, wefocuson past wounds and doubts about the future. Fear keeps us focused on thecomplicationsof present circumstances, preventing us from seeing the grand andglorious work of God in the scheme of history. We fear losing control, so weput severe limits on the ecstasy we experience in God’s love. In all thesewaysand more, fear is a great enemy of the spiritual life. Henri J. M. Nouwen(1986)—a well-known author and Catholic priest with graduate training in psychologywrites:“We are fearful people. The more people I come to know and the more I cometoknow people, the more I am overwhelmed by the negative power of fear. Itoftenseems that fear has invaded every part of our being to such a degree that wenolonger know what a life without fear would feel like.”God speaks to us in this Psalm in the midst of our fears, our discontent, our
 
struggles…
Because the Lord is our portion, we can be
 
 joyful in Hispresence. Indeed He commands us elsewhere in Scripture: “Rejoicein the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Phil. 4).
 
This is not asuperficial happiness or a joy that’s often promised today w/out real struggle andsorrow- But it’s a deep, abiding joy, nonetheless.
However, without help andmotivation from the Lord, we are utterly powerless to sustain such joy. Fortunately, hedoes not leave us without help---He gives us guidance by His Spirit from our passage,Psalm 16, this very morning! So we ask…
How may we experience such a deep and abiding joy? pause (in at least 3 ways):One’s a negative, something we must stop doing and 2 are positive, things we oughtto continue doing: so, we can access this joy by God’s grace -By forsaking the idols of the heart, By having eyes to see “the riches of his gloriousinheritance in the saints” and By Practicing his presence continually.
 Explanation
:1. By forsaking the idols of the heart“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21)
don’t read yet!
David says to the Lord after asking for safety and coming to him as a refuge in v. 2: “Youare my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
a.knowing God as the Lord v. 2
We see her the importance of our words- “I said to the Lord, “you are my Lord; apartfrom you I have no good thing.”
b.understanding the sorrows of the wicked for what they are v. 4
We also see the folly of idolatry. Verse 4 says “the sorrows of those will increase whorun after other gods…” We certainly clearly can see it in a culture that has largelyforsaken God but it is also a problem in the church, in the hearts of individual believers:(in my heart, in your hearts!) Idolatry as a continuing problem today though it takes ondifferent, often more subtle forms- Tim Keller says in a study on “Identifying the Idolsof the Heart”:
An idol is something within creation that is inflated to function as asubstitute for God.All sorts of things are potential idols… An idol can be a physical object, aproperty, aperson, an activity, a role, an institution, a hope, an image, an idea, apleasure, a hero. If this is so, how do we determine when something is an idol?1) As soon as our loyalty to anything leads us to disobey God, we are indanger of making it an idol…– Work, a commandment of God can become an idol if it is pursued soexclusivelythat responsibilities to one’s family are ignored.– Family, an institution of God himself, can become an idol if one is sopreoccupiedwith the family that no one outside one’s own family is cared for.– Being well-liked, a perfect legitimate hope, becomes an idol if the
 
attachment to itmeans one never risks disapproval. (
read from “idols” sheet if there istime!
)(Read Ps 73:16-20 if time especially)---the end of those who do not worshipGod. Tim Keller has a new book called
Counterfeit Gods
which I began reading (mywife finished). There he deals with the modern idols of love (or sex), moneyand power.
Calvin says the human heart is an “idol-making factory”.
 Brief Application:
What are your idols? We might call them addictions or even dressthem up and call them good things or just obsessions and compulsions---but Scriptureteaches us the continual problem of idolatry in the present day of not only doing works of the flesh but trying to do even good things to excess or as a way of commendingourselves before God and others!So, then how can we healed of such idolatry which often robs us of true joy in the Lord?First, we recognize as David says that God is the Lord and apart from him we can haveno good thing…with Him, we receive what we need; in fact, the apostle Paul will say that“all things are yours” in Christ Jesus. Second, we need to recognize, name and repent of these idols by forsaking them. It’s no wonder that the elder John ends his first epistlewhich deals with “living fellowship with Jesus” with the words:
“Little children, keepyourselves from idols.”
 Illustration
:
One great historical example of someone who forsook their idols to followthe Lord is John Bunyan. Several of you, I’m sure, have read his
 Pilgrim’s Progress
, oneof the best selling books of all time after the Bible! In his autobiography, he describes hisconversion to Christ in this manner:
Every little touch would hurt my tenderconscience. But one day, as I was passingthrough a field, suddenly I thought of a sentence, “your righteousness is inheaven,”and with the eyes of faith, I saw Christ sitting at God’s right hand. And Isuddenlyrealized — THERE is my righteousness. Wherever I was or whatever I wasdoing, Godcould not say, “where is your righteousness?” for it was right before him. Isaw that mygood frame of heart could not make my righteousness better nor a bad frameof heartmake my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ, thesameyesterday, today and forever.Now my chains fell off indeed! I felt delivered from slavery to guilt and fears. Iwenthome rejoicing for the love and grace of God. Now I could look from myself tohim, andI realized that all those weak character qualities in my heart were like thepennies thatrich men carry in their pocket, when their gold is safe under lock and key.Christ is mytreasure, my righteousness. Now Christ was my wisdom, righteousness,

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