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We saw call to be devoted to Christ.
To look to Him for salvation,
But also because of love,
And a desire to be like Him.
Lord has given Himself
That you might devote yourself to Him.
He has given you His Spirit,
And different things to strengthen you spiritually.
But there is one thing
That will either help
And that is the company you keep.
Godly friends can draw you closer to Lord,
But ungodly friends can undo it all.
You need to adopt the attitude of psalmist,
Because this is attitude Lord wants you to have.
A. He begins by declaring
What is most precious to him in this world:
“The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words” (v. 57).
This is completely the opposite
From people of this world.
Their portion, their share,
What they expect to take away from this life,
Is what they get from this world.
That’s all they see,
All they strive for.
David writes, “Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword, from men with
Your hand, O LORD, from men of the world, whose portion is in this life” (Ps.
But it’s different for you,
If you’re a believer here this evening.
The Lord is your portion, your share, your inheritance,
What you expect to receive from life.
What you live for in this world.
This calls you to live differently,
To hold to a different standard.
As the psalmist,
You have promised to keep His Words,
As we saw this morning,
To love and devote yourself to Him,
To do what’s pleasing to Him:
To believe what He says,
To hold to His promises,
To tremble at His threats,
To obey all His commandments.
You took up this commission
When you responded to His call
To receive Jesus Christ
As your Savior and Lord.
B. To gain the power to do this,
You need to seek God’s favor –
For His blessing –
Not half-heartedly –
As if it didn’t matter whether He answered or not,
But with all your heart
To show the Lord
The truth of your sincerity.
Again, the psalmist, “I sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me
according to Your word” (v. 58).
If you ask for God’s blessing,
But don’t really want it,
The Lord won’t give it to you.
You truly desire it,
And desire it for His glory –
Until you can,
You’re really not prepared to receive
What the Lord has to give.
But as you seek Him,
You also need to look to His promise –
He prays that God would be gracious
According to His Word,
According to what He had promised.
When you ask for what He has promised
You can be sure you will receive it.
Make sure you anchor your prayers
Both by His Word,
And by your heart.
If you do this,
And ask in the name of Christ
You won’t fail to receive.
C. But there is something else:
Can you expect to be heard
If you allow sin in your life?
The psalmist writes, “I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your
testimonies” (v. 59).
Sometimes God doesn’t give what you ask
Because of a sin you’re not willing to repent of.
How can you ask with all your heart,
If your heart is divided?
God says through Isaiah,
“Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull
that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and
your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not
hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Examine your life
To make sure there is nothing
That would hinder your prayers.
And where you find anything,
Turn your feet back
Into the paths of His commandments.
D. You need to do this without delay,
Without putting it off
Until another day.
“I hastened and did not delay to keep Your commandments” (v. 60).
You may have good intentions
To reform your life,
But if they never become reality,
They won’t do you any good.
If God is to hear you,
You must hurry and not delay
To put off every sin,
And to put on every duty.
Again, how can you seek Him
With your whole heart
If your heart is divided
Between Him and His enemy?
E. You must be willing to do this
Even if you are surrounded by those
Who would tempt you to do otherwise.
“The cords of the wicked have encircled me, but I have not forgotten Your law” (v.
Again, the example of Eric Liddell comes to mind
And the pressure he was feeling
From his country,
The Athletic Committee,
The Prince of Wales –
Even his Japanese captors
None of them appeared to be Christians –
And so would be considered –
Biblically speaking –
Enemies of God,
Children of wrath
Who live according to the prince of this world –
They couldn’t understand
Why Liddell wouldn’t set his conscience aside
For what they considered a higher purpose.
There is nothing higher
Than obeying God.
The cords of the wicked encircled Liddell,
But he did not forget God’s Law,
Because He loved Jesus Christ
And was devoted to Him.
Neither should you forget it,
Out of your love for Him.
F. Realizing what a treasure God had given him,
That it showed him
How to love and honor
The One who loved him,
When he would wake up
In the middle of the night,
The thought of all this
Would floods his mind and heart
To the point where he couldn’t sleep
Until he rose and thanked the Lord
For giving him such a blessing,
“At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous
ordinances” (v. 62).
Have you ever had this kind of experience?
You’re so excited about something
That’s going to happen the next day,
Or something you just received
That you can’t sleep,
Or if you do happen to fall asleep
And wake up at night,
It immediately comes to mind
Dumping adrenaline into your system
So that you’re suddenly wide awake.
That’s the kind of excitement
The psalmist had in God’s Law,
And the kind you should have as well,
When you come to understand
What the Lord has given you
In Jesus Christ and His Laws.
G. But now, as I said before,
There was a danger he was keenly aware of,
And that you should be as well,
One that so often can undo
Everything the Lord is seeking
To do in your life: bad company.
Paul writes, “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor.
So often we think
That we’re strong enough to resist
The influence others have on us –
Others might be susceptible
But it won’t happen to me.
If that’s what you think,
You’re the one most likely to fall.
Solomon writes, “Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Prov. 16:18).
Many have thought the same was true of them
And yet have fallen away from the Lord.
But the psalmist was no fool.
He knew what God’s Word said
And trusted it more than his own heart –
He knew his own heart
Was as the Lord said,
“More deceitful than all else and . . . desperately sick” (Jer. 17:9).
And so instead of picking his friends
Based on their popularity,
Or how much fun they were to be around,
Or how good they made him feel,
Or how they made him look,
He choose his on the basis of their godly character,
“I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your
precepts” (v. 63).
Isn’t this the same thing David did
To help him govern God’s people
In a way honoring to Him?
As we read in our call to worship,
“I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall
away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I
will know no evil. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy;
no one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. My eyes
shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who
walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. He who practices
deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who speaks falsehood shall not
maintain his position before me” (Ps. 101:3-7).
Paul also warns of an unequal yoke,
Of being in close relationships
With the children of this world –
That we are to come out from them and be separate (2 Cor. 6:17).
If you want to love the Lord more,
And be more devoted to Him,
You need to seek godly friends –
Those who fear the Lord –
And turn from evil –
Who don’t follow the immoral practices of this world
But who have instead set their hearts
To keep His commandments.
This is the kind of man or woman
Those of you who are single
Should seek for a spouse.
Sadly, this kind of companion
Is increasingly hard to find,
But they are still around
By God’s grace.
H. The fact that they are,
And that there are so many other blessings,
Moves the psalmist to desire even more strongly
To obey the Lord,
“The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD; teach me Your statutes” (v.
Again, all these blessings
Should have the same effect on you –
To strengthen your desire
To God’s will
And to do it.
I. And so, do you want to live a life
That’s honoring to the Lord?
The kind of life
You’ll have wanted to have lived
When you finally stand before Him
On the Day of His Judgment?
Then apply what you’ve learned
Over the past several days.
1. Fix your eyes on Jesus,
Take Him to be your only portion in life,
The only thing you will take out of this world.
2. Look to Him daily for His strength –
That He might strengthen the Spirit’s work in your heart.
Seek Him with all your heart,
Knowing that if you really don’t want
What you’re asking for,
He won’t give it to you.
3. Make Him your Hero –
Grow in your love for Him,
Be excited by the fact
That you’re His child
And have the opportunity to serve Him in this world.
The more you do,
The more you’ll strengthen
Your resolve to be like Him.
4. Devote yourself to Him and His Word –
Don’t leave room for any compromise in your life,
Even if you are pressured by those around you,
Even if the whole church should abandon Him.
If you find any in your life
Repent and make straight paths for your feet
5. Use the gifts He has given you
To bring glory to Him and not to yourself.
6. And finally,
Don’t forget about the very real danger
That ungodly friends pose to you –
They can derail your walk with the Lord
Faster than anything else –
Especially, if they happen to be of the opposite gender.
The book of Proverbs is full of warnings
Against the adulterous woman.
Parents, that’s why you’re careful
Whom you let your children spend time with,
And children, this is why you should be careful –
Especially after you grow up
And begin making these choices for yourself –
To make sure you choose the best kind of friends –
Those who fear God, and keep His commandments.
7. Remember that the outcome of your life
Largely depends on what you do with it.
If you want to honor the Lord,
Then this is what you must do. Amen.