December 16, 2018
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A New Sermon Series Starting in January 2019
Worship in the Psalms: Giving Voice to the Cry of the Heart
People often find it difficult to articulate their true feelings whenever they face struggles, that is relentless and all-consuming to the point that they become numb in mind and speech. Anyone controlled by the emotions of the moment understands how hard it is to express the ache in their heart. They comprehend how impossible it seems to rise above the circumstance and stand on solid ground again? The result is a life enslaved to negative and impulsive thinking with forgetfulness of the loving and sovereign God controlling every situation; if only someone could give voice to the cry of the heart.
The believer’s life is one of worship and dependence on Jesus Christ, which begins with our thinking and then advances into our actions. Theologian John Frame argues for the importance of the Psalms and worship by saying, “As God is Lord of all of life, every experience of life reveals him in some way. And as we recognize God’s presence in our lives, the natural response is prayer and praise.” Indeed, the believer who grasps the experiences of the Psalmists and applies it to their life will discover God’s strength as their strength.
One Old Testament scholar, Dr. Allen P. Ross, called the book of Psalms “a collection of the prayers, praises, meditations, and liturgies of ancient Israel.” They are designed to stimulate our response of worship and begin to cultivate a growing communion with Almighty God, who never leaves or forsakes. The revelation of God produces a response of praise from the heart to the glory of God. The action of God and reaction of believers produces growth in our fellowship with God in the ups and downs of life.
Over the next six months, I will invite the congregation to read through all 150 Psalms together on a reading schedule. I will be encouraging the congregation to purchase the “Devotional Psalter” put out by Crossway and the ESV and spend time meditating on the word. I will then draw on the following Psalms which coincides with their reading for that week. I chose twenty-six Psalms and will add titles to the Psalm as we approach the month.
The Psalms divide into five books as listed below. I include five necessary characteristics that best summarizes each book, detailed by Dr. Robert Godfrey in his study on Psalms.
Book One: The confidence in God’s care (1-41)
January 6, 2019, Choosing Between Two Paths and Two Purposes, Psalms 1-2
January 13, 2019, Considering the Majesty of God, Psalm 8
January 20, 2019, Confounded by the Sinfulness of Sin, Psalm 14
January 27, 2019, Conflicted by the Silence of God, Psalm 22
February 3, 2019, Celebrating the Presence of God, Psalm 27
February 10, 2019, Confidence in God’s Solution to our Situation, Psalm 37
Book Two: Commitment to God’s Kingdom (42-72)
February 17, 2019, Courage in the Face of Depression, Psalms 42-43
February 24, 2019, Commitment to God as Our Mighty Fortress, Psalm 46
March 3, 2019, Cry of the Heart in Biblical Confession, Psalm 51
March 10, 2019, Pastor Duane
March 17, 2019, Consistently Desire God’s Answer, Psalm 63
Book Three: Crisis over God’s promises (73-89)
March 24, 2019, Consider the Brevity of the Wicked First, Psalm 73
March 31, 2019, Crisis of History Resolved, Psalm 78
April 7, 2019, Casting Aside Cheap Substitutes, Psalm 81
Book Four: Comfort in God’s faithfulness (90-106)
April 14, 2019, Palm Sunday, Psalm 118
April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday
April 28, 2019, Psalm 98
May 5, 2019, Psalm 105
Book Five: Celebration of God’s salvation (107-150)
May 12, 2019, Psalm 110
May 19, 2019. Psalm 119
May 26, 2019, Memorial Day, Psalm 124
June 2, 2019, Psalm 130
June 9, 2019, Psalm 135
June 16, 2019, Psalm 139
June 23, 2019, Psalm 144
June 30, 2019, Psalm 150