Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Study on Psalm 67 (Summer Playlist Series)

 A Study on Psalm 67 Summer Playlist Series

This morning, we continue our summer playlist series at my church.  One of our associate pastors shares his personal experiences in 2020 thus far.  This year has already been a tough one for many of us and his journey thus far is no exception.  Like my associate pastor, perhaps you have suffered many difficult situations in addition to COVID19.  Our pastor is sharing today from Psalm 67.  This Psalm provides encouragement for difficult challenges.  Let's take a look at Psalm 67 right now.

Psalm 67

God be gracious to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us— Selah
That Your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
May the peoples praise You, God;
May all the peoples praise You.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy;
For You will judge the peoples with fairness
And guide the nations on the earth. Selah
May the peoples praise You, God;
May all the peoples praise You.
The earth has yielded its produce;
God, our God, blesses us.
God blesses us,
So that all the ends of the earth may fear Him. 

Now, let's summarize my pastor's main points regarding Psalm 67.  I encourage you to watch the following video or listen to it as you read this post in order to benefit from my pastor's entire sermon.


1.  The Elements of God's Blessing

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us. - Psalm 67:1

When we understand what God's blessing contains, we better understand its value and significance for our lives.  There are two key ingredients.

A.  God's Good Grace

God gives people amazing gifts that they don't deserve and couldn't possibly earn.  The greatest example of God's grace was seen on the cross as Jesus, who knew no sin, became a sacrifice for our sin so that we might have the opportunity to have a relationship with him.  We cannot earn God's grace.  This truth helps us focus on God's goodness as we realize that He gives freely what we cannot earn through works.

B.  God's Shining Favor

His face shines upon us.  His face shines upon us like a parent's face shines upon his or her child.  Isn't that awesome?  It is a wonderful truth that God's face is shining on ME!  

In the light of a king's face, there is life and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain. - Proverbs 16:15

Non Christian people are watching us.  We claim to know, to love, and to follow Jesus Christ.  We say that He is our Savior, our Lord, and our Friend.  "What difference does He make to these Christians?" the world asks searchingly.  "Where is their God?"  It may be said without fear of contradiction that the greatest hindrance to evangelism in the world today is the failure of the church to supply evidence in her own life and work of the saving power of God.  Rightly may we pray for ourselves that we may have God's blessing and mercy and the light of His countenance - not that we may then monopolize His grace and bask in the sunshine of His favor, but that others may see in us His blessing and His beauty, and be drawn to Him through us. - John Stott

2.  The Effects of God's Blessing

That Your way may be known on Earth, Your saving power among all the nations.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You!  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon Earth.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.  God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear Him! - Psalm 67:2-7

A.  God will be known.

I'm going to directly quote my pastor here because it's so good.

Knowledge is a powerful thing.  We are living in the most knowledgeable time in world history.  We have more access to more information in an instant than previous generations did in their combined lifespans. Knowledge can be the difference between war and peace.  Knowledge is the difference between wealth and poverty.  We have an information overload.  We know everything from how many people have tested positive for coronavirus worldwide to who certain celebrities are currently dating. But there is one piece of knowledge that has the power to literally transform your life, not just for the here and now, but for all eternity.  It is the way of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. - Pastor Josh Allen

B.  God alone has saving power.

We desperately need a Savior.  People search all around looking for someone who can fix their problems ASAP.  People need hope in the midst of despair.  Perhaps they look to a politician, a wealthy person, or someone - some human - who will bail them out of their circumstances and instantly make everything all better again.

Jesus is our Savior.  He has already come and He's coming back.  He alone has the power to forgive your sin and lead you onto a straight path.  

He doesn't just have the power to make bad people better.  He has the power to raise spiritually dead people to new life. - Pastor Josh Allen

C.  He alone gives lasting joy.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that happiness and joy are the same thing.  Happiness and joy are very different.  Happiness is based on current circumstances.  Joy is found in the comfort and truth of Jesus no matter the circumstances.  There is great and unmeasurable joy in salvation through Jesus.  Nothing can take that away - not COVID, not quarantine, not pain - nothing.

D.  He alone judges impartially.

God does not judge people according to skin color, the amount of money they have, gender, or who their parents and other ancestors are.  The only thing that matters is whether or not we have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  

I have a relationship with Jesus.  Do you?

E.  God will be praised.

When something is important, it is often repeated to help us remember.  Read Psalm 67 again.  The phrase "Let all the people praise you" is repeated several times.  That's important. We are all always praising someone or something.  Are you praising God?

F.  God will be feared.

Here, my pastor points us to Luke 8.  In this chapter, a woman touches the garment of Jesus so that she will be healed.  In the Bible, people do no worship the receiver of a miracle.  They worship the miracle giver.  

We tend to get this backwards, don't we?  When someone receives a miracle or a blessing, we focus on the person who received the blessing or the miracle.  We put them up on a pedestal.  We must follow the examples the Bible gives us and turn our attention to the miracle giver and the One who showers blessings upon us.  We must turn our focus to Jesus.

And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this that even the winds and seas obey Him? - Matthew 8:27

The should be our prayer moving forward:

God, would you bless me that the nations might know You?

Would You bless me that the nations might praise You?

Would You bless me that the nations might fear You? 

A Study on Psalm 67 Summer Playlist Series

 


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