INTRO: When I think of sacrifices, I usually think of the Old Testament and its altars with their burnt offerings. The first mention of sacrifice, of course, is in Genesis 4. It is there we meet Cain and Abel as they offer sacrifice to God. And we perhaps think of sacrifice in terms of those things we give up in order to be the servants of God. I suppose that is an appropriate use of the word sacrifice. In our text, however, the psalmist prays that Jehovah will accept the offerings of my mouth. The writer of Hebrews refers to the sacrifice of praise (Heb 13:15). Our thoughts this morning turn to this very different prayer and to its significance for true disciples of the Lord.
I. THE HUMILITY OF PRAYER
A. Accept, I beseech thee...
1. here is a word of pleading ... a word akin to begging
2. here is a word indicative of the heart of the supplicant
3. it is a word of Moses (Num 14:17); it is a word of David (2 Sam 24:10); it is a word of Hezekiah (2 Ki 19:19,20); it a word of Nehemiah (Neh 1:11); it is a word of Daniel (Dan 9:16-19) ... these are great men of prayer!
B. 1 Pet 5:6,7 - Supplication in the presence of humility
1. Lk 18:13 - here is humility before God
2. I wonder if the self esteem culture has virtually eliminated true humility?
3. I wonder if freedom, independence have made bowing before God almost impossible ... true bowing?
II. THE FREEWILL NATURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP
A. Accept...the freewill offerings...
1. Ex 35:21-29 - note whose heart stirred him up - his spirit made willing
2. freewill offerings came from within - there is doubtless an element of emotion here - love which cannot help but give
3. Deut 16:10,11 - connect the offering and the rejoicing!
B. Mt 10:8 - The great principle at work here
1. Rom 8:32 - God has given freely ... at great cost to Himself, yet, freely
2. so, we return freely to Him that which is truly His due
3. 2 Cor 8:12 & 9:7 (see also 1 Chron 29:14-16)
III. THE OFFERINGS OF HIS MOUTH
A. Accept...the freewill offerings of my mouth...
1. we realize here that we are not dealing sacrifice in traditional sense
2. note Ps 51:15-17 - sin offerings were of no use to the worshiper if there was not first the broken spirit
3. but want us to notice especially v. 15 - here is the offering of his mouth!
4. Hos 14:1,2 - here is a very unusual passage - the calves of our lips ... instead of the usual sin offering, they were to offer words!
B. Heb 13:15 - Christians are admonished to offer the fruit of our lips
1. notice that this sacrifice is praise to God and giving thanks
2. our praise to God is for His graciousness toward us - our salvation
3. notice 1 Pet 2:9 - ...shew forth the praises of him who hath called you...
4. do we, day by day and in very open ways, praise God for His wonderful works? (see Ps 117:1,2)
IV. THE PERVADING, PREVAILING INFLUENCE OF THE WORD
A. Accept...and teach me thy judgments
1. in all of the prayers found in this psalm the word of God is always near
2. the greatest praise to God is manifested in obedience to His word
3. the greatest hypocrisy is to offer praise with our mouths and fail to be molded and transformed by His word
B. Rom 12:2 - ...be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind...
1. while it is true that the psalmist erred from time to time, it is also true that the word of God was always near...correcting, admonishing, transforming
2. you and I need to continue our quest for knowledge of the word - and to honor it by conforming to it
3. here, sweet friends, is how the praise of our lips has validity
CLOSE: How beautifully the psalmist concludes this brief prayer ... My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law. As uncertain as life may be, and troubled as life may be, as fraught with peril as life may be, all is secure if we do not forget Gods law with its promises, assurances and direction!
Cecil A. Hutson
March 20, 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)