INTRO: As I read the two verses of our text I see thoughts like that I may live, or let me not be ashamed of my hope, or I shall be safe. At first glance I suppose I could imagine that here is a man who is really not sure of his relationship with God. And such thoughts as these might be the very thoughts we have entertained at moments when our faith is being tested, or when it ebbs low. But if we see these expressions in the context, they are part of the psalmists fervent prayer in his daily walk with God. They are part of his recognition that his entire being depends on God! He has no doubt tried to stand on his own (as his history indicates) and found that he has fallen with a resounding thud before his self will.
I. UPHOLD ME
A. In a righteous persons life he will confront...
1. afflictions - an enemy who attacks; a rebellious son; hard choices
2. temptations - of the flesh (Bathsheba); of pride (numbering)
3. adverse situations - fleeing for his life; failing to reach goal
B. And we are powerless if left alone!
1. notice v. 114 - thou are my hiding place and my shield
2. or, Col 3:3 - ...your life is hid with Christ in God
3. if you take this away, what sustenance (beyond finite, frail self) does one have? (Ps 143:8)
C. Uphold me so that I may live
1. are people alive without a right relationship with God?
2. yes, in a physical sense: they eat; they breathe; they function
3. but life with God through Christ offers so much more than what this mundane, physical existence offers us
4. Lk 18:28-30 - exactly what all this encompasses I honestly do not know - but I do trust in the promise and live my life knowing it is actualized
5. I believe that God sustains me as I live by faith - Gal 2:20
6. 1 Pet 5:7 - I admit that this may sometimes be difficult - we tend to want to keep one hand on our dilemmas - not really sure God is holding His end of the rope
II. HOLD ME UP
A. The word that is used here means to prop, to support
1. and I think this word really comes to the point of my need occasionally
2. I have a strong suspicion that many of us need this propping up
3. we become so frazzled, frustrated, frenetic - we have so many questions, so few answers ... physical, mental, spiritual weariness set in
B. I have tried to think of the various helps God might employ to prop us
1. the assurance of forgiveness
a. sin can certainly bring us to weariness
b. 1 Jno 2:1,2 - ...we have an advocate with the Father...
2. the assurance of prayer
a. to be able to pour our hearts out to a caring Father ... relief
b. Phil 4:6,7 - ...the peace of God...shall keep your hearts...
3. the assurance of the truth
a. with so much uncertainty in our world it is so helpful, so supporting to know that we have the real truth for life and living
b. Jno 8:31,32 - ...the truth shall make you free
4. the assurance that God wants only what is good for me
a. some may think Him to be harsh, uncaring, aloof, insensitive - not so!
b. Jas 1:17 with Mt 7:9-11 - if I can have confidence in the Bible (and I do), I know this to be true of God ... my Father
5. the assurance of Gods Providence
a. Providence is not a Bible word - but is certainly a Bible fact
b. Rom 8:28,29 - do I understand? no really - do I believe? absolutely
6. the assurance of Presence
a. Jno 14:18 - yes, to the apostles ... but are we not assured of Presence in Heb 13:5,6?
b. note 2 Tim 4:17 - notwithstanding the Lord stood with me...
C. If God is holding me up, I shall be safe
1. Deut 33:27 - leaning on the everlasting arms of God!
2. in all of this I do not have to understand ... I simply trust
3. and, yes, trust is at times difficult - but if we just look at Gods history with mankind, we know that we can trust Him because He is always faithful
CLOSE:Ps 111:1-10 ... This is the God in Whom I trust to hold me up from day to day! But I do want you to notice and think about verse 10. Will your godly fear bring you to obedience this morning?
Cecil A. Hutson
March 27, 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)