Central Baptist Church
Sunday, November 29, 2020

Morning Worship Sermon

 

A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Psalm 138:1-8

 

Express gratitude and trust in the One who hears our prayer.

 

          Our belief in the power of praying to God and our trust in Him is reflected in our thanks.  As God responds to our needs - we thank Him.

          What do we do when we do not see the answer, someone said this, "I will praise Him in that I will praise Him."  In other words, I might not have anything to praise Him for now but I'm going to praise Him on credit because I know He's going to bless me.

          We know the loving character of the One to whom we pray.  We can pray with an attitude of gratitude knowing that He will answer in the best way.

 

          Offering thanks to God is a fairly common reaction to good news.  Even non-believers will do that.  NFL player looking to and pointing to heaven after a good play is simply an expression of the attitude of gratitude.

          When good things happen we're drawn to thank God because we know that He's responsible of our blessings :

 

James 1:17 -  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

 

          Let's look at our text :

 

Psalm 139:1-2 -  "I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. 2  I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."


          Give thanks to God for His love and truth.

 

          Look at David!  He's in deep trouble, his life is threatened, he don't know which way to turn, his very life hanging on a thread, no idea where his next meal is coming from.

          Have you ever been there?

          In the midst of all this look at what's he's doing :

 

Psalm 138:1a -  "I will praise thee with my whole heart:...."

 

          If we're not careful when our little world caves in, we will stop praising and start complaining.  There are those who forsake God and accuse Him when things go wrong.

          Then there are those who will doggedly hold on to their faith, but to praise Him?

          David did!

 

Psalm 138:1b -  "....before the gods will I sing praise unto thee."

 

          David nearly always bore fearless testimony for God.

 

Psalm 138:2 -  "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

 

          While praise and worship are closely related, there is a difference.

          Praise focuses on who God is.

          Thanksgiving focuses on what God has done.

         

          David focused on the love and truth of God.

          "lovingkindness" -     The usual word in the Psalms for grace.

 

          Grace and truth turns our thoughts at once to Jesus.

 

John 1:17 -  "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

          The law was given, but grace and truth came.  It came clothed in flesh and blood, as a baby wrapped in swaddling, as a holy child, as a boy who excelled in everything, and as a man with the keenest mind in the universe.

          It came as One who was holy and undefiled.            

          It came as One separate from sinners.

 

          Grace to forgive the erring ones.

          Truth to tell Nicodemus that he needed to be born again.

 

          In David's day the half had never been told, still he said,

"I will...praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and truth."

 

          "....thy hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name."

          That is what God thinks of His Word!

          How dare men to doubt, deny, and disregard the Word of God.

          Yet they do!

 

Psalm 138:3-6 -  "In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. 4  All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. 5  Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD. 6  Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off."

 

          The Lord answered David's prayer but He did not remove the problem, instead He strengthened David in his soul.

          God's permissive will allows some things to happen that He might use them to strengthen us.

 

          Paul had a "thorn in the flesh" for which he prayed for God to remove :

 

II Corinthians 12:7-10 -  "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

 

          Now look back at :

 

Psalm 138:4-5 -  "All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. 5 Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD."

 


    This day has not come yet, but rest assured, it's on the way.  This is the 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ.

          Today when the rulers of the earth meet they neither sing or pray.

          There's not much to sing about today and they do not believe in prayer.

          They squabble now, they will sing then!

 

Psalm 138:6 -  "Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off."

 

Isaiah 6:1-8 -  "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."

         

          Isaiah was filled with a sense of unworthiness and shame, yet the Lord had respect for him and lifted him up.

 

Psalm 138:7-8 -  "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. 8  The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands."

 

          No matter that he walks in the midst of trouble - an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving God is with Him.

          For David, God's protection was a matter of life and death.