Summary: We sing many hymns of promise. How well do we live what we sing?


Scripture: Psalm 61, 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 (from THE MESSAGE)

Psalm 61

God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer. When I’m far from anywhere, down to my last gasp, I call out, “Guide me up High Rock Mountain!”

You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, a lifetime pass to Your safe-house, an open invitation as Your guest. You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love You.

Let the days of the king add up to years and years of good rule. Set his throne in the full light of God; post Steady Love and Good Faith as lookouts, And I’ll be the poet who sings Your glory— and live what I sing every day.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.

The title of the sermon is a promise. And I’ll be the poet who sings Your glory— and live what I sing every day.

Promises should not be made, if the one making the promise cannot keep it; or, perhaps has no intention of keeping it. For example, if I promise you that I will pay you $4 million dollars for your house, I am making you a promise than I cannot possibly keep. Why? I do not have $4 million dollars, nor do I expect to have such a sum in the near, or far, future.

Or perhaps, I have no intention of keeping the promise ... I may have other reasons for making such a promise. I might be like the guy who took his girl out for a date on Friday night, and in the course of the evening, took her shopping. He bought her a gorgeous fur coat, and wrote a check for it ... $5,000 worth! He bought her a marvelous sapphire, and paid $8,000 for it. He bought her a brand new car, and paid $35,000 for it .... writing checks for everything.

Come Monday morning, the furrier called, explaining that the bank bounced his check. The jeweler called, explaining that his check bounced. The car dealer called and said that his check bounced.

To each he said, of course they bounced! I have no money, but... thank you for the most wonderful weekend I've ever had!

He had no intention of keeping his promises, you see.

When we examine Psalm 61, we find that the one who wrote it had a narrow escape from some perilous event, and was thanking God for the deliverance. And in his gratitude, he makes the promise! And I’ll be the poet who sings Your glory— and live what I sing every day.

So, for this morning, let's look at what we sing on Sunday morning.... and see how well, perhaps, we are keeping our promises!


We sung those words a few moments ago, let's examine what we promised!

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord, to Thee. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. Wow! Let my hands move at the impulse of God's love? Now, honestly! How well do we keep that promise?

What are the impulses of God's love? Those are the moments when we think, "I really need to go see brother so and so. He has been having such a hard time, lately. And maybe I can take him a pie." But.... we let the moment slip by, and do nothing. How may times, do you think, over the past 50 years have we sung this lovely hymn.... and how many impulses of God's love have we let come and go?

Look at the second verse...

Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee, take my voice and let me sing always only for my King! When was the last time you let your feet take you to a nursing home or hospital to visit someone, someone, not of your immediate family, that is, but someone you have known for a long time? When was the last time you let your feet take you to visit a shut-in, or near shut-in, just to let them know they are in your prayers and in your heart?

And let me sing always only for my King? This one causes us trouble, because we probably don't sing for our King, nearly so much as we sing for our own amusement, or the amusement of others. And many of the songs we do sing are not the kind that remind us of God.

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