Summary: If we know Jesus, we should be: 1. Praising the Lord (vs. 1-3). 2. Praying (vs. 4-7). 3. Passing on the good news about Jesus (vs. 8). 4. Pursuing a godly life (vs. 9-18). 5. Persistent in trusting the Lord (vs. 17-22).
If We Know Jesus. . .
Psalm 34:1-22 (Initial reading vs. 1-8)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 21, 2014
*I was as lost as I could be when I was in high school. Back then I skipped church as much as possible, but I still went from time to time. I remember going to a Methodist Youth Fellowship one night in Macon, Georgia. One of the senior adults sitting in the foyer struck up a conversation with me, and he asked me if I was a Christian.
*I told him I wasn't good enough to be a Christian. You see, I didn't have a clue. I thought being a Christian was sort of like being a good Boy Scout. You had to earn your salvation, just like we had to earn merit badges in Scouts.
*I may not have listened that night, but that man should have told me, "Son, all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And Jesus said: "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:13).
*God loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins, and He rose again from the dead. Jesus Christ wants you to trust in Him as your personal Lord and Savior. He wants you to call on Him in prayer to receive His forgiveness, salvation and eternal life. He wants to be your eternal best friend and brother. He wants His Heavenly Father to be your Heavenly Father. He wants you to know Him in a personal way."
*Everybody needs to know Jesus in a personal way. And Christians: We do know Jesus in a personal way. But what happens next? -- King David helps us to see. And here in God's Word, he shows us 5 things that should be happening in our lives, if we know the Lord.
1. First: We should be praising the Lord.
*We should praise the Lord the way we see David praising in vs. 1-3. There David started in vs. 1 by saying: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. God is reminding us here that He deserves our praise in both the good times, and the bad times.
*King David surely knew about bad times. This Psalm was sparked by one of those bad times. The introductory note in the NIV explains that this is "a Psalm of David when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left."
*David became a hero to the whole nation after he killed the giant Goliath. But King Saul grew terribly jealous of the young hero, and David had to run for his life.
*David lied to the priest to get some bread and a sword; then he fled to Goliath's hometown. Of course, that was a huge mistake! And David was so afraid of those people that he pretended to be insane. That's how he was able to get away.
*But that didn't mean everything was okay. David may have still been hiding out in a cave, and Saul may have still been trying to kill him. But no matter what's going on in our lives, we always have good reasons to praise the Lord. David knew this, and he frequently poured out praise to the Lord.
-In Psalm 7:17, David said: "I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High."
-In Psalm 9:1, David said: "I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works."
-Psalm 106:1 says: "Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
-Psalm 107 cries out four times: "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
-And Psalm 118:21 says this to God: "I will praise You, for You have answered me, And have become my salvation."
*Church: There's no doubt about it. We really should praise the Lord! If we know the Lord, if we are saved, then the good always outweighs the bad in our lives. And on our worst days, we still have great reasons to praise God. That's why in vs. 1, David said: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
*David also realized that our praise is contagious. That's why in vs. 2&3, David said:
2. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.