Summary: Last in our vision 2011 series: New Riverlutions regarding the fuel for it all: a love for Christ that compels us
Text: Psalm 71:15-24, Title: New Riverlutions: Love Christ, Date/Place: NRBC, 2/6/11, AM
A. Opening illustration: Finish Strong video, Lyrics to Who is like You
B. Background to passage: this is a psalm of old age. David (or whoever) was remembering and praying to God in their old age to again vanquish those who oppose him. The last 10 verses of the psalm will be my focus, and here’s the reason: I can tell you to “love God” over and over, but I am dependent upon God to enable you to do that, change our hearts, draw us to Himself. But I know that presenting the beauty, desirability, and wonder of this God that I am calling you to love will help you to love him. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word, so please now hear what the Word says about our God. May God open our ears, and incline our hearts, and fan the flames of our love for Him into a raging fire of passion and desire, that it would be fuel for the realization and the vision of increase, improve, and impact!
C. Today I will call for a commitment to the pursuit of God and this vision for NRBC in 2011, and we shall see how we respond to the challenge laid before us.
D. Main thought: This is arguable the most important of the three resolutions to achieve increase, improvement, and impact. Truly, if we fail here, it doesn’t matter if we increase or improve or impact. This is a foundation stone as well as a pinnacle for our thoughts about 2011; for if this is true then the other things will flow more naturally. Our desire for a revived church, our burden for others, our sense of urgency and passion, our willingness to commit and discipline ourselves, will all come more easily and more genuinely and flow from our deep love for Christ. Resolution # 3, we must passionately, increasingly, demonstrably love Christ!
A. Impeccable Character/Attributes
1. David speaks of God’s righteousness; in fact, he says it 4X in these last 10 verses. God’s righteousness consists of His moral purity, His sovereignty, His kingdom among the nations, His justice and carrying out of punishment, and his vindication of his people. David also mentions strength and power 3X. Like righteousness, it is limitless! The reservoir of righteousness, strength, and faithfulness will never run dry, nor even go down in capacity. David also mentions faithfulness of God, which goes on forever.
Illustration: In Christ We Have…(see below), A man was walking through an art gallery when he came upon a picture of the Lord Jesus dying upon the cross. He stopped and looked at the beautiful portrait of Calvary's love. As he stared into the face of Christ, so full of agony the gallery guard tapped him on the shoulder. "Lower," the guard said. "The artist painted this picture to be appreciated from a lower position." So the man bent down. And from this lower position he observed new beauties in the picture not previously shown. "Lower," said the guard. "Lower still." The man knelt down on one knee and looked up into the face of Christ. The new vantage point yielded new beauties to behold and appreciate. But motioning with his torch toward the ground, the guard said, "Lower. You've got to go lower." The man now dropped down to two knees and looked up. Only then as he looked up at the painting from such a low posture could he realize the artist's intended perspective. Only then could he see the full beauty of the cross.
2. We have a righteous God! Absolutely right and pure in everything that He does. Sovereign in doing all that He pleases in heaven and earth. Controlling nations and kingdom properly. Administering justice and punishment according to His infinite wisdom. And ensuring that His people are not ashamed! Everything He does or allows in your life is according to this righteousness. He never has an impure motive, never an improper thought or desire; never a back up plan, for He needs none. We have no need EVER to question His character, even if we don’t understand His providences. Every thought toward you is good and right. Every purpose of His is the greatest, highest, and best! He will raise you up! We could exhaust the thesaurus and the wells of ink and quills, and never scratch the surface of our God.
3. His power and ability to do whatever He wants and whatever, whenever, however you need is mind-blowing. No man, no circumstances, no army or nation, no obstacle can restrain His hand. You need a miracle, He can do it! Need a job, He can do it! Nothing is too hard, too difficult, too strenuous, too high, too wide, too dark, too expensive, too heavy, or too far. He’s our rock we run too; the judge we plead with; the Master that we are provided for by; sovereign whom we respect and revere. He is everything that we need now, or will ever need! Need help? Hope? Love? Kindness?