Summary: UNDERSTANDING GOD’S REVELATION IS THE PATHWAY TO ENCOURAGEMENT
UNDERSTANDING GOD’S REVELATION
IS THE PATHWAY TO ENCOURAGEMENT
"Deal bountifully with Thy servant, That I may live and keep Thy word"
If God were to bless us abundantly and give us our greatest desire, what would that be? The opportunity to continue to live a life of obedience that is pleasing to God!
I. (:19; 22-23) AS PILGRIMS IN AN ALIEN WORLD, ALL GOD’S SERVANTS NEED ENCOURAGEMENT
We are all in the same boat when it comes to needing encouragement;
if you make it your mission to encourage others you can be sure that you are performing a valuable ministry that is greatly needed.
A. Pressure of Pilgrim Struggles -- "Stranger in the earth" (:19)
B. Pressure of Reproach and Contempt (:22)
C. Pressure of Malicious Plots (at the highest levels) (:23)
II. (:18-21) GOD GRANTS UNDERSTANDING OF HIS REVELATION:
- ACCORDING TO HIS SOVEREIGN WILL AND
- ACCORDING TO OUR COMMITMENT TO OBEY
A. According to His Sovereign Will
1. Revealing Truth and Granting Understanding (:18)
2. Hiding Truth and Blinding the Understanding (:19)
B. According to Our Commitment to Obey
1. Burden for Conformity to God’s Requirements (:20)
2. Arrogant Disregard for God’s Commands Rebuked (:21)
III. (:22-24a) ENCOURAGEMENT COMES AS WE REMAIN FOCUSED ON GOD’S REVELATION
A. Obeying (:22)
B. Meditating (:23)
C. Delighting (:24a)
(:24b) CONCLUSION: THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF TRUE NOUTHETIC
"Thy testimonies are my counselors"
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1) When was the last time someone encouraged you? How did they do it? When was the last time you made an effort to encourage someone else? How?
2) Think of all the types of counseling where the Word of God is often not utilized at all: psychological counseling, social services, guidance and career counseling, twelve step programs, etc. How important is it to have counseling that is Biblically based?
3) Why would God choose to hide His truth from certain people and in certain circumstances? Is this fair? Shouldn’t everyone have equal access to God’s truth?
4) Do we tend to give credit to our own reasoning abilities or to the gracious illumination of God’s Spirit when it comes to understanding spiritual truths. Think through your approach to Bible study and witnessing. Do you rely more on your own thinking
and reasoning ability or on the sovereignty of God to graciously open up the eyes of the heart?
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