Grow Spiritually

13102709_1039060766149890_1888386612241767699_n

Sermon Notes and Audio

Scripture Focus: Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 63

Click Here To Listen To The Sermon

Series- The Faithful Family- Serve the Lord, Commit Permanently, Forgive Freely, Love Diligently, and today we focus on what it means to Grow Spiritually.

Psalm 1:1-3 How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

 Psalm 63 A Davidic Psalm. When he was in the Wilderness of Judah. 1 God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. 2 So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. 3 My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. 4 So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. 5 You satisfy me with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips. 6 When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches 7 because You are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. 8 I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me. 9 But those who seek to destroy my life will go into the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the power of the sword; they will become the jackals’ prey. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by Him will boast, for the mouths of liars will be shut.

I want to apply these passages from the Psalms to our families today as we seek to live for God and honor Him.

Psalm 1 summarizes the two possible paths of life that are open to everyone- the way of the righteous and the way of the world, life or death, fruit or barrenness, and the consequences of each path. It is considered a prologue to all of the Psalms.

The Way of the Righteous

There was an article in U.S. News and World Report a while back- “50 Ways to Improve Your Life.” The path of faith is much simpler- the word “blessed” means happy, to have a deep joy. The #1 key to blessing and happiness is to find your blessings, your happiness in God.

Life is complicated, the world is dangerous, but God is faithful!

The righteous delight in God’s instruction, and meditate on it, and as a result the roots of their lives go deep, and the fruit of their life is abundant!

The end of the Way of the Righteous- the Eternal Presence of God

The Way of the World

The way of the world is to disregard God and His Word. The way of the world is to follow the advice of the wicked and take the path of sinners and join the group of mockers.

The end of the Way of the World- Eternal consequences and separation from the presence of God.

Every family, and each individual in that family- is either following the Way of the Righteous or the Way of the World.

There is a lot of pressure on families today- We are living in a day that is extremely difficult- morally, economically, relationally, globally- there is a lot of pressure! For Christians there is the pressure to build solid marriages and to raise godly children amidst all of those difficulties.

One thing will determine how well you deal with the pressure- that is your focus, which determines your priorities, which determine your direction in life and your impact on eternity. Everyone focuses on something. Everyone has priorities. Life will sweep you away if you are not focused with biblical, godly priorities.

King David knew about pressure and difficulties in life. During his reign, his son Absalom led a rebellion against him. David and his followers had to flee for their lives as a result. He spent a while in the wilderness of Judah before crossing over the Jordan River. On the run, under pressure, He wrote Psalm 63.

The ancient church had the practice of beginning the singing of the Psalms at Sunday Service with Psalm 63.

To grow spiritually, we must seek after God. Seeking after God should be the number one priority for your family. What does it mean to seek after God? What does it practically look like?

To seek after God is to know God.

To know God is to meet God- V1 God, You are my God.

Psalm 63 allows us to look into the heart of a man after God’s own heart. There is a significant difference between knowing ABOUT God and KNOWING God.

John 17:3 This is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent- Jesus Christ.

Have you met God?

To know God is to desire more of God- v1 I eagerly seek You.

David knew God- but he desired more of God- a greater depth in his relationship with the Father.

Eagerly seek- the same word was used of wild donkeys looking eagerly for food, for something to eat.

A young man ran after Socrates. He asked the great philosopher- Can I be your disciple? Socrates ignored him. They were near some water and Socrates went into the water and the young man followed. He asked the question again- Can I be your disciple? Socrates took hold of him and plunged him down under the water. The young man came up gasping for air. Socrates- When you desire the truth as much as you seek air- then you can be my disciple.

This is what it means to eagerly seek God. There is a determination here from King David.

V1 I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. 2 So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. 4 So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands.

Caution- Do not fill your life with things other than God that may be good, but are not the best.

What is at the center of your life?

To seek after God is to know God.

To seek after God is to be content.

There is a big difference between contentment and complacency. Complacency is lazy, and is a whatever may come attitude. Complacency contributes to spiritual drift and decline and disobedience.

Contentment comes from the strength of God.

2 So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory.

When we are weak, God is strong.

Contentment in God, is due to the love of God.

3 My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life.

His faithful love is better than even life itself. It is a covenant based love, demonstrated in commitment to and care for His children.

Contentment in God, comes from His provision for us.

5 You satisfy me with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.

 Many families are looking for contentment in all the wrong places.  Society is trying to sell us stuff all the time. The worldwide marketing machine spends $500 billion annually to make you unhappy with who you are, with what you have, and with what you do. There was a study done, called “Social Comparison, Advertising, and Consumer Discontentment”- Consumers encounter countless advertising images during the course of everyday life. Many of these images are idealized, representing life more as it is imagined than as it actually exists. The result is discontentment and an increased desire for more.

Real satisfaction is found only in God and His provision for us.

To seek after God is to be content.

To seek after God is to set the right priorities.

Love for God has to be supreme in our lives. David recognized the loving kindness of God as being better than life itself. We love because He first loved us and in response to the love of God, we love God supremely. This has to be the first priority.

V7 I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. 8 I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me.

You hold onto God, but God is already holding on to you.

To hold onto is to cling to- it means there is loyalty because of love. It is the same idea we find in Genesis 2 of the man cleaving to his wife. So your relationship with God is compared to marriage.

Passion/Commitment are inseparable! Faith is a matter of the head/heart/and hands. The family that loves God supremely will be stable. Love for God is expressed in time with God and devotion to Him. David was under intense pressure- fleeing Absalom. I will seek You. . .I will bless Your name. . . I will lift up my hands!

We focus on what we want to focus on. We prioritize what we want to prioritize. We do what we want to do. God should permeate every area of life- relationships, decisions, family, education, future. There is no such thing as sacred vs. secular for the child of God. Everything is sacred! Follow hard after God!

To seek after God is to set the right priorities.

Conclusion and Application

A George Barna Study showed that 85% of parents with children under the age of 13 believe they have the primary responsibility to teach their children about religious beliefs and spiritual matters. However, a majority of parents do not spend any time in a typical week, or a very small amount of time, discussing religious matters with their children. Parents generally try to rely on the church to do it for them.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

 Love for God should be evident and central in your home. Make the most of everyday opportunities to teach the things of God. Emphasize family devotions in your home.

John Chrysostom (349-407) Archbishop of Constantinople- Urged every house to be a church and every head of a family a spiritual shepherd, remembering the account he must give even for his children.

The vast majority of Christian families do not maintain any regular family devotion. How can this be? So how can you effectively do it?

Basic Pattern- Read. . .Pray. . .Discuss

Basic Principles- Brevity. . .Flexibility. . .Regularity. . .Age Appropriateness

Rick Husband was the Commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia and one of 7 astronauts killed in 2003 when the shuttle broke apart in mid-air just 16 minutes from landing in Florida. A memorial service was held for Rick Husband, the 45 year old father. A video was played that Husband had made before he went into space.

“If I ended up at the end of my life having been an astronaut, but having sacrificed my family along the way or living my life in a way that didn’t glorify God, then I would look back on it with great regret. Having become an astronaut would not really have mattered all that much. And I finally came to realize that what really meant the most to me was to try and live my life the way God wanted me to and to try and be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my children.”

 Legacy. . . what kind of legacy will you leave behind??