RESPONSIVE CALL | Matthew 6:19–24
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money.
ASSURANCE | Psalm 121:1-2 [ESV]
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
SING: Gloria Patri [sheet music] [demo recording]
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Read Psalm 17
2nd Reading: 1 John 1:1-4
(We will come back to psalms 15 and 16 later in our reading as we move closer to Easter.)
“Hear a just cause, Or LORD, attend to my cry!” (v.17:1)
What strikes me first in this psalm is the intimacy with which David addresses God. David looks at his past experiences with God, “You have tried my heart, you have tested me in the night (v.3.)” He also pleads his innocence before God (4-5.) Then he speaks to God in the most intimate of ways, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (v.8.)” After describing the deadly enemies that surround him and appealing for God’s help (v.9-14), David again turns his focus to God. “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness.”
But there is a second concern that emerges as we study the psalm more closely. At several points, David insists that he is righteous and that God should help him because he is innocent of wrong doing. Considering what we read in Psalm 12 about “no one being righteous, no not one” – how do we understand that David claims to be innocent before God? First, we recognize that this could be true of David in a limited and relative sense. By that we mean that in the particular matter in view David could have been innocent. We saw in an earlier reference to 1 Peter 2, that sometimes we suffer unjustly. That does not mean we have never done anything to deserve punishment, but in the particular matter at hand we have not done something to deserve that result. For example, if my boss fines me for stealing cookies at work, but I did not actually steal cookies, I could plead my innocence and say I was suffering unjustly. If I had, in fact, stolen the cookies from the cookie jar, then the result would have been for me suffering "because of my sin” (I Peter 2:19-20.)
On the other hand, we have to recognize that David was not innocent in all matters. In fact, David had some pretty major sins recorded in the Bible. In those instances, he suffered for his sin. But what this means is that even David could not pray this psalm in every part, in every situation. His righteousness was not sufficient to earn his own salvation. He needed to be saved by someone who could fulfill this perfectly. And so we look forward to his descendent, Jesus, who was often called “the son of David.” Jesus did what David could never do. He never sinned and perfectly fulfilled God’s righteous expectations.
And hear is the connecting idea. Because Jesus shares his perfect righteousness with us by faith, we can enjoy the rich intimacy that he has had with his heavenly father from all eternity. All of the warm fellowship language that David shares in Psalm 17 is most deeply found in the eternal relationship that Jesus had with his heavenly Father. In I John 1:1-4, John describes the joy that he has when he people are invited in to the fellowship of God. “Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3.)”
SING | Psalm 121
MEMORIZE | Psalm 121
- Spend time memorizing the words of the Psalm as best you can -
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
COMMISSION | Psalm 121:7–8 [ESV]
The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.