"The Lord Be Magnified!" Psalm 40:16-17

Text: “…Let such as love Thy Salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.”
                                                                                                                    Psalm 40:16b.

Good morning Christ-exalting Christian!  In ‘good’ days and ‘bad’ days, yet in every day – you and I are able to cry out in faith, ‘The Lord be magnified!’  Praise God it is so, my friend; for it is a sure sign of genuine, God-given faith, to see souls professing the Name of Christ Jesus being able to overcome all depressions, oppressions, and hindrances and still able to shout the praises of our glorious and all-Victorious Lord God.  Hallelujah!  Let us bow down and worship in His Holy and Magnificent Presence, exalting His Holy Name.  Amen.

The ability to rejoice in times of dreadful sorrow, persecutions, afflictions, serious illnesses, danger, or pain – is a sure sign of faith that has been given by God Himself; a faith that is standing the test of time and tribulations.  God-given faith is the only sure faith to practice.  All else is mere ‘religion’, not worth the daily practice.  True faith is the Divine gift of God and only given to ‘His people’ for their soul’s Salvation.

“For by grace and are ye saved though faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works (we can’t work it up ourselves!), lest any man/woman should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We who are elected to Salvation by God the Father; quickened in time by God the Spirit; and saved in time, and for Eternity, by the Lord Jesus Christ – are first granted the faith necessary to put full and unconditional trust in Christ Jesus and what He has achieved for us at Calvary’s Cross.  His Sacrifice of full Atonement for our sins, is all-sufficient to appease the wrath of our Heavenly Father against our sin.  Therefore, no matter what comes or goes in this life – we have the justified ability to exalt the Name of the Lord; to love His Salvation; and to ‘…say continually, The Lord be magnified!’  Hallelujah!  What a God-given blessing to mere sinful wretches such as we!

Dictionary Definition: Magnify -  (verb transitive) to make great or greater; to enlarge; to cause to appear greater; to exaggerate; to praise highly…; to extol… (The Chambers Dictionary, page 967)

Thus, we who ‘love the Salvation of the Lord’ are Divinely enabled to ‘magnify’ His Name ‘continually’!  If we were not saved, if we did not love the Salvation of the Lord in this truly personal manner; we would not be able of ourselves to magnify the Name of the Lord continually!  Life, with all its anti-Christian hindrances; temptations of our sin-prone flesh; and the cruel oppositions of our arch-enemy, Satan, would smoother our joy, and make us incapable of exalting, or magnifying the Living Lord God as our Saviour, Lord, and Divine Friend.

Magnifying, exalting, the Lord in open praise and worship, is a characteristic belonging to a soul that has been genuinely regenerated from Spiritual death to full Spiritual life by God the Holy Ghost.  What a blessing to know we are truly SAVED!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord God Who has redeemed our never-dying souls!  The Lord be magnified in praise!

Verse 16.  “Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee. He groaned that we might sing and was covered with a bloody sweat that we might be anointed with the oil of gladness.”           (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 197)

Sinners, such as you and I, are at all times called of God to be like Christ.  This is what makes us ‘Christians’.  Therefore, IF we are to be ‘as Christ’; it naturally follows that we are called to suffer in some lesser degree as He has fully suffered for us on that Cross.  When we can praise God, and magnify His Name while we are enduring all manner of temporal suffering – then we prove to the on-looking world that we are indeed what we say we are: ‘born again’ Christians.  What Divine logic!

There is no such state as ‘comfortable Christianity’.  No!  We, true regenerate Christians, have a bounden duty to expect to ‘suffer’ in the service of Christ Who endured infinite suffering for us.  God’s Word has the last word on this subject.

“For unto you (true Christians) it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” (Philippians 1:29)

Committed Christians who are seen to be suffering in many ways, yet continually rejoicing and magnifying the Name of our Saviour/Lord, are a proof-positive that our Divine Salvation is true and genuine.  Our faith has been God-given, and thus nothing can separate us from worshipping and exalting the Name of our Redeemer Lord in praise!

“Nay, in all these things we are more that conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (including ourselves!), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)  Hallelujah!  Let us magnify the Lord God!

The Lord God never loses sight of us, ‘His people’.  His thoughts are ever upon us, no matter what situation or peril, or plight we are in at any given time.  Praise God!

Verse 17. “Yet the Lord thinketh (the continual verb, i.e. thinks, and continually thinks) upon me.  He that turns the hearts of kings like rivers at His pleasure turns all the little brooks in the world into what scorched and parched ground He pleases.”  (Samuel Lee 1625-1691)

“Again, observe the efficiency of His thoughts.  He Who thinks upon you is a God at hand and not afar off; He has all events under His control; He is the God of all grace.” (William Jay 1769-1853)

Thought:  “Make no tarrying, O my God.” “O Lord, Make haste to help me.” The Lord’s care for us is continual, and His timing is always perfect.  Trust Him.

Lord, Deliver Us From Mockers! Psalm 40:13-15

Text:  “Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me.  Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.  Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, Aha.”
                                                                                                              Psalm 40:13-15.

Good morning, God-delivered Christian!  You and I have not delivered ourselves from being natural born sinners under God’s Adamic curse for sin, and from the many gross sins and transgressions of God’s Law that we have committed ever since.  No!  It is the Lord God Himself Who has seen fit to bring about such an amazing deliverance for us, and our deepest gratitude, thanksgiving, worship and praise should be offered up to Him continually for the Sovereign grace He has bestowed upon us, vile sinners that we are!  This is the only safe and proper position for every believer to promptly assume, if we are to be of any real Spiritual use in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable (indescribable) gift.”         (2 Corinthians 9:15)

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from Above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variableness (unchanging), neither shadow of turning (immutable).  Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.”  (James 1:17-18)

How often have you and I, while suffering deep Spiritual, emotional, or physical sufferings, needed to cry out for God’s Personal deliverance from all our enemies – Spiritual and temporal – ‘that seek after our souls to destroy us’? 

Personally, I have had to make this profound call again and again, and in most recent times, when I almost began to fear that there was no hope for me in this life and that the ‘enemies of my soul’ had beaten me into the ground.  Honesty is the best policy!

Such defeat for the ‘God-delivered Christian’ is, of course, an illusion from the pit of Hell itself – but when one is wallowing in the mire of deep Spiritual depression, that Devilish illusion can seem to be so very very real.  All true and genuine, Spiritually regenerate Christians, will always have complete Victory in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah!

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, or depth, nor any other creature (including ourselves!), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:37-39)

How’s this for a full and complete Victory statement for genuine ‘born again’ believers? Praise God for such a complete Victory over all things, in Christ Jesus.

“Verses 13-17.  The remaining verses of this Psalm are almost exactly identical with Psalm 70.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 197)

Verse 13. “Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me. The Psalmist is here exercising the faith God has blessed him with; he is reasoning out by faith that, IF the Lord is his God, then, belonging to the Lord God, the Lord God will therefore ‘be pleased to deliver…’ him from all evil. 

The Psalmist is encouraging you and I to practice this ‘logical reasoning out of faith’ as God the Spirit instructs us to, in the book of Isaiah the prophet.  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  (Isaiah 1:18)

Verse 13. “…Make haste to help me.  When afflictions and oppositions get most serious, you and I need to cry out like the Psalmist, for the prompt help of the Lord God.  Self takes a knock, self-sufficiency takes a knock – the believer gets serious about seeking Divine help and support to maintain a constant witness for Christ Jesus.

Those who dare to mock the faith of genuine Christians are in serious trouble!

Verse 14. “Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it.  It is to the infinite confusion of Satan that his attempts to destroy the Saviour destroyed himself; the diabolical conclave who plotted in council are now all alike put to shame, for the Lord Jesus has met them at all points and turned all their wisdom into foolishness.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 197)

Mockers of true Christian faith, and genuine ‘born again’ believers today, place themselves in a Divine vice of temporal and Eternal repercussion – God brings them into open shame and utter confusion.  They suffer in this life, and they will suffer Eternally in the place of torment prepared by God to receive all His enemies.

Verse 15. For a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. Do wicked men today pour shame upon the Name of the Redeemer?  Their desolation shall avenge Him of His adversaries!  Jesus is the gentle Lamb to all who seek mercy through His Blood; but let despisers beware, for He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and ‘who shall rouse Him up?’  O ungodly reader, if such a person glance over this page, beware of persecuting Christ and His people, for God will surely avenge His own elect.  Your ‘ahas’ will cost you dear.  It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 197)

Pause now, God-delivered Christian!  Think it through.  Has the Lord God shed the Blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus, for you and for me, and will He now just leave us undefended, and unprotected in the hands of worldly scoffers and persecutors? Never!  Christ takes great care of His Church which He has purchased in the agony of His own shed and sinless Blood on the Cross.  Mockers and persecutors BEWARE!  God is not mocked!  True Christians, rejoice!  We have full victory in Christ Jesus.

Thought:  Serious saints are at all times protected by our Omnipotent Saviour!

God's Tender Mercies Psalm 40:11-12

Text: “Withhold not Thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve me.  For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me so that I am not able to look up: they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.”
                                                                                                               Psalm 40: 11-12.

Good morning, totally self-honest Christian!  Only the Christian who is as ‘totally self-honest’ as you, can completely comprehend our two verse Bible Text for this morning’s lesson. 

Read our Bible text again, beloved Christian friend, and realize the depth of self-honesty that the Psalmist David is here openly revealing. 

Hypocrites, time-servers, and self-gain professors of Christian faith know nothing of the depth of self-honesty we are examining this morning.  Yet, this depth of self-honesty is the only depth of honesty about ourselves that the Holy Spirit of God will recognize and deal with in sincere Christian fellowship daily.

“…Man looketh on the outer appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7b)

Can you and I openly and publicly declare that our iniquities have taken hold upon us so much so that we are not able to look up towards our Holy Lord God without experiencing utter shame?  Can we not also say to the Lord God, ‘Lord, my sins and transgressions are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore (a conclusion) my heart faileth me.’? 

If we can, then you and I are also recognized by God as totally self-honest Christians – and as a consequences can be more assured that our daily prayers are not only being heard by our Holy Lord God of wrath against all sin, but are being answered by Him!

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but verily (truly) God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.  Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.”  (Psalm 66:18-20)

Biblical Progression: You and I can see the progression contained within the verses just quoted from Psalm 66:18-20.  The believer first recognizes the fact that there is constant ‘…iniquity in his/her heart…’, and that if that believer continues to harbour/practice his/her heart’s iniquity, then the Lord God Almighty – because of His Holiness and abhorrence of sin – is under no Divine obligation to even hear what is being prayed!

However, due to the depth of self-honesty the petitioner is manifesting in first declaring all his/her transgressions to God in open confession to Him, the mercy of the Lord can be given, and the Lord God is then blessed for not turning away the honest sinner’s prayer, and for giving His mercy (i.e. forgiveness and sanctification) to him/her.

In this manner of self-honesty, in confessing our daily sins/transgressions of God’s Laws, we place ourselves as ‘self-honest Christians’ before God’s throne of grace, and receive His blessing of progressive sanctification whereby we can resume and continue on in close fellowship and service to Him, in Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!  Praise God for such Bible truth!

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)

“Sanctify them (the elect of God, self-honest Christians) through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.”  (John 17:17)

When genuine Christians begin to either feel, or actually experience, a situation where ‘innumerable evils have compassed us about’ – and the author has certainly been in this dark place – then there is only one thing we sincerely crave: the ‘tender mercies’ of the Lord.

Note also that it is not only the mercy of the Lord that is being deeply sought by the Psalmist – it is ‘the tender mercies of the Lord’; God’s love, His compassion, His grace upon grace; His forgiveness; His reconciling cleansing and renewal of profound hope.

Only these ‘tender mercies’ can resolve the universal paradox for genuine Christianity: how to live a truly Christian life (Christlike) while still trapped in a natural body of flesh and bone which just loves to continually engage in daily sin!

The apostle Paul, in total self-honesty, openly expressed his wrestling with this same issue:  “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man (the new born again spirit): but I see another law in my members (his natural human flesh/deceitful heart), warring against the law of my mind (God’s Divine instruction and Spirit), and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”  (Romans 7:22-23)

God the Spirit hereby teaches us how to reconcile the reality of trying to live a Holy life while still bound within a naturally sin-loving, sin-prone, body, and how we are ‘delivered’ from the ‘body of this death’.  He thanks God, as all self-honest Christians should, for Salvation in ‘Jesus Christ our Lord’.  (Romans 7:24-25)

Thought: God already KNOWS our failings, faults, sins and weaknesses – yet instructs us to be totally self-honest with ourselves about them, and to bring them to Him, progressively, for His sanctification and renewal in prayer.  Praise His Name!  There will ALWAYS be room at the Cross for honest sinners!

Open Public Witness & Testimony Psalm 40:9-10

Text: “I have preached righteousness (Christ’s righteousness) in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest.” 
Psalm 40:9.

Good morning, ‘Great Congregation’ Christian!  Having heard the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified for the Salvation of sinners, by God’s Sovereign grace, you have received faith to believe and doubly receive Eternal forgiveness and Eternal Salvation in Him.  Praise God it is so. 

However, after having personally received Christ and His Eternal Salvation – you are now solemnly commanded to go forth and to preach the Gospel of Salvation in Christ alone to what is referred to in Scriptures as ‘the great congregation’: all precious souls throughout the world with whom you come in personal contact or influence. 

You and I are God-ordained preachers/teachers of God’s way of Eternal Salvation in and through the one-time Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary.  What a Divine purpose we are graciously given!  Lord, help us to be obedient to Thy Word.  Amen.

“Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”      (Acts 4:12)

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo (look, and understand) I AM with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:19-20)

The message of God’s Salvation to and for ‘His people’ that Jesus taught His disciples and us, is exactly the same message of Salvation in the coming Messiah that God sent Moses to preach/teach to the Jewish nation in captivity down in Egypt, thousands of years earlier.  There is only one Gospel message, of Eternal Salvation found in ONE Person – the Lord Jesus Christ.  Praise and all glory to His Holy and lovely Name!

“And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou has spoken unto Thy servant: but am slow of tongue.  And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth?  Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind?  Have not I the Lord?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”  (Exodus 4:10-12)

The Lord God has taught me, your humble servant in Christ, the message of His Salvation grace.  I am this day seeking to preach/teach God’s message to you, out there throughout ‘the great congregation’.  Will you believe and receive the Word?

Verse 9.  “I have preached righteousness. You and I have no personal righteousness, for we are natural sinners, and willful sinners continually.  Thus it is clear that the ‘righteousness’ we are commanded to preach/teach is Christ’s Holy righteousness, and the fact that His perfect righteousness has been imputed (put to the Eternal account) unto all whom he has chosen to believe and receive faith and place full trust in Him and His Sacrifice at the Cross.  Our message?  ‘Ye must be born again!’ (John 3:3-8)

“Verse 9.  I have preached righteousness. It is Jesus Who speaks, and he speaks of Himself as a Preacher.  He was a preacher, and a great preacher, too.  He was great:

“1. In Genuine Eloquence: All the handmaids of the choicest rhetoric ministered to Him as He spoke.  His mind touched the minds of His auditors on all sides.

"2. He was Great in Knowledge: Many who have an astonishing command of words, and who can use their words with astonishing rhetorical adroitness, spoil their influence by their ‘lack of knowledge’. They go blundering onward when they attempt to think for themselves or to guide their hearers into fields of thought which have not been tracked by minds of the pioneer order.

“3. He was Great also in Goodness: There is a greatness in goodness, and the greatness of goodness is an important element in the greatness of a preacher.

“4. Greatness of Essential Dignity: Another element still in the greatness of Jesus as a Preacher, consisted in the greatness of His essential dignity.  He was God as well as man.  Such was Christ as a Preacher.  True He was more than a preacher; He was likewise a Pattern, and a Priest, and a Propitiator; and as pattern, priest, and propitiator, He stands alone without a peer.  But He was a Preacher, too, and as a Preacher, He has never had, and never will have an equal.”  (Condensed from James Frame, 1869)

“…Never man spake as this Man.”  (John 7:46)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him (Jesus Christ); and without Him was not anything made that was made…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:1-3; 14)

This is that same Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Father, Who commands you and I to preach His Gospel message of Eternal Salvation through His Atonement Sacrifice for sinners at Calvary’s Cross.  We are called to preach/teach/reach ‘the great congregation’ – all the nations of the world who will hear and receive God’s gift of vital faith and be Eternally redeemed by Christ’s sinless Blood.  Listen to the Master’s command: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.  He that believeth (believes and continues to believe) and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”  (Mark 16:15-16)

Thought: What are we actually doing to fulfill Christ’s command to ‘Go’ and to ‘preach’ the Gospel to ‘the great congregation’ yet unsaved, today? Go do it, Christian!  And the Lord will go with you!  (Acts 1:8)