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)