Lectionary Year A
July 14, 2002

Psalm 119:105-112
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) A sermon declaring some of these verses' truths might help worshippers find God in their lives' problem areas.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) This sermon will be preached at a substantial mainline denomination church in a county seat town in central Kentucky, where a survey recently revealed that 55% of the respondents want to renovate the old and beautiful plant to make it handicap accessible and more street appealing, but only 37% want to do a capital funds campaign to do the work needed. Much confusion is noted among the parishioners, re: what shall we do now with these revelations as well as with our God-given mission to witness for Christ on this main street in this place? The people have the money to accomplish the projects (funds campaign and renovation). However, the congregation also has several trust funds that have habitually been tapped for extraordinary projects. So, what to do? They wonder.

C. Address

(JFC) A sermon, entitled, for this working draft, "In Our Troubles, God . . ." Introduction You got troubles? I got troubles. All God's children got troubles. God knows we do. And, God's light and lamp are there to enlighten our feet and paths . . . even as we go and grow through life's confusions, afflictions, distresses, depressions, oppressions, etc. You know yours, I know mine. God knows them all. Psalm 119 tells us how God knows and what God does with us as we endure these problems.

I. God Has A Word, ^r,b'd>

A. It is known as "good, full of promise and comforting . . . upright, true . . .and reliable", according to W. H. Schmidt (TDOT) citing Joshua 21:45, 23:14f, II Samuel 7:28, I Kings 8:56, Isaiah 39:8, Jeremiah 23:28 and 33:14, Psalm 119:43 and 160 and Proverbs 22:21.

B. It tells us what God commands, how God regulates nature, what God stipulates, re: the Ten Commandments and the Covenant God builds with faithful people as we mature. It brings us life, ynIYEx;, according to Psalm 119:107b. Life is good. Let's pursue it.

II. God Gives Us Chances to Learn and We May Obey God's Word

A. God teaches (see Psalm 119:33-39) and we remember it, ynIdeM.l; and yTix.k'v' al{. When we can admit we need to learn (see verses 9-16), it is good news that God wills to teach us. We can learn and never forget, rather vow to remember it forever.

B. Honoring, obeying and trusting it shows our love for God, see Deuteronomy 6:1-9. Learning and obeying God's Word expresses our love as did John Nash at the end of "A Beautiful Mind", when he accepted the Nobel Prize, saying (in the movie, though not in the book), "If I have found reason/logic it is in your (his wife, Alicia's) love. . ." We find love when we try being faithful to the objects of our love, to and with those who love us.

III. Joy Results From Learning and Obeying God's Word

A. Rejoicing in the heart = figurative language seemingly to paint a picture of great gladness. Language sometimes needs such picturesque images to convey truth emphatic enough to communicate something extraordinary, like joy, !ff! = "exult, display joy", as in Deuteronomy 28:62f, Isaiah 62:5, Jeremiah 32:41 and Zephaniah 3:17, cites BDB.

B. Living with trouble yet is still our lot in life, to be sure. However, believer, we can believe God is with us, speaking a Word to us, accompanying us through our tribulations, showing us what to do, especially in Jesus' life, ministry, suffering and serving.

God's Word lights our paths even through the darkness we trod and it enlightens our treks, especially as we follow our Savior who calls us to go and do likewise.

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