‘Journeying on to the city of the great King’ (Psalms 132, 133, 134)

Psalms 132,133 and 134 are three psalms that are linked by a common theme of being part of the ‘songs of ascent’ that were sung by the people of Israel going up to Jerusalem. Psalm 132 highlights that the city of Jerusalem was the city where God’s King lived. Psalm 133 celebrates the unity of the people of God in that city, and Psalm 134’s focus is upon the worship of God’s Name that happened there by day and night. Heaven will be all this and more for God’s people upon a ‘pilgrim journey’ to that heavenly city. (First preached March 2013)

‘God’s saints in tight spots’ #3: David (Psalm 63:1-11)

David is one of the key characters in the unfolding story of the Scriptures. We can often forget that huge responsibilities and pressures were placed upon his shoulders in his role as King over Israel and Judah. One of those pressures was simply maintaining the stability of his kingdom – especially when it threatened, at times, to crumble from within. Psalm 63:1-11 records David’s feelings in one of those crisis times and shows us what it is we need the most in life – regardless of whether our circumstances are good or bad.

Full service

00:00 Introduction & Prayer
Song: Before the Throne of God
07:23 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise; see also Big Picture Bible Crafts #35)
Song: From Everlasting
11:35 Bible reading: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Song: Grace Unmeasured
13:03 Bible reading: Psalm 63
Song: My Hope is Built
14:12 Sermon: Psalm 63
Song: O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer
40:55 Benediction

‘Joy to the world (and to you)’ (Psalm 98:1-9)

The Christmas hymn ‘Joy to the world’ is well known and loved. But did you know that it comes from Isaac Watts’ paraphrase of Psalm 98? Maybe you wouldn’t think that a Psalm like Psalm 98 has much to do with Christmas? Watts certainly thought so. In fact he saw in it much more than Jesus’ first coming (as a baby), but also his second coming (as King).

‘A close encounter of the God kind’ (Psalm 139:1-24)

While the search for the meaning of life continues in many ways, including the fruitless exploration of outer space, Psalm 139:1-24 gives us a far different perspective. The psalm, written by King David, is a masterful and profound piece of poetry and a leading favourite of God’s people. There are many reasons why this is so, the main being that God’s intimate knowledge of us leads us to a wonderful knowledge of Him.

‘The house and the city that shall never fall!’ (Psalm 127:1-5)

The Psalms are a great source of information and encouragement to the belever and Psalm 127:1-5 is no exception. The psalm was composed by King Solomon,  who simply should have put into practise what he wrote!  Life is busy, very busy, with work, houses, family and sleep all part of the picture. But all of it –  without the Lord – will only lead to frustration.  The Psalm tells us that much and puts life into perspective, but it also points forward to the One who came from heaven for us to build us and incorporate us into His house – forever!

‘A Clean Heart’ (Psalm 51)

Guest speaker, Rev. Ian Brown, preached from Psalm 51. King David was slow to recognise his sin (2 Samuel 11) until confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12) but some never do – and deceive themselves (1 John 1). David repents before God who is both just and merciful – sin is dealt with through Jesus (Romans 3:23-26). What is our response to God forgiving our sin?

‘Blind and deaf to the glory and voice of God’ (Psalm 19:1-14)

There are three vioices in Psalm 19:1-14. The first voice is the voice of creation. Like other parts of the Bible, Psalm 19 teaches that all that we see in the created order testifies to the truth that God exists and that by all that He has made, He has spoken to all mankind about His existence. This is true for people all over the world. No-one can say they did not know that God existed. The second voice in the Psalm is the voice of God’s Word. While God’s voice through creation can be ignored or misinterpreted, He has also spoken to us through His Word, which, for the writer of the Psalm, were the books of God’s law which he treasured above everything. The third voice in the Psalm is the voice of God’s servant, who asked God to cleanse his heart from hidden sins and faults. The one who loves God over all things will want to be pure in order to serve Him and be ready to obey Him from the heart.

‘Grazing on the Gospel with gratitude’ (Psalm 100)

In Psalm 100, we have an invitation to come into God’s presence and serve him with gladness. We do this because of his good character and his care for us, his people, in so many ways. The returned exiles might not have always felt that joy in worship and we might struggle at times too. They were looking forward and we look back on God’s greatest expression of his steadfast love – sending the Good Shepherd, Jesus. We reflect on God’s Word to “Know the Lord” and be reminded of his goodness, which shapes our lives of service.

‘Life as the Psalm-writer knew it’ (Psalm 116:1-19)

Most people get their education at school, but life also hands out many complex lessons. The man who wrote Psalm 116:1-19 found this to be true. When faced with an overwhelmingly desperate situation in which he was threatened by death, his cry to the Lord did not go unheard. In fact, God heard his cry and came to his rescue. As a response to this rescue, the Psalm writer willingly gave himself to the Lord to be his devoted servant and to testify to His saving power. God’s people know that the problem of sin is too big for anyone to handle alone. Only God can deal with sin and its consequences, and He did this by sending His Son to the cross. Salvation comes to all who call to the Lord and because He is gracious and faithful, He hears the cry of His own and saves them.