140126 Psalm 27

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 January 2014 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Psalm 27
Sermon Theme: WALK AS A CHILD OF THE LIGHT!

Most of you know that back in November 2010, my family and I received news that we never expected to hear: I was diagnosed as having Hodgkin's Lymphoma. At a time when you receive that news, you are so very thankful for the kind words of love and support that you receive from people. Many of you, as well as many people I didn't even know, were contacting my through e-mail or Facebook, calling me up on the phone, sending cards through the mail, all to offer me and my family their encouragement and support. After hearing the news, I wanted to read through some of the Psalms. So I remember that I took hold of my Bible, with my fingers placed in the middle of the Bible, and opened it. Some may want to tell me that it was just coincidence or chance, but I truly believe it was the Lord himself directing me to the exact portion of Scripture that he wanted me and my family to hear at that exact moment. My Bible opened up to Psalm 27 and there I read the comfort that only a gracious God is able to provide: "The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?" Ever since that particular moment, Psalm 27 has been one of my most favorite sections of Scripture. Because of Jesus, our Savior, you and I are children of our loving Father in heaven. Because of Jesus, you and I have no fear! It is Jesus who has called you and me out of darkness and into his marvelous light. So, as we sang just a few moments ago, you and I WALK AS A CHILD OF THE LIGHT!

Have you ever had the experience of feeling completely helpless? Maybe it was when you heard unexpected news about your health. Maybe it was some other unexpected problem that came up and you had no idea where to turn to for help. As you and I walk as a child of the Light, at times we give into the temptation of thinking that we are completely helpless. We feel like we have to solve every difficult situation that comes up on our own. We forget that Jesus our Savior has won not only the forgiveness of all of our sins, but access to the very throne of our loving Savior-God as well. What a blessing it is that you and I are able to pray to loving Father in heaven, confident that he will hear and will answer each one of our prayers. Listen to these words from Psalm 27, "Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper." The Holy Spirit led King David to write these words in Psalm 27. Notice the confidence of David as he talks about prayer. David experienced time after time in his life how the merciful Lord hears and answers each prayer.

My dear Christian friends, as you and I walk as a child of the Light we have confidence that, because of Jesus our Savior, each and every one of our prayers to the Lord are heard and answered. As we read in 1 Peter chapter 3, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer." It is important for you and me to remember that just because the answer may not come when you want it to come, or in the way you want it to come, doesn't mean the Lord hasn't heard your prayer. As you and I walk as a child of the Light, we know that sometimes the answer to a particular prayer may be "Yes." Other times, the answer may be "No." Or, the Lord's answer may be, "I have something far better in store for you." The point is that our Father in heaven wants to hear his children come to him in prayer. In his great love and mercy he promises to help us. So as you pray, walking as a child of the Light, remember the words of your loving Savior when he says to you, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

There is another thought found in these words from Psalm 27, "Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." If he were here with us this morning, King David would be the first to confess that the Lord has every right to reject him, to turn his back on him, because of his sins. But David also knows who his God is. He is the LORD. He is the Savior-God who made a promise and then kept that promise, to send the One who would establish peace between God and mankind. King David knows that his Savior-God who will never leave him. David knows that the arms of his loving and forgiving Savior-God are open wide to welcome him into his heavenly Father's family.

Each one of us will have to join with David and confess that we don't deserve our God's love and mercy. Like David, because of our sins you and I know that we deserve to walk in the darkness of hell forever. But the Good News for you and for me is that we walk as a child of the Light. The Light of the Gospel shines on your heart and mine. It is the loving and compassionate God, the God of all mercy and forgiveness that sent us Jesus. Because the blood of Jesus Christ paid in full the price demanded for your sins and mine, we are able to say along with King David, "the Lord will receive me." By the grace of God, you and I are members of the Father's heavenly family. Even if our friends or family members have turned away from us, you and I walk as a child of the Light with our loving Lord's promise that we are never alone. The loving arms of our Savior-God are open wide to receive you. The Lord has you close to his heart. Walk as a child of the Light as you read from Isaiah chapter 40, "See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him...He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart."

There are a couple of final thoughts found in Psalm 27 that I want to share with you today. Again, listen to the God-given confidence of King David when he is led by the Holy Spirit to write, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." While he is alive, David is confident that as he walks as a child of the Light, his Lord will make all things in his life work out for his good. Because of Jesus our Savior, David's confidence is our confidence, as you and I walk as a child of the Light having heard the words of Romans chapter 8, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose...What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?...For I am convinced that nothing in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Not only are we confident that our Lord is making everything that happens in this life work out for our eternal good, but we also know that we walk as a child of the Light looking forward to the Day when the Lord comes again in all his power and glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords. The same Lord God, who kept his promise to send the Savior of all mankind, is the same Lord God who will keep his promise to come again. So, with the strength and peace that only the Holy Spirit is able to give to us through his Word, we patiently walk as a child of the Light. As we read from Psalm 27, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." As we watch sin and wickedness increase in the world around us, we may be tempted to think that the world is spinning out of control. As we watch year after year go by, and still our Lord hasn't returned, we may be tempted to think that he is never coming back. When tempted to become impatient, we turn to these words found in the Bible, "Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief...In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness."

Once again this morning you and I have had the privilege of coming into God's house. It is here that we meet "face-to-face" with the one and only true God. From his Word and Sacrament, our loving Lord offers his peace and comfort to you and to me. The Good News of God's Word is forgiveness of all of your sins and mine through Jesus our Savior. Because Jesus is our Savior, you and I walk as a child of the Light. Walk as a child of the Light as you go to him with your prayers, confident that he hears and answers each one of those prayers. Walk as a child of the Light in the peace that removes all our fears. Walk as a child of the Light with the Lord's promise that he is always watching over you and will work out all things for your eternal good until that great and glorious Day when our Savior returns. Walk as a child of the Light, and say along with King David, "The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?...I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Amen.

 

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