One Comment to “Your Voice as an Agent of the Almighty”

  1. Donald McMahon
    October 29, 2019

    “Your Voice as an Agent of the Almighty” (Psalm 145)(10.27.19)
    Psalm 145 (NIV84) [Read in Unison]
    A psalm of praise. Of David.
    1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
    2 Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.
    3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
    4 One generation will commend your works to another;
    they will tell of your mighty acts.
    5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
    6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
    7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
    8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.
    9 The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
    10 All you have made will praise you, O Lord;
    your saints will extol you.
    11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
    12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
    13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.
    The Lord is faithful to all his promises
    and loving toward all he has made.
    14 The Lord upholds all those who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
    15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
    16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
    17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and loving toward all he has made.
    18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
    19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
    20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
    21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
    Let every creature praise his holy name
    for ever and ever.
    The word of God for the people of God.
    Title: Your Voice as an Agent of the Almighty
    We live in a day of despair. The waves of life crash against the rock of reality and casts spray and confusion into an atmosphere of indifference. Many wring their hands and wonder how we reached this point in our culture. Is the Church relevant? Is Emmaus Church relevant? If it is Jesus’ Church, the answer is yes. If Almighty God is still our Creator, the answer is yes.
    This is a week of remembrance as well as a look forward. Thursday is All Hallows’ Eve. Friday is All Saints Day. And, Saturday is Church Conference; our 150 year anniversary of the Sanctuary; and, our annual picnic. As part of our celebration, we will be deliberately identifying portions of our history. Knowing our roots equips us for the future. We have been blessed by those that have come before us and we are called to bless those that follow us.
    In the past 100 years, we have started categorizing and naming various generations. There is not universal agreement as to the names. This chart portrays a widely accepted breakdown of the various generations.
    What we do know for sure is that no generation is independent of another. What has happened in the past creates the context for the next generation. And, who can deny the impact our children and grandchildren have on us. There is also a duty or obligation between the generations. As time marches on, there should be a constant refrain to which each generation can dance. That refrain is the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    I show you this chart again because it demonstrates that our American culture has failed our youth. In it, I see hopelessness. I see disconnectedness. I see loneliness and isolation. I see a generation that has been let down by the recent generations. I see a generation that has no voice, because we have failed the instruction of Psalm 145.
    While this chart shows only the tragedy of suicide, there are many other symptoms of our failures: gang membership; depression; mental illness; drug abuse and overdoses. The list goes on and on. There is a rejection of traditional values and the orthodox understanding of scripture. This voiceless generation is crying out in despair as they flail about for an anchor for their lives. We have provided them a foundation of shifting sand instead of the bedrock found in the Lord Jesus.
    This is no abstract idea. These lives are eternal souls that thought death was a solution. Real children from real families, lost to their generation; and, we are all the poorer for it. A few weeks ago, a father came through the Drive-Thru Prayer Booth asking for prayers for all of his children, but most especially for his 13 year old son who had attempted suicide.
    Verse 16 promises that the Lord will satisfy every desire. This is a huge promise. On the surface it appears to be an impossible promise. How about if I reword it like this? If your desires are godly, you will be satisfied. Or this may be even more accurate: It is only God that can satisfy.
    People, our children, are being inundated with the lies and propaganda of this world. The Enemy, his demons, and their henchmen are poisoning the mind and soul of our culture.
    This week, the Stockton Christian Fellowship examined 1 Timothy 4:1–2 (NIV84). The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

    This has happened because too many churches, too many Christians, have failed to live up to our responsibility to instruct the next generation about who God is; that Jesus is the only way to God the Father and heaven; and, the necessity of our submission to God the Holy Spirit to live saintly lives.
    V4: One generation will commend your works (God’s works) to another;
    V10: Your saints will extol you.
    Generation obviously refers to a whole group of people. Saints refers to all believers in the Lord Jesus. We are not saints because of what we have accomplished for the kingdom of God; but, because of our identity in Jesus Christ. Saints refers to all the saints through all the generations.
    Every saint, individually and collectively, has been called to extol the Almighty. Psalm 145 is for the individual and for the faithful at large because the pronouns I and they are both used to do the same things. The climax of this psalm is ”Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.” Every creature; or, in most other translations, all flesh will bless His holy name.
    Why have I chosen to talk about voice? We all know there is power in words. There is power in speaking. There is even more power in speaking truth. In Psalm 145, we are called to exercise the power of our voice in many ways: exalt; praise; extol; commend; tell; speak; proclaim; celebrate; sing; call; cry; and, My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Many of these methods of using our voices are given more than once.
    There is another reason I have chosen to speak about “voice.” Here is one definition of your voice:
    Your voice is your authentic self speaking. Your identity expressing itself. It is your personal and individual message to the world. It includes the tone, style, tenor, pitch, personality we use to express ourselves.
    We often hear artists and other creative types talk about finding their voice. The truth is that every one of us is creative because we were made in the image of the great Creator. We all have this need of self-expression. We have a need to feel like we can contribute, that we are valued by others, that we have significance. It is part of our essence.
    Myrko Thum, who created this helpful chart, made this observation: “The point is: whether you are a blogger, a movie-director, an entrepreneur, a writer, a parent or grandparent, a child, an anyone… without talking from your voice, nobody will listen.” Isn’t that what people, what children, desire? Don’t they want to be heard?
    Notice the inclusion of “conscience.” Myrko credits Stephen Covey with this point. A general definition for conscience is the guiding inner voice that tells us what is right and what is wrong. And, he completes the definition of voice by including it: “Your voice is the right thing to do with your passion and your skills to help other people.”
    Most of that discussion was from a secular viewpoint. As a pastor, I would put it a little differently. Finding our voice is finding our identity. That identity is found in Christ, who is the head of the Church. We are part of that body; not only the visible body of this world only, but the invisible body (a living body) of all the saints that have gone before. Being integrated into the Body of Christ is crucial and why I am skeptical about any professing Christian who does not participate in the life of a local church. We need each other in so many ways that we do not even comprehend.
    “There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
    “Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
    So is it with our lives… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all…”
    – Author Unknown (Proverbs 11:24-25)”
    Proverbs 11:24–25 (NIV84)
    24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
    25 A generous man will prosper;
    he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
    Too often, we fail to recognize the importance and intricacies of community. The American ethos of individualism is not wholly or holy healthy.
    What every generation needs is to know their God. Without the knowledge and fear of God, everything else is twisted and distorted. This is why Psalm 145 so clearly explains why the praise of God and all that the Lord is and the necessity to acknowledge that individually, collectively, and inter-generationally. Let us look at how the Psalmist describes the Lord.

    (on screen)
    My God. The Almighty. The Eternal. Lord. Yahweh…
    The King. Implies a kingdom. Are you living in HIS kingdom. Glorious kingdom. Splendid kingdom. Not only an enduring kingdom but an everlasting kingdom – through all generations.
    He has a name (v2 & 3): reputation, character, authority, position
    Great (a greatness beyond comprehension)
    Most worthy.
    Glorious splendor.
    Does wonderful works.
    Awesome works.
    Abundant goodness.
    Slow to Anger.
    Rich in love.
    Good (good God, good good Father)
    God is knowable through his word, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
    Makes and keeps promises.
    Upholds and lifts.
    Has perfect timing.
    Has an open hand.
    Near. He positions himself close to those that call.
    He hears.
    He fills.
    He saves.
    He watches.
    He judges.
    Eternal (ever and ever)
    Who benefits from all that God is? All, all creatures, all he has made. Every living thing.
    How does this description of God and how God works compare to your previous understanding of God? Our Lord is a personal God. Jesus is a personal Savior. This Psalm commands us to use your voice as an agent for the Almighty. Yes, the purpose is to bring glory to God. At the same time, it is for our betterment. It is for the betterment of us the saints of God.
    Understanding who God is and announcing it to the world will expose others to a life not possible otherwise. The local church filled with saints voicing continuous praise to the Lord will be healthy and vibrant. It will attract others for Jesus. As individual churches grow more vital and they cross pollinate, the larger Body of Christ is empowered into a fruitful kingdom of God.
    Of course, a significant part of exercising our voice as an agent of the Almighty is to commend our Lord and God to the next generation. I believe our youth are crying out because of the deep abyss they feel within their being. That emptiness can only be fully filled by the one who is faithful; the one who can satisfy; the mighty and majestic; powerful and praise worthy, Almighty God. When we do this, I believe this generation will truly be equipped with their own voice.
    Where is the generation to whom we will teach to praise God? They are poorly represented here. I have asked you to pray for the youth.
    A friend, a pastor’s wife who served in ministry with her husband for over 45 years, posted this on Facebook: The best children’s ministry program is kids watching their parents follow Jesus.
    I enlist you this day to use your voice as an agent of the Almighty. Blessed be his holy name.
    Amen and amen. Let us pray.


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