Four Things That Require the Lordís Help
From Psalm 127 (READ)
This Psalm is speaking about the absolute necessity of the Lordís help in the most important and critical areas of our lives. I hope that this message will help us to see our total dependence on the Lord, and to increase our faith and trust in Him. I also pray the Lord will help us see our need to follow His guidelines and instructions in these very important areas of our lives. We want to notice four things from our text in Psalm 127:1-3.
1. Except the Lord build the house (verse 1a).
We want to apply this thought to the Lordís Church and to the home.
1) How does the Lord build His Church?
He gives us authority to exist as His Church, just like He gave His first church the authority to exist. Today this authority is received from another church of like faith and order. Next, He gives us the example and pattern in His Word for building His church. The blueprints for church construction and church order are found in the New Testament. Then He gives us the means to obtain new materials, which is preaching and witnessing the Gospel of Jesus. It is by repentance and faith in the Gospel of Jesus that souls are saved, and through Scriptural baptism they are added to the local church. He then gives us the means to form and fashion those materials into useful parts through the teaching ministry of the church. Finally, He then fitly joins all the parts together in the love of God by the Holy Spirit of God, to function as a glorious house to the praise of His grace.
2) How does the Lord build our homes?
He gives us the spouse that He has for us. (Examples - A prudent wife is of the Lord (Prov. 19:14); Adam and Eve, etc.). He gives us children. Children are not just a product of the flesh, but they are ďof the Lord.Ē He gives us a pattern and instructions in His Word for building a godly home. He then leads, guides, and helps our home by the power of His Spirit to function as a godly family for His glory. He then gives our home a church home, where we can worship and serve the Lord, and receive special teaching and instruction from the Lord. This is how the Lord builds a good home.
3) How do men labor in vain who build a church without the Lord?
They start building their church without authority from the Lord and His Church. They build after the pattern of manís reasoning and not the Word of God. They use other means to obtain new materials for their churches rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They use creeds and catechisms of men to fashion their new materials and not the pure Word of God. They join all their parts together with manís wisdom rather than the Holy Spirit. When theyíre done they have a manís church, and not the Lordís Church. This is how men labor in vain to build a church that the Lord is not in.
4) How do men labor in vain who build their homes without the Lord?
First, they choose a spouse after their carnal lusts, and not for their inner beauty of the heart. They think their children are their own making, and not from the Lord. They think they can do whatever they please with their children. They raise their family after the pattern of the world (i.e., materialism, humanism, and ďeach man for himself.Ē) Their children are raised by the television, internet, day care centers, and public schools. They donít attend church or read a Bible, if they even own one.
Most of the children are diagnosed with ADD and are kept on drugs most of their young lives. Both parents and children go there own ways each and every day, and do their own thing, with little consideration for the family unit as a whole. As a result both parents and children are self-centered and self-seeking. Their homes are utter chaos, and they donít give glory to God. Except the grace of God intervenes, they will all end up in the pit of hell.
So we see beloved, we are totally dependant on the Lord to build a good, strong, healthy church, and godly, God honoring Christian homes for the glory of God.
2. Except the Lord keep the city (verse 1b).
1) How does the Lord keep the city?
We want to apply this thought to our nation, to our church, to our homes, and to our soul.
How does the Lord keep our nation? He provides everything we need to sustain life. He provides our food, energy, natural resources, technology, the air we breathe, the water we drink, etc., etc., etc. He also sustains and keeps all the systems of the earth favorable and conducive to life and productivity, especially here in America! America has been and still is the most productive nation on the face of the earth. This is only because of the Lordís blessings upon us and not our own ability.
He protects us from our enemies including blights and pestilence, drought and famine, enemy nations and terrorists. (I almost said tourists, but I think thatís us). Beloved, if the Lord was to take His hand of protection off our nation for just one instant, we would fall into the hands of our many enemies who hate us, and would love to see our nation destroyed from off the face of the earth.
Finally, He keeps our nation by the Gospel and the truth of His Word through the lives of His people and His Churches. And, as Iíve said before, God blesses and keeps our nation if for no other reason than our support for Israel. When our nation ceases to be a friend of Israel, woe unto America!
How does the Lord keep our church? By the preservation power of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit was given to the Lordís Church on Pentecost, and that same power of the Spirit is with His churches yet today. The Lord also preserves His Church by the truth of His Word that He intrusted to His Church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. He also keeps us by the preservation and perseverance of each individual member within the Church. The church is made up of individuals, and He keeps His collective body as He keeps each member in particular.†
How does the Lord keep our homes? By guarding our homes, and putting a hedge about them. As in the case of Job, the Lord has a hedge about the homes of His people to guard and protect them. Not Satan, nor wicked men can touch our homes to harm them unless God gives them permission. Our homes are also kept by the Word of God and the Spirit of God, which He gave to guide and instruct them in the way they should go.
How does the Lord keep our souls? By the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5). He also keeps us in the straight and narrow way by the wisdom and guidance of His Word. Additionally, He keeps the individual believer at the same time that He keeps His collective body, the church. Therefore, there is a special blessing of preservation to members of His church that those outside His church do not know.
2) How does the watchman stay awake in vain without the Lord?
The watchman stays awake in vain, as it were, by supposing that they are preserved and kept by their own puny strength, and by depending on manís strength and wisdom to keep them from evil. They watch in vain by failing to recognize that it is the Lord who keeps us and not we ourselves. Beloved, the Lord will let proud and haughty, self-confident people fall in their own strength and wisdom wherein they think they stand. And rest assured that God is especially displeased when His people try to stand in our own strength, instead of depending and trusting wholly on Him for all things.
May the Lord help us tonight to see that we are kept by His power and that we stand in His grace, and not our own strength and wisdom. That is one of the horrendous evilís of freewill theology; it places some of the strength, and ability, and merit with man, rather than with the Lord. May God help us Baptists to trust in the Lord, who alone is our shield, our fortress and high tower, our refuge and our salvation.
3. Except the Lord bless our secular labors (verse 2).
Our secular work is a big part of our lives, but unless the Lord blesses and prospers our work and our time devoted to earning a living, it might well be in vain also.
I think a good admonition here is, if our lives and labors are centered in the will of God, and we have our priorities right with the Lord, we wonít have to kill our selves with lack of sleep or improper diet in order to provide the carnal necessities of life. In other words, if we can learn to trust the Lord and obey the admonitions of His Word, then He will bless our labors and multiply our increase.
How many of us have known believers who work 24/7 as it were. They choose to miss church and church functions for work Ė Iím talking about voluntarily choosing to work instead of spending quality time with their family and church, and not because its the bossís orders. Many times these same folks have very little to show for all their labors? The Lord sends the moth to eat it up!
On the other hand there are those who faithfully serve the Lord, who earn a meager wage, and yet they have all they need, and even own some tangible property. What did Jesus say? ďSeek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.Ē
Please donít misunderstand me. Iím not condemning hard work. God forbid that I would do that. I have worked hard most of my life. God wants His people to be hard workers, whether on the job, or in His spiritual service. Thatís right beloved, God wants us to be hard and diligent workers, and faithful to all of our obligations and responsibilities.
But God also wants His people to prioritize their time and their lives in such a way that we donít neglect our families, our church, or our secular obligations. All of these institutions are God ordained, and He expects us to give appropriate time and attention to each, and to live balanced lives.
This is the kind of life that is best for us, and that gives God the most glory. The person who can accomplish this has true wisdom from above, and God will bless you for it.
4. Except the Lord help us to raise our children (verse 3).
One big mistake of parents sometimes is, we think of our children as just ďour childrenĒ, to do with as we please. Beloved, our children are Godís children that He entrusted to our care, to raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, so they might be His servants.
Children are not just the product of the flesh or of mere conjugal relationships. The Lord gave us our children. He created them in the motherís womb, and gave them life, and He gave them to us as a heritage and a reward. C. H. Spurgeon said concerning Psalm 127:3:
ďAnd the fruit of the womb is his reward, or a reward from God. He gives children, not as a penalty nor as a burden, but as a favour. They are a token for good if men know how to receive them, and educate them. They are "doubtful blessings" only because we are doubtful persons. Where society is rightly ordered children are regarded, not as an encumbrance (or a burden or nuisance), but as an inheritance; and they are received, not with regret, but as a reward. If we are over crowded in England, and so seem to be embarrassed with too large an increase, we must remember that the Lord does not order us to remain in this narrow island, but would have us fill those boundless regions which wait for the axe and the plough. Yet even here, with all the straits of limited incomes, our best possessions are our own dear offspring, for whom we bless God every day.Ē
Beloved, Christians should consider their several children not as ďoverpopulationĒ but as overabundant blessings. We should view our offspring not as financial burdens, but as the most valuable possessions that we have in this life. We shouldnít think of our children as our misfortunes, but as our precious gifts from God.
Perhaps we would cherish them, and be more diligent to provide for their proper spiritual upbringing in the house of God, and for their education in the Word of God, if we thought of them as being the gifts of God!
Beloved, all of us who are parents know that raising children is a huge responsibility. Children are eternal living souls that God placed in our trust. They are not ours to do with as we please, but God gave them to us to raise up in a godly way so that they too might one day know the Lord, and be the servants of the Lord in His house.
As with all the other things weíve discussed tonight, we need the Lordís help to properly raise our children for His glory. But how and where are we going to find the Lordís help? Beloved, everything that our children need for their proper spiritual growth and development is found in the house of God, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God. All of these 3 resources are vital to our childrenís proper spiritual upbringing.
Some of the teaching and training that they will receive through these 3 resources include:
Everything they need to know about God; about salvation through faith in the Gospel of Jesus; about the service and worship of God; about proper conduct, behavior, and good character; about good work ethics, and self discipline; about godly, holy living; about God honoring relationships with the people in this world; about personal integrity, honor, justice, and equity; about goodness, righteousness, and virtue; about modesty and decency; about loving, honoring, and doing good to their fellowman; and about living lives that will please the Lord!
Beloved, children raised in this way will grow up to be good workers and employees, good and respectable neighbors, productive and contributing members of the community, good law-abiding citizens, and by the grace of God, they will be saved and become good and productive members of His Church. What more should any godly parent want for their children!
May God help us to raise our children up in the house of God, according to the Word of God, as we are led by the Holy Spirit of God.
Parents, this is a great responsibility, but it can be done with Godís help!
In conclusion, may the Lord be pleased to build our Church and our homes according to His pattern. May He keep us and preserve us, and help us to acknowledge that we are kept by His power, and that we are totally dependant on Him for all things.
May the Lord help us prioritize our lives and give appropriate time and energy to our work, our church, and to our families. And may God help us raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Oh beloved, how we need the Lordís help in all these things!