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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Pastor's Pen - July 6, 2007
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July 6, 2007

Psalms 115 - 118
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Chapter 115
  1. Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.
  2. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
  3. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
  4. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
  5. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
  6. They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
  7. They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
  8. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
  9. O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
  10. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
  11. Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
  12. The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
  13. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.
  14. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
  15. Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.
  16. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
  17. The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.
  18. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

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Chapter 116
  1. I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
  2. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
  3. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
  4. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
  5. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
  6. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
  7. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
  8. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
  9. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
  10. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
  11. I said in my haste, All men are liars.
  12. What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
  13. I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
  14. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
  15. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
  16. O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
  17. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
  18. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,
  19. In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

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Chapter 117
  1. O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
  2. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

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Chapter 118
  1. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
  2. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
  3. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
  4. Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
  5. I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.
  6. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
  7. The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
  8. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
  9. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
  10. All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.
  11. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
  12. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
  13. Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.
  14. The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
  15. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
  16. The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
  17. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
  18. The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
  19. Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
  20. This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
  21. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
  22. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
  23. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
  24. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
  25. Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
  26. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
  27. God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
  28. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
  29. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

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Thought for the day:
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 The first few verses of Psalm 115 serve as our text for today. They offer a comparison between the God of the Bible and the gods of the heathen. While it is true that most of the unsaved people that we will contact in the Western world do not worship man-made idols of stone and wood, it is also true that there are people who feel the need to offer their prayers before statues or pictures of Jesus or the "saints". In addition we need to be constantly reminded of the greatness of our God and what it is that He can do.

 The psalmist opens with a tremendous statement. In fact, it is so tremendous that he feels the need to repeat it. He says, "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory." So often we as humans desire to receive glory. We desperately want other men to tell us what a good job we are doing and to praise us for our accomplishments. Yet this song opens with the repeated phrase "not unto us". I wonder what could be done for the cause of Jesus Christ if the attitude of Christians was "I don't want to receive glory. Only the glory of God matters."? So many believers spend their lives getting their feelings hurt by people who don't "praise" them enough. Pastors and church leaders resign their positions because they don't receive enough appreciation. Decisions are made based upon "What will people say" rather than on "What will God say". If we could learn not to a desire glory for ourselves, what a difference this would make in our service to the Lord.

 The psalmist lists several reasons why the Lord is worthy of praise. In verse 1 he mentions God's mercy and truth. A constant theme of the psalms is that our Lord is merciful. He does not give us the punishments that we deserve. All of us have merited Hell because of our sin, but God is merciful and desires for us to have a home with Him in Heaven. I sinned today, yet the Lord did not kill me on the spot. He was merciful; far more merciful than I would be. When we think of how angry we get over the trespasses that others commit against us, and then realize how much worse our trespasses are against the Lord, we should praise Him for His mercy. The psalmist also mentions truth. Everything that God says or does is truth. There is no falsehood in Him. He never makes a mistake. His promises never fail. He not only speaks truth, He is truth. Everything in this world that is true is of God, and all that opposes truth is against God. For this fact, glory belongs to Him.

 In verse 2 the heathen question the existence of God, apparently because He can not be seen. They have their idols of stone which sit in the groves, along the side of the road, or in a place of honor in their homes. Since the believer communicates with the "invisible" God (I Tim. 1:17), the heathen touts the superiority of his god who is visible to the naked eye. The psalmist responds that "our God is in the heavens". He in not bound by time and space, nor is He limited to the visual perception of humanity. A God Who is boundless like this can certainly do "whatsoever He hath pleased", and for this cause He is worthy of glory. The contrast is now given between our all-sufficient God and the false gods of the heathen. They may be visible, but they can not do anything. They did not create men, but were created by men (4). The have mouths, eyes,ears, and noses, but they can not do anything with them (5-6). They have hands and feet, but they can not walk by themselves nor minister to anyone's needs (7). They are just like men, and how much value can there be in a god who is just like me? If I made it, what can it do for me? If it can not see nor hear, how can it be aware of my needs? If it can not move itself, how can it meet my needs. If I can see that it sits in one place, how can it help me when I can no longer see it.? Obviously, these gods have no value at all.

 We can safely trust in the God of Heaven (9) because He is boundless and limitless. We need not fear because we can not see Him with our finite eyes. We surely can see His great works, and we can see Him through the eye of faith as well. No statue is necessary. No man-made deity will suffice. No praise even belongs to me. God alone is worthy of glory.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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