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Secure in Our God

September 13, 2016 Pastor: Don Green

Topic: Midweek Sermons Scripture: Psalm 48

19-048

It's not unfair to say that modern life is marked for us by a lack of trust in our fellow man and as I say that, I'm thinking of the world in general, not the church in particular. We feel threatened and so we take precautions to lessen the risk. Nations build massive militaries in order to protect their borders. Airports have security checkpoints now to ward off attacks from terrorists. Corporations retain attorneys to draft contracts to protect their interests as they interact with other companies. On a personal level, we tend to draw back when those who get too close to us start to become familiar with feelings that we don't want to share. We fret over matters that have the potential to change our lives. In other words, we long for safety and we long for security and yet we find it elusive just in terms of the sheer cost, the human and financial cost of the lack of security, the cost of a lack of trust are really incalculable and affect us so much that we just assume it without recognizing what's happening.

Well, perhaps for those of us now in the church, for those of us that follow our Lord Jesus Christ and we can identify with those things, perhaps our trust is simply misplaced and we haven't fully appropriated the security that we have in our God. Well, Psalm 48 is going to be a wonderful text to help us in that way here this evening and I invite you to turn to Psalm 48. I'm going to read the text and then we will expound it here over the course of the next 50 minutes or so. Psalm 48

1 A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain. 2 Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King. 3 God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold. 4 For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They passed by together. 5 They saw it, then they were amazed; They were terrified, they fled in alarm. 6 Panic seized them there, Anguish, as of a woman in childbirth. 7 With the east wind You break the ships of Tarshish. 8 As we have heard, so have we seen In the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; God will establish her forever. Selah. 9 We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God, In the midst of Your temple. 10 As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let Mount Zion be glad, Let the daughters of Judah rejoice Because of Your judgments. 12 Walk about Zion and go around her; Count her towers; 13 Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces, That you may tell it to the next generation. 14 For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.

This Psalm extols the security that the people of God have in him. The historical background of it is disputed among commentators. It is perhaps found in a famous incident in the history of Israel and if you would go back to Isaiah 36, I just want to read a couple of verses for you. I say go back, actually go forward in your Bibles toward the prophets, Isaiah 36. You may remember that there came a time during the reign of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, sent his army and laid siege against Jerusalem and in Isaiah 36:1, it says, "Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them." And so there is an invasion taking place and the siege reaches to the walls of the city of Jerusalem and without rehearsing the fullness of everything that happened there, go to verse 33 of chapter 37, and with the greatest army in the world at that time breathing down the neck of the Jews, the word of God comes to them, "Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, 'He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield, or throw up a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come to this city,' declares the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'"

Notice as we pause here for just a moment, the repeated references that God makes to the city, the city of Jerusalem. In verse 33, he will not come to this city. Verse 34, he will not come to this city. I will defend this city, verse 35. To be in Jerusalem at that time was to be uniquely under the protection of God and what did he do? God granted them a supernatural deliverance as found in verse 36, "Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh." Now, whether or not this incident was the historical occasion for Psalm 48 or whether Psalm 48 is simply uniquely fitted for that occasion, we don't have to decide for tonight. You have a sense, you have an historical sense here of how God defended Jerusalem when they were under a dire existential threat from a foreign army.

Now as we go back to Psalm 48, now we can see a sense of what the Psalmist and what the Jews have to say in response to an incident like that, and the Psalmist, this is often called a Psalm of the city of Zion, that's a little bit of a misnomer, although the Psalm speaks a lot about the city of Zion, another name for Jerusalem, the Psalm is actually about God and you can see that by the bracketing device that the Psalmist uses. Look at verse 1 with me, Psalm 48:1. "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God." And you go to the end of the Psalm in verse 14, "For such is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us until death." And we've often pointed out this literary technique to you as we've studied the Psalms and other passages of Scripture, that phrase "our God" functions as a bracketing device. It's called technically an inclusio, and what it is is that those phrases are what bind the whole Psalm together. The whole Psalm is about our God. It tells us, that phrase "our God," tells us how the middle of the Psalm should be understood. This Psalm is about praising God and the references to the city of God are incidental and are a means to that end, and that's going to become important as we walk through the Psalm together.

Basically what's happened is this, what's going on in Psalm 48 is this: the Psalmist is overwhelmed with a sense of wanting to worship God and praising God. He is highlighting to the people of God, "Look at God and see how great he is and ascribe worship and praise to him." It's a ringing call to praise God for something that he's going to explain as the Psalm goes on. And what does he see? He kind of gives a little bit of a survey of something about God that is designed to provoke in your heart that praise that he calls you to in the opening verse.

What does he see as he goes? Well, we're going to break the Psalm down into three sections. First of all, he sees the way that God delights in the city where he has made his name known. He says, "Praise God for that." He sees in the second part of the Psalm the way that God has defeated his enemies. He says, "Praise God for that." And then finally in kind of a related way, he says, "God is the defense of his people. Praise God for that." So what he's doing here is he is surveying, he is looking out on the manner in which God has dealt with his people and protected them and he says, "That is the basis upon which you should praise our God. Join together with me," he says, "and praise him and honor him." And that's what we're going to see as we go through this Psalm here together this evening.

First of all, I want to show you the fact that he highlights God's delight in the city. God's delight in his city, we could say. Look at verse 1, he says,

1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.

Then in verse 2,

2 Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King.

What he's saying here is that God has uniquely displayed and manifested himself in the city of Jerusalem. Remember that he's writing several centuries before the time of Christ. This is the city where God has particularly made himself known. In their history, God helped conquer that land, God led them in defeat of the nation that occupied that city and they took possession of it by the power of God. As time went on, it is where God manifested his presence to the people in the temple, and in the vast beauty of the temple, God manifested his presence there in a unique way. It was the city where he defended them against their enemies. So the point is this, is that there is a sense in which, "This is uniquely God's city in our time and look at the way that he has poured out his blessing on us. He gave us this land. He manifests his presence to us here. He defends us here." You see, it's not about praising the city, per se, it's about praising God for the unique glorious way that he protects his people and provides for them in that place in those Old Testament days. So he says Jerusalem, there is a sense in which Jerusalem is the joy of the whole earth. Why? Because the one true God has made himself known in this place. The God who is the great King over all the earth has manifested himself in this city, and the way that he has shown favor to our city is a grounds upon which we should praise him.

Let me remind you of the prior two Psalms a little bit, how it has made this emphasis on the city of God, and God is a great King over all the earth. Go back, if you would to Psalm 46:4. You see the developing theme over this section of the Psalter. In Psalm 46:4, "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High." And as we saw on Sunday two weeks ago, we see that God, there was a sense in which he dwelt there. His presence was manifest in the temple there and it was a cause of praise because God manifested himself and in verse 7, they could say, "The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold." And they are overwhelmed, they are enthralled with the sense that the one true God dwells in their city and he is therefore a defense to them. And what you see in Psalm 48 is that there is a manifestation by the defeat of their enemies, that God protects them in tangible real ways, in real time and space history. Then if you go over to Psalm 47:2, "the LORD Most High is to be feared, A great King over all the earth." And so now with that in mind, look at Psalm 48:2, "Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King."

So these prior themes are coming together in Psalm 48. God, the great King over all the earth, God having manifested himself in this city, and because he's the one true God over all the earth, therefore the place where he manifests his presence is a place of joy unique to all the earth whether men recognize it or not, and God should be praised, the Psalmist says because he's our God and he has manifested himself here in our presence and this is to the blessing of all the earth, because he is God over all of the earth. And because God was present there, the one true God is present there, this city was safe under his care.

Look at verse 3 now. He delights in the city. Verse 3,

3 God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold.

God was a stronghold to them in the sense that he defended them there. He defended the city against their enemies. And what does that mean except this: no matter what the greatness of the threat would come up against that city, as long as God was present there, as long as God was with his people, Jerusalem was safe because no one can overthrow the sovereign God who was protecting her. God was uniquely present there. It pleased him to defend her and so praise his name. Praise his name because God has graciously chosen an unworthy place, and unworthy people and set his eternal love upon them and defends them from their enemies. Though they are unworthy of that, though they could never do it on their own, though they were a small people and not chosen because of their greatness but because of their smallness, God had set love and mercy upon them in a unique way and the Psalmist says, "Praise be to God that we have such a God like that."

And as he goes on, he says, God is greatly to be praised for another reason, it's because, secondly: God defeats their enemies. God defeat their enemies. And having set the stage, you can kind of see the way that this kind of unfolds. He says in general this is what God does, he takes joy in the city and he defends it. Well, you would expect him to give an illustration of that power and of that defense in what follows and that's exactly what he does. He describes a time where their enemies were defeated.

Look at verse 4 now. He is giving an historical illustration of the way that God defended them. Verse 4,

4 For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They passed by together. 5 They saw it, then they were amazed; They were terrified, they fled in alarm.

What's he saying here is this: he's saying, "There was a time, you remember the time when the great army came against us? They were set on attacking us. They were assembled together against us but what happened? The threat went away without a fight. Why?" He speaks in a rapid fire manner to give a sense of how quickly this happened. They saw it, they saw the city, they saw, they were amazed, they were terrified, they fled. It's kind of like, "I came, I saw, I conquered," in that rapid fire declaration. "I came, I saw, I conquered," this phrase is like that and here in Psalm 48:5, they saw, they were amazed, they were terrified, they fled. Why? Not because they found an army too great to go against, they saw the presence of God manifested and turned away in fear.

And how bad was it for them? How badly were they frightened? He gives a metaphor, verse 6, he says,

6 Panic seized them there, Anguish, as of a woman in childbirth.

He says, "They convulsed in fear. They writhed in fear like a woman giving birth to her child." You ladies who have given birth to children know something about that. If you've been in the room with a woman giving birth, you know what that's like. Just that writhing and that moment of total consumption in the pain of the moment, writhing with the event. He says that's what those kings were like. They were overwhelmed. They were consumed with the panic that came upon them when they saw the greatness of the city. It was one of the ways in which God protected the city and defended it.

He goes on in verse 7 and gives a picture of the power of God in order to defend his people.

7 With the east wind You break the ships of Tarshish.

The ships of Tarshish were kind of the preeminent seagoing vessels of the day. They were impressive and strong trading ships and what the Psalmist is saying is, "God, you could just blow on those ships with the wind and break them apart. You could blow on them and these ships shatter. That's how strong and how great and how powerful you are." So the point of it all is that God is the commander who is protecting the city. The city is secure from all threats against it.

Look at Psalm 48:8.

8 As we have heard, so have we seen In the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; God will establish her forever. Selah.

What he's saying is that our forefathers in our history saw the manifest power of God displayed when he delivered them from Egypt, when he gave them the land in the days of Joshua, as he raised up judges to deliver them from oppressors at the time. They said, "Our ancestors, our fathers saw these things in their own day. They saw these things with their own eyes. This is a woven part of our history. Now we ourselves see it in our own life and in our own experience. The God who reigned and protected our people back then is the same God who is reigning and protecting us today."

Now, beloved, let's pause here for just a moment and bring this up to today; we'll do some of this at the end as well. But do you realize that in the midst of the challenges that seem to be ahead for us as the church of Jesus Christ in our day, as society increasingly moves away from the fear of God and more openly is ready to attack and marginalize Christians, other parts of the world freely slaughtering them without consequence to them, do you realize that as we with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, as we enter into that phase, as we go through that, do you realize that we have the same God now that presided over the advance of the church in the Reformation? That the same God presides over us now who presided over the early church through the 10 waves of persecution of the Roman empire against the church? Same God now that protected and preserved his church then, is with us today. Do you realize what that means? That if it does become more hostile for us, do you realize that if it does become increasingly obvious that we are undergoing persecution, we don't have it bad right now, but even if it comes to that, do you realize that we should look forward to the future with a sense of confidence, with a sense of serenity, with a sense of security, not fear over who the next political leaders are going to be. Why? Because that's irrelevant to the fact that the God that our forefathers in the faith flourished under and found protection under his hand, the same God is with us as well. We look forward to the future with a sense of anticipation and expectation that we are going to enjoy the same kind of favor and protection from the hand of God even if there is no visible human means of support or protection for us and therefore we're not afraid of what comes. We are not panicked by what the next election will bring. We're not kowtowed by the rise of Islamic terrorists who threaten the true people of God in the name of Islam. We're not afraid of that. Why? Because God is our stronghold. Because the God who protected our fathers is with us to protect us as well and we expect, we count on, we know that somehow he will protect us and see us through whatever that means therefore why are we afraid? There is nothing to be afraid of. The greater the threat simply means the greater the platform for God to display his glory as he is faithful to us as we walk with our Christ.

So to those who make us fearful of what comes next, we say, "Out! Out on the suggestion! The God who protects his people is with us and we are not afraid because we are secure in our God." You see, and here's the thing, beloved, here's the thing, it is that we are entering into a phase of life, it would seem, where that has to be more than theoretical truth to us. This needs to be the anchor of your heart and you say, "I do believe this. I do accept that. I rest in it. These are realities. We will walk by faith, not by sight, and I believe these things and therefore it will shape the way I view life and the way I look forward to the future." God defeats his enemies. God protects his people. We are secure in our God and so there is no need for fear.

Beloved, as the people of God, as one who belongs to the Lord of hosts, the Lord Jesus Christ, what you must understand, what must be settled in your heart is this: the security of God's people is utterly profound. It is immense. God reigns over the nations. He is King over all the earth and he is providentially in control of everything that would happen to us. Perhaps for some, the problem, none of you of course, but perhaps for some, the problem is that they just love the things of earth so much that they don't want to let go of what might happen in the future to the things of earth. Well, that's not what we're hanging onto. That's not what we're living for. We're living for Christ. We're living for the sake of the city yet to come and that's where our treasure is. When your treasure is in heaven, the things of earth are secondary and if those things are threatened, well, okay. The fundamental thing is that we are secure in our God; that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him until that great day.

Now you see, beloved, that's the lofty way in which God protects his people and what that means for you as a Christian here today in the 21st century is that that is the lofty aspiration of your heart, that you would live at this level of the security of the people of God revealed in Scripture and manifested in history since the close of the Canon, that you would rest, that you would believe that, that you would be serene and confident in that rather than living in the slop of pigs that are simply consumed with earthly matters even in the name of Christ, and saying, "I'm not going to be drug down to that level of fear and panic and anxiety. I'm not going to live there. Why? Because we are secure in our God." Any other response is unworthy of the God who has set his affection upon us, right?

So go to the end of verse 8 there. And I say things like this from time to time. Go back to verse 8. "As we have heard, so have we seen In the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; God will establish her forever." Do you know what is going to happen over the next 50 years, in the next 100 years for the true people of God? They are going to see in their own experience the outworking of the way that God protects his people even if it gets more hostile for us in the days to come. You young people that are in your teens right now, you look forward to the future with confidence if you belong to Christ. In 50 years from now, you'll be the ones who are giving testimony to the way that God preserved and protected you through massive changes in the world. And we believe that now, we believe it before we see it, we proclaim it before it happens as a means of honoring the God who has revealed those things to us, that we believe he is true in what he says.

At the end of verse 8 it says, "Selah." Meditate on that. Let the way that God protects his people sink deep into your soul. Let that be what frames your view of the future rather than the perceived threats that you have to the American constitutional system or the Australian parliamentary scheme, our Australian friends that join us from time to time. Let the security that we have in Christ frame your whole view of life. That is the only way that a Christian can live. It's the only way that a Christian can think. It's the only response that is worthy of that blood that was shed on our behalf.

Now, third section of this Psalm. We've seen the way that God delights in the city; we've seen God's defeat of their enemies; and now we see God's defense of his people. God's defense of his people and you can think about it this way, you say, "These things are true. God delights in Jerusalem," speaking at it from the perspective of an Old Testament saint, "and he defends his people." Well, this question should be asked: why does he do that? Why does God do that? What is there about the whole matrix of existence and the order of the universe that would prompt God to protect a people like them and a people like us? Well, the meditation on the way that God defends his people leads the Psalmist to praise the nature of God, the character of God, the attributes of God, the unchanging characteristic of who he is.

Verse 9. "We remember the way that you have blessed us with your presence in our city. We remember how you've defeated our enemies. Now, God, we're going to praise you for that which motivates you to do those things." Verse 9,

9 We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God, In the midst of Your temple. 10 As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.

Why does God do that? Why is God like this for his people? It's because he is a God of loyal love. He is dependable. He is faithful. He sets his affection on us and he never changes his direction no matter what happens. In loyal love, God makes himself known and he defends his people. With the right hand of his power, he manifests his righteousness. And so the people of God are under the secure care of a God who loves them and a God who is powerful to defend them and a God who always acts righteously in everything that he does. He exercises his power in righteous loyal love. That's the kind of God that we're under.

So in verse 10, "As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth." God's name representing the totality of who he is. He is everywhere present. And what is the Psalmist saying here when he says, "Your praise to the ends of the earth"? What he's saying is this: how great is God from a human perspective? How massive is the greatness of God to which we praise and honor him? This is how great it is: the whole earth, all of creation as we see and experience it, is just a fitting platform for his praise, for his honor. The entirety of the earth should be a platform in which he is praised. One day still future to us, that will happen when Christ reigns on the earth and all the nations come to give him honor and praise. In the meantime, waiting for that great coming day, the Psalmist calls the people of God to honor him.

Look at verse 11.

11 Let Mount Zion be glad, Let the daughters of Judah rejoice

Mount Zion, again, being a reference for Jerusalem, the mount on which Jerusalem sits. "Let the daughters of Judah rejoice." The daughters of Judah is a way of referring to the surrounding towns and villages of Judah that were near Jerusalem. So it's sort of in an Acts 1:8 sense, the praise starts in Jerusalem and then expands out and then the ever widening circles geographically go and he calls all of the people of God to join in the praise that this Psalm is calling them to and he invites his contemporaries to go out, to walk about, to see and to praise God for what he's done.

Look at verse 12.

12 Walk about Zion and go around her; Count her towers; 13 Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces, That you may tell it to the next generation.

The physical walls were, in a sense, symbolic. They were representative. They were a minor means to the greater end that that represented the greater protection that God gave to his people. "Go out and look and be astounded by what you see. See in the magnificent walls the protection of God and let them point you from what you see to what you can't see, the loyal righteous love of God powerfully exercised on behalf of his people for their care and their defense." They were a blessed people. They should tell it to their sons.

Look at verse 13. Let these things sink in. Look about you, see it and then do what? Verse 13, tell it to the next generation. You know, part of what we do as a church, part of what any good Christian should be conscious of is to recount to the generation coming up the fact that God is great, that Christ is glorious, that Christ died for sinners, and that we tell that and we repeat it so the next generation hears it coming up as well. Scripture does this in other places as well, it calls us to that. You parents, you're telling it to the in next generation. You grandparents, you're telling it to the generation after your children when you have that opportunity. Tell them! Tell them! Tell them the greatness of God! Extol the virtues of Christ to them!

So where does this leave us? What's the conclusion? It's this, beloved, boiling Psalm 48 down to two simple sentences: God's loyal love is forever and God never fails his people. God's loyal love is forever. He never fails his people. Look at verse 14.

14 For such is God, Our God forever and ever

There's almost a sense of pride in identifying with who our God is there. "For such as God, our God. He's ours. He belongs to us and we belong to him."

He will guide us until death.

In other words, his guidance, his provision, his protection for us will be continual all the way through our existence. There will never be a time, there will never be a moment where we slip outside the protective righteous guiding hand of God, he says. You see, this wasn't just an experience for Jews 3,000 years ago, this is the truth, this is what it is, this is the blessing of the people of God throughout all of time. This is the way he deals with all of his people. The God who made them secure in time, in the city, will keep them to the end.

Step back. It's easier for me to do than for you as you are sitting in those seats. There's not much room for you to step back. I get that. Isn't it magnificent that God is like that? That God is a God of righteous powerful love who is faithful to his people and keeps them secure all the way to the end? Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that just like the most marvelous thing that could ever be known to man? When you get that, when you're grasping your mind around that, then you're at a point where you can do what the Psalmist says at the very beginning of the Psalm. A God like that should be greatly praised. This is who God is, verse 14, therefore coming back to verse 1, coming back to the theme verse, "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised."

Now, let's accelerate into the present here, 2016, in the month of September. We've viewed this from within the perspective of the Psalmist at the time that he wrote. You and I have now in the progress of redemptive history as God has unfolded his plan and completed his revelation in the Word written and Incarnate, we have an even greater basis to praise him. We honor God for coming to earth in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. That was still future to the Psalmist. Those of you who have been born again, those of you who have trusted Christ for your salvation, Christ comes and says, "Come to me and I will save you," and by a work of God in your heart, you say, "Lo, Lord, I come," and he saved you and wrapped his love around you and he extends that same offer to you who do not know him. "Come to me and I will save you. No conditions." Those of us that have come, what has he done for us if we were going to frame it in the language of Psalm 48? What has he done for you if not this: he has protected you. Protected you from what? He has protected you from the consequences of your own sin, of your own sinful nature. How great is God? How great is his love for his people? It is so great that though they were unworthy, though you were separated and under his wrath, Christ died for the ungodly like you, came and saved you from your own ungodliness, from the consequences of your own sin, and now protects you. Is that not worth praising him? What did God do except pay the price for your redemption at the cross? As his own human veins burst and blood was spilled, the precious blood of a spotless Lamb spilled for you, to protect you, to save you, to rescue you, to redeem you, to deliver you. That's how great the protective love of God is toward his people.

What else has he done? We might not have armies coming against the church of God as the Jews had armies coming against their city, but God delivered us from an even greater enemy, such as great an enemy as Satan himself. Look over at Colossians 1, if you would. Colossians 1:13. What did our God do for us? What did our Christ do for us in our salvation? Colossians 1:13, "He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." What did Christ do? There you were under the domination of the devil, dead in sin, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, and what did our God do for us? He saved us from that dark domain. He saved us from the slanders of Satan. He took us out of that domain and transferred us into the place where the great King of all reigns, in the kingdom over which Christ reigns over his people. We went from a taskmaster designed to slay and kill us, because that's what the devil does, God in Christ delivered us from that, rescued us, protected us in salvation from the outcome of being under the father of lies and being under his domain.

So we're rescued from sin, we're rescued from Satan and now we're secure, kept for heaven. Now we have the indwelling Holy Spirit as a pledge of our final redemption to keep us. You know, and you just start to list out these ways in which God has saved us and how he protects us and how he poured out his loyal love on us in a way that we completely did not deserve and now we are under the umbrella of everlasting protection from a sovereign, righteous, powerful, loving God. Secure in him. And one day he'll usher us into our home in heaven where we will see this great King face-to-face.

Christian, do you see it? Do you see that under the redemptive love of God you are secure in him? Do you see that you are safe? Do you see that you are protected under the power of this God? Under the righteousness of this God? Do you see the immeasurable manifestation of unending love and goodness that has been poured out upon your soul? You're secure. You're safe. The God who saved you will keep you. He saved you to bless you. His people are secure forever. Do you belong to him? Then, you say, "Yes I do. Praise God, I do." Then the next thing that you say, "Praise God. We are secure in our God."

So, beloved, as we close, let me just encourage you, these things have massive implications for the way that you think about life. As you look to the future, you frame your thinking about what lies ahead, you frame your perspective on what the future will bring to you not by the threats that you face physically, financially, relationally, whatever, you don't frame your approach, your thoughts about the future by those things. You start at a different point. You start from the perspective of the security that you have in this great, loving, righteous, powerful God who keeps you secure, who has set his love upon you, who has never once failed any of his people and never ever will. If you know Christ, you're secure, you're safe, you're protected. It is well with your soul. A God who has done that for you is to be greatly praised.

Let's bow together in prayer.

Father, bless your word to our hearts. Let us walk in conscious dependence of the security that you give to your people. Thank you for saving us. Thank you for securing us. Thank you that the best part of salvation for us is still yet to come. What we have now, Father, is wonderful and blessed under the goodness of your hand and yet, Father, it only gets better for us throughout all of eternity. We thank you for that. We marvel in the wonders of redeeming love and we praise you greatly with all of our beings from the very bottom of our hearts. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.