SERMON SERIES:

IPsalms Remix - Old Tunes for new life: spiritual freedom

06/30/2024

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We are blessed to live in a free country. This coming week we will celebrate Independence Day. It should give us an opportunity to reflect on our freedoms as well as to cherish and safeguard them. Those who signed the original Declaration of Independence did so under great threat and uncertainty. They knew that the Declaration was simply the beginning of the struggle for freedom. We continue to rejoice and reflect upon these words from the Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”  God has been at work long before the Declaration to share with us the power of freedom. God is the creator who has endowed humanity with the dream of and the desire for freedom. Yet, we also know that we use our freedom for all of the wrong purposes: to take instead of give, to hate instead of love, and to be self-centered instead of selfless. Misusing our freedom can enslave us to our desires and the worst part of human nature. This is what God calls sin. The last sermon in the series Ipsalms Remix, Old Tunes for a New Life is Spiritual Freedom. Our scripture this week is Psalm 119:33-48. Although Psalm 119 has 176 verses (imagine trying to memorize this Psalm), these 15 verses share with us the power of spiritual freedom. We struggle to recognize genuine freedom because we are blinded by self-interest, seduced by self-pride, and powered by self-promotion. God’s freedom lifts us from the dank, dark, despairing pit of humanity’s misguided freedom into the powerful transformation of God’s redemption. The Psalmist had found a secure place of freedom that circumstances or country could not take away. Our most sincere prayer is that you will be set free to open your heart and life to the living God as you read Psalm 119:33-48.

 

Psalm 119:33-48: Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. 36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. 38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. 39 Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. 40 How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life. 41 May your unfailing love come to me, LORD, your salvation, according to your promise; 42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word. 43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. 44 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. 45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. 46 I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, 47 for I delight in your commands because I love them. 48 I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees. (NIV)