God's Steadfast Love
[Announce text] Please look with me in Scripture at Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29.
[Scripture introduction] The book of Psalms is filled with the songs and prayers offered to God by the nation of Israel. Their expressions of praise, faith, sorrow, and frustration cover the range of human emotions. Some of the Psalms dwell on the treasure of wisdom and God’s Word. Others reveal the troubled heart of a mourner. Still others explode with praise to God and invite others to join in song. This diversity is unified by one element: they are centered upon the one and only living God. This Creator God is King of all the earth and a refuge to all who trust in him. Many of the Psalms are attributed to King David. The writing and collection of the Psalms into their present form spans the fifteenth to the third centuries B.C.
[Reannounce and read text] Read with me these words about praises to God in Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29. [The preacher reads the Scripture passage out loud.]
[Prayer for illumination] Pray with me as we ask God to direct our hearts and minds into his sacred word. [The minister offers a brief prayer asking the Holy Spirit to bless the understanding of the preacher and hearers as God’s Word is proclaimed.]
[Introduction] In the church calendar, today marks Palm Sunday which highlights the triumphal entry of Jesus coming into Jerusalem. It is there during Jesus entrance Christ on a donkey into the holy city where the crowds lay down palm branches and crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
The word ‘Hosanna’ means, “Save us, please!; it was an exclamation of praise, implying rulership.
It is on Palm Sunday which begins the Passion Week, where we participate with the voices of the past and exclaim loudly, “Save us, please!” It is the season when the church begins praising and thanking Jesus for coming to rescue us from fear, guilt, shame, sin and death itself.
Palm Sunday should be the time when we roar with excitement: the savior has arrived and he has come to redeem us from the wordly and spiritual oppressors. Liberation! Salvation! Redemption is here! And yet...
I don’t hear the church shouting anymore declaring this news. It’s crickets..chirping noise.
Why is the church so quiet to declare his praise? Where is our shout of victory? Let me pose it like this...
“How come the churches has become silent even yet when the Messiah has arrived?” [FCF]
Certainly…I do believe you have something to shout today. It’s Palm Sunday for a reason and the Word of God has given you good news. The Psalmist declares [Scripture bond] what should come from your lips, if you believe the Savior has come to Jerusalem?
You and I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, the Psalmist tells the people of God what we should say because the Anointed One has comes.
[Read Psalm 118:1-2]
To sunrise until the dusk the church needs to give thanks to the Lord, for his is good for his steadfast love endures forever.
[Main Point 1] You are to shout, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
All the time, God is good, because his steadfast love endures forever. Why else does Jesus go into Jerusalem.... It because he is good and he’s coming to save us sinners, because his steadfast love endures forever.
It is the steadfast love of God. The reason our hope will never let us down is that God will never let us down. His love will never give us up.
That’s why we shouldn’t be a silent church. His love for behind us, around us, ahead of us, and most importantly inside us.
Revisit the rest Psalm with me. It’s all about Christ and we are the ones who sing his praises.
[Read Psalm 119:19-20]
[Main Point 2] You are to declare, “Oh give thanks to the Lord; for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Give thankfulness is based on what the Lord has given freely to us i.e., Palm Sunday is Christians Thanksgiving holiday. We feast for our Lord has answered our prayers.
Instruction: Be loud, and exclaim daily the Psalmist’s words.
Situation: You are to give praise, thanks, and honor everywhere for his steadfast love.
Motivation: The Lord has given you the opportunity to praise, so be loud and proud.
Enablement: You can praise and thank Christ because he has saved us from our sorrows.
[Conclusion] As we reflect, repent, and renew ourselves this last week of Lent, let be a church that lifts our voices. You are to live as his steadfast love endures forever!
[Prayer for Transformation] Pray with me as we ask the Lord to transform us. [The minister prays for the congregation to reflect, repent, and renew themselves to Lord and to drink of the salvation of Christ.]