Grace Notes – Pastoral Letter 7.3.22

“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD: that He looked down from His holy height; from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die”

Ps 102:18-20

Dearly beloved saints of Covenant of Grace,

It was wonderful to see you, and to worship and fellowship together this past Lord’s Day. What a joy to experience the blessedness stored up in the Sabbath while learning of the same thing from God’s Word! To be granted such time each week and told to honor it is the kindness of the Lord to us, and it is the happiness of the believing heart. What can compare with time spent learning about the Lord and His great deeds together with our brothers and sisters in Christ? What can be likened to the satisfaction the hearts of the faithful find in the presence of the Lord? To draw near to Him in prayer and praise as we humble ourselves before His Word is to taste of His goodness and find that for which we have been created and redeemed. It is to discover the only pleasure and peace that is truly able to sooth and satisfy the hungry soul. This is something we’re reminded of every time we read or recite Psalm 37:4.

In the first place, David calls us to make the Lord Himself our chief delight. In the words of the Psalmist, “Delight yourself in the LORD” (Ps 37:4). This follows in the wake of verse 1, where we’re instructed not to fret because of evildoers, nor to envy wrongdoers. It is a fitting exhortation for every age. We look around and see those whose hearts and lives are invested entirely in the things of this world. Countless people walk on the broad road to destruction, giving little or no thought to the Lord while seeking their treasure here and now. And, at times, those who do so seem to be getting along quite nicely in the world. They may have a well-paying job, a nice title, a large and well-decorated home, an expensive car, the most fashionable clothes, and the like. They don’t worship the Lord. They don’t acknowledge Him or give thanks to Him. And yet, they seem to enjoy His blessing from one day to the next. Thus, an opportunity is presented for us to become jealous or otherwise bothered by this, perhaps even tempting us to think it is a vain thing to follow the Lord, given that we may not have it as easy or be as well off as the ungodly. But, fully aware of this temptation, the Spirit of God speaks by the mouth of His servant David and tells us not to envy or fret, but instead to fix the eyes of our hearts upon the Lord Himself: “Delight yourself in the LORD” (Ps 37:4). It is a charge to remember whose we are, and where our desires are to be fixed. It is a call to remember the greatness of our God – the infinite, eternal, self-existent, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, just, merciful, holy One – and to be content to spend our days seeking to better know Him. It is a command to seek and be satisfied with what is truly best – namely, the Lord Himself. While countless multitudes pine away pursuing money, stuff, accolades, pleasures, and so on, the believer is instructed to remember that such things are fleeting and entirely insufficient to meet the depth of desire found in every human heart. And, remembering this, we’re to likewise remember the One who alone truly can satiate the longing soul and to spend ourselves pursuing Him with greater zeal than we pursue anything else. We’re to make Him our greatest desire – the object of our highest and strongest affections. In this way David calls us to make the Lord Himself our chief delight.

Then, in the second place, David assures us that, as we make the Lord Himself our chief delight, He will bless us with all that is truly necessary, and with that which is most needful of all. In David’s words, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4). It is quite possible that, on one level, we’re to read this as promising something along the same lines as Matthew 6:33, where the Lord Jesus tells us not to fret about having enough of the things of this world, but rather, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Meaning, we shouldn’t be consumed with worry about having food, clothing, money, housing, etc., but should strive in all things to love and live for the Lord, and then trust that He will be faithful to His promise to provide whatever is necessary to us. Psalm 37:4 may well be saying much the same thing. But, whether or not this is the case, it seems certain that Psalm 37:4 is saying something more. If we truly make the Lord Himself the greatest delight of our hearts, then what would the Lord be promising to give when He promises to give the desire of our heart? Wouldn’t He be promising to give us Himself? Indeed, He would be and is promoting this very thing. To paraphrase, ‘Make the Lord your highest delight and the Lord will give you that in which you delight – Himself.’ It is the greatest gift He can ever give, because there is nothing more wonderful and altogether satisfying than to know, learn about, and rejoice in Him. The amazing promise of the Lord is to give the One who loves and seeks after Him the very thing – the One – whom their soul loves and seeks. It is a promise to do for us what the world and all of its pleasures and treasures can never do – to truly content and gratify our hearts, which He has purposefully fashioned for nothing less than communion with Him. Whatever the worldly person may have, whatever else the Lord may give to HIs people, all else pales in comparison and seems to fade into nothingness compared to this. Thus, it is an expression of the greatest kindness when David assures us that, as we make the Lord Himself our chief delight, He will bless us with all that is truly necessary, and with that which is most needful of all.

Therefore, daily in our homes and weekly in our gathered worship, let us make it our aim to delight ourselves in the Lord – glorifying Him as we enjoy Him over and above anything and everything else. It is the greatest joy of which the human heart is capable, and it greatly glorifies our God as He is shown to be altogether wonderful and fully able to satisfy the soul that seeks its blessedness in Him. Let’s not be cool in our affections, then, but zealous to open His Word, bow our heads, and gather with His people in order that we might truly taste and see that the Lord is good – delighting ourselves in Him and therein reviving the deepest desire of our longing hearts.

In Christ,

Pastor Eric

P.S.

Join us for the prayer meeting each Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall – dinner is served at 6:00pm, followed by a brief lesson and a time of prayer at 6:30. Or, join us for prayer each Thursday at 10:30am in the adult Sunday School room.

ANNOUNCEMENT: In addition to our weekly Wednesday evening prayer meeting, we have a new prayer meeting every Thursday at 10:30am in the Adult Sunday School room. We will read a brief portion of Scripture and pray together, ending at 11:00am. It is our hope that this will allow some of our members and other visitors to attend who are not able to make it on Wednesday evenings.

NOTE: Our men’s breakfast study — Joshua’s Men is now recorded and available on YouTube.
NOTE2: Our adult Sunday School lessons are now being recorded and are available on YouTube.
Just search for Covenant of Grace ARP Church to find the links.

· Daily devotions
I continue to encourage you to daily read Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening as we seek to maintain a spirit of unity. It is widely available – here is one link: https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/morning-and-evening/today