He realizes that the Bible strongly condemns the worship of human power and greatness.
Isaiah 2:22, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”
“God resisteth the proud.” Look at Nebuchadnezzar in,
Daniel 4:30-31, “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from thee.”
Humility is true wisdom, because it is acknowledging fact and truth. It is important that we understand what His strength is. It is in the clouds, sea, the hills and everywhere.
We can admire the courage of great men of the past; however, the strongest is not strong very long and the weak times will come.
The athlete may be weak at a desk job. The banker would fail on the farm. The poor man whom adversity could neither break nor bend, may lose self-control in prosperity. At one point or another, man’s strength will fail.
The strength of God is in His right arm. The arm is the Lord Jesus Christ and to go in the strength of the Lord God is to go in the strength of Jesus Christ, or to walk in Christ.
Psalm 71: 1-24
To understand this Psalm, we must understand the psalmist. Truly the character of David is revealed in this. He was a godly man. He set his affection, dependence on Him. It was a rule of his life. Yes, he had some darkness in his life, but his sin was as much a sin to him as ours is to us.
So we have to judge him by the rules we apply to other men, as well as to ourselves. And so what do we find? He is first seen as a shepherd boy on the rocky hills of Bethlehem. God was a living reality; “He set the Lord always before him.”
In his thoughts, about his work, solitude and yes, even in his sin, He never forsook his Lord. He said, “my sin is ever before me . . . against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.”
We can look at David as a good example of the godly man, good king, and yet with the warning that the best of men have a corrupt and sinful nature, and can fall at any time, if they forget God.
Look at the two thoughts that compose this sentence.
- “I will go.” It is active, frequent, happy and progressive.
- But balancing it in all modesty and holy caution, turning rashness into courage, impulse into trust. “I will go in the strength of the Lord God.”
He is not trusting in his own strength, but in God’s.
Read Galatians 6:11-18 again.
Paul gloried in the wisdom of the cross.
II. PAUL GLORIED IN THE WORDS OF THE CROSS.
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
A. He thought of others.
B. Even in His Death He saved a sinner.
He said to the thief on the cross, “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” Still living for others, not for Himself.
C. Still thinking of others, “Woman, behold thy Son, behold thy mother.” He asked John to look after His mother. Still living for others.
D. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
E. “I thirst.”
F. “It is finished.”
G. “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”
Paul gloried in the wisdom of the cross, the words of the cross, and:
III. PAUL GLORIED IN THE WORK OF THE CROSS.
1 Corinthians 1:18-21, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
What is the work of the cross? I am justified! Just as though I have never sinned. Shout Hallelujah! He died on the cross; He took my sins and buried them in the deepest sea, the big as well as the little ones.
Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Forgive means to bear my burden. Paul gloried in the cross. How about you?
The evidence is in verse 17.
Paul said, God forbid that I should glory, except in one thing, in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I. HE GLORIED IN THE WISDOM OF THE CROSS.
God created man and woman – Adam and Eve. They were given the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17. His wife was deceived but he was not.
He loved her so much that he too ate of it knowing the consequences; but he loved her and fell with her. Someone once called it Adam’s suicide.
Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” 5:19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
Adam broke his fellowship with God when he sinned, and God misses his fellowship and wants him back. God cannot dethrone Himself; so He had to demand another form of penalty.
He could have taken Adam back because of His love for him, but that would have made Him sacrifice justice on the altar of love. So God had His own Son come into the world to die for man’s sin.
Read Ezekiel 36:8-11
Can we enjoy something better than in the beginning? Absolutely!
Remember how excited you were when first saved, joined the church, led your first convert to Christ? Restoration of character always brings return to prosperity in the Christian’s life.
Proverbs 4:18,“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
FOUR SIMPLE LESSONS ON HOW TO ENJOY BETTER BLESSINGS IN THE FUTURE.
A. RETURN TO THE SIMPLE FAITH IN CHRIST.
After all, that is what this chapter is all about. It points to the blessings of Christ’s Kingdom.
B. REPENT OF THE LITTLE SINS THAT BROKE YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
C. RETURN TO SERVING HIM WITH A FERVENT HEART.
D. REMEMBER IT ALL STARTED WITH FREE SALVATION.