Tonight, in our Midweek Worship Service at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, I plan to conclude my exposition of the longest passage in the Bible – Psalm 119.
I began preaching through Psalm 119, stanza by stanza (or eight verses at a time), last September. I had not yet moved from Los Angeles. But I was traveling to Jacksonville to preach the Wednesday night services.
It is easier for me to prepare to preach when I am working through one extended passage of scripture. Moreover, I believe sequential exposition is the most faithful way to preach the word of God. And I knew that my transition process from Los Angeles would require that I land somewhere in scripture and be prepared to stay there fro a while. But I was surprised when the Lord placed Psalm 119 on my heart to preach.
I was glad that I would be preaching through a portion of scripture that I had previous preached through before. And I was even more glad to spend more time in Psalm 119 and to work on the manuscripts I had preached about four years ago. I would love to publish these messages one day in written form. But I still concerned about preaching this psalm as my first extended series at my new congregation.
Why, Lord, Psalm 119?
In retrospect, I think the Lord was using this psalm to further prepare me for the work that is ahead of me here. It was one thing to preach this series after serving in a local church for fifteen years. But it struck me differently to preach these messages as the new guy at a new church in a new town. At some point, I could not avoid the fact that it felt like I was preaching these message to myself more than anyone else.
I believe it is significant that we have started our journey as pastor and people at Shiloh celebrating the total sufficiency of God’s word to save the lost, nurture the believer, govern the church, order the worship, comfort the troubled, guide the confused, and even change the culture. I am totally convinced that the health and growth of a church must be measured in terms of its devotion to the word of God. Likewise, the growth and fruitfulness of every believer is inextricably tied to your devotion to the word of God.
My simple prayer for Shiloh is that we would be a biblically regulated church in every way. This means more that we preach and teach sound doctrine from the pulpit. It means that every area of the life is shaped by the word of God. Indeed, we have a long way to go. So does every church! But I we are going in the right direction. And I pray that the time we have spend together in Psalm 119 would be a means through God is pleased to cause us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.