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The Rev. William Klock: “The Word: Saving for Service” (Psalm 119:121-128)

October 27, 2010

Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia is continuing a series of sermons on Psalm 119, and next in that series is The Word: Saving for Service, which is based on Psalm 119:121-128.  I’m not sure whether we always think about the emphasis this Psalm puts on being willing to be a servant of God, but Fr. Bill certainly brings this out in the sermon.  (Indeed, David uses that word “servant” in verses 122, 124 and 125.)  This portion was, I thought, quite edifying:

…Whole portions of the Church have been taken over by self-help mentalities and prosperity-focused “name-it-and-claim-it” teachings.  At the worst these groups have redefined faith into a universal force, which, if you can master it, you can use to demand everything you want from God.  (This is why they tell you that if you don’t get everything you want, it’s because your faith is weak.)  But even when these groups aren’t teaching outright heresy, they have a subtle and equally dangerous influence on our thinking and focus as Christians.  The end result is a self-centred faith in which our focus is on what God can give us instead of what we can give to God.  The sermons, the teaching, the books are all about seeking God’s blessing.  There’s very little if any talk about seeking after holiness.  Brothers and sisters, the purpose of the Church is not to seek God’s blessing.  Our purpose is to glorify God.  That is our whole aim and focus.  His blessing in return is incidental.  Look at what David’s concern is in verse 125:

I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!

First, David reminds us that we are God’s servants.  He is not ours.  God isn’t a cosmic genie.  He’s not here to grant all of our wishes.  No.  He created us to serve him.  We rebelled against that role and the purpose of his salvation is to put us back in place as his servants.  Yes, he also gives us eternal life through his salvation, but that’s of far less importance than that he restores us to fellowship with himself and to our role as servants.  And second, because his greatest desire is to serve God, David pleads for understandings.  He wants to know God’s testimonies.  He wants to know God’s character, his rules, his ways—ultimately what pleases God and what doesn’t.  This is why he threw himself into the Word.  This entire psalm is a proclamation of his love for the Word—and consider that David loved it because it taught him how to be a better servant.

And that is yet another reason to “read, learn and inwardly digest” the Word of God: knowing His character and His laws will inevitably help us to serve Him better.

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