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05-05-15.02              vv                           zz              05-05-22.02

05-05-15.01                                                      05-05-29.01

Title:           “He has put a new song in my mouth…”

FCF:            No testimony or new song of God’s salvation

D-Theme:   God does all the work in saving us!

M-Thrust:   Sing! Sing the new song of God’s love!

App:           Since God does all the work in saving us then we must sing the new song of God’s love!

Comment:  two came to the altar—Ocie and Darleen. And Ruth Reinhart said that it was an excellent message and gave me a kiss. I believe I felt the power and presence of God in the preaching and some in the place.

Subject:     faith-testimony

Date:          61037AF3533344D0B69EA84FF0FB9CB0

Text:           Psalm 40:1-5

1I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. 2He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. 3He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord. 4Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

• Introduction............................. dominating theme

•   While Kevin and I were in Cleveland this week…

•   I had occasion to visit the place where 20 years ago today…

•   I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ…

•   It wasn’t a part of my plan…

•   We were simply killing time watching trains…

•   As we were on our way to visit my father…

•   But I ended up on Lorain Avenue in downtown…

•   And as we headed west, I was reminded of that day…

•   Very nearly twenty years ago…

•   I told Kevin that we needed to find that place…

•   So I could revisit the moment that changed my life forever…

•   It took a while to find it since it was further down the road…

•   Than I remembered—@ W. 150th instead of W. 130th…

•   But as the K-Mart started to come into view…

•   I recognized it immediately…

•   And knew I was in the right place…

•   So we pulled in and while thinking of which tree it was…

•   That I had parked next to…

•   Kevin invited me to pull in so he could pray for me…

•   He laid his hand on my shoulder and began to pray…

•   And as he prayed, I wept…

•   Deep sobs with tears running down my face…

•   As I recalled in a moment that day…

•   And the years that have passed since…

•   And the grace of God that came to me that day…

•   We learned several new songs @ the pastor’s conference…

•   One of which is titled My heart is filled with thankfulness

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With power upon my heart

•   So this morning I want to proclaim to you the Word of God…

•   Of the majesty and power of God’s grace to save a sinner…

•   And tell you something of my testimony… Show Picture

•   And why a spot @ W. 150th and Lorain…

•   In Cleveland, OH in front of the K-Mart…

•   Is so significant to me…

•   I want you to come away from this morning’s message…

•   Understanding that God does all the work in saving us!

•   I want you to understand that if we have been saved…

•   Whether yesterday or twenty years ago…

•   Then God has put a new song in our mouths as well…

•   Meaning that we have a song to sing…

•   The song of God’s love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness…

•   And since we have a song to sing…

•   Sing! Sing the new song of God’s love!

• Point #1

•   As Kevin and I drove away from that place…

•   Having taken the picture and thought of the Lord’s mercy…

•   I commented to him that I couldn’t help thinking…

•   Lord, why me…?

•   I said that I knew we shouldn’t ask that question…

•   But it just wouldn’t escape me… “Lord, why me…?

•   As I thought of it later the Spirit spoke into my heart…

•   Bob, this is evidence of the fact that I saved you…

•   And that you were helpless to save yourself…

•   As a Christian, I know intuitively that He saved me… for…

• Like the Psalmist, I…

•   Waited and Cried…

•   Testimony

•   I was born and raised a Roman catholic…

•   We were in church every Sunday…

•   The rites/rituals of the church were very significant to me…

•   However, life @ home was difficult…

•   Dad consumed too much alcohol and wasn’t very loving…

•   So when I excitedly told him that I had chosen Abraham…

•   To be my confirmation name…

•   He laughed… I felt both @ me and @ my choice…

•   One day somewhat earlier in my life…

•   When I ran and grabbed his leg…

•   To let him know I was glad to see him home from work…

•   He pushed me away…

•   Then when I was in the 5th or 6th grade…

•   My youngest sister was killed in a car accident…

•   And I was the first one on the scene…

•   And basically saw her die…

•   This was shortly after my parents divorced…

•   After sixteen years of marriage…

•   In 1972 my mother remarried and we moved to another town…

•   And the seeds of rebellion that were firmly rooted…

•   Began to blossom and grow…

•   So that I had no further interest in church…

•   My mother couldn’t go anymore because of the divorce…

•   I began to run with a crowd that drank…

•   And I started to follow my father’s pattern…

•   And began drinking heavily…

•   My freshman year I moved into the fraternity house…

•   Where there unlimited opportunities to drink…

•   Which I took full advantage of…

•   So that by the end of my first year of college…

•   I couldn’t drink a beer without getting indigestion…

•   My grades reflected my lifestyle…

•   So that mom said she wouldn’t pay…

•   So I quit school and went to work…

•   Not long afterward I met Darleen and we began to date…

•   I remember attending a wedding of one of her friends…

•   And not being able to drive home I sat in the car…

•   And began to weep—big, deep sobs and tears…

•   I’m not real sure what the cause was…

•   But I’m thinking it was the pain of rejection I felt…

•   @ the brokenness of my family life…

•   Well, Darleen and I married in 1979…

•   I continued drinking—and disappointing her…

•   Bobby came along in 1982…

•   And God began to change my life…

•   He showed me the miracle that is life…

•   Of conception, gestation, and birth…

•   And the wonder of it all returned me to my faith roots…

•   When he was about 1-½ years old…

•   I changed jobs and went into the insurance business…

•   I remember often praying that God would prosper me…

•   Reasoning that since He had given me this child…

•   He would need to give me the means to support him…

•   As a part of that job change I began re-reading a book…

•   That referred to scripture a great deal…

•   In making the point about having success in sales…

•   I eventually said to myself… Why go through this middle man…

•   When I can go straight to the source… the Bible…

•   And I began to read this paperback NT by Barclay…

•   And in the course of three or four months…

•   I read through it completely @ least once…

•   And many portions I read and re-read…

•   Somewhere in all of this my stepfather Bill had given me…

•   A signed copy of Robert Schuller’s book…

•   Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!

•   And on that day in 1985, @ about 2:30 in the afternoon…

•   I read these words on the final page of the book…

•   “You don’t know me, Dr. Schuller,” she said, continuing, “but I’m John Wayne’s daughter. I know that you and Dad were good friends. I know that you prayed for him before his surgery in Newport Beach. But I don’t know if anybody told you about what happened in his life before he died.”

•    “He never missed your telecast. One Sunday morning you did something you very seldom have done. You said, ‘There must come the time in our life when we really surrender our life entirely to the Lord. Today may be the day when you should slip out of the chair, get down on your knees, and yield your life completely to God. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to save your immortal soul.”

•   Now as she looked at me, John Wayne’s daughter said, “Dr. Schuller, my father was so sick in his bed—but he got out of his bed, got down on his knees, and prayed your closing prayer with you and turned his life completely over to the Lord!”

•   I said to myself in that moment…

•   “If it’s good enough for the Duke then it’s good enough for me.”

•   And I did as Schuller said…

•   I surrendered my life entirely to the Lord…

•   I asked Him to forgive me of my sins

•   I asked Him to save my immortal soul.

•   And you know what—He did! God did it all!

•   And the changes that were wrought in my heart that day…

•   Were evident and instantaneous…

•   And much of the pain of my childhood began to be eased…

•   And the need to medicate with alcohol subsided…

•   Twenty eight years

•   I was twenty eight years old @ the time…

•   I had been waiting patiently for the Lord, crying…

•   Since the days when I was in the second grade…

•   There were two significant things about the second grade…

•   The desire was born to someday have a motorcycle…

•   And everyday for two weeks during the lunch hour…

•   I went to the altar of our church…

•   And prayed that one day God would make me a priest…

•   Now, I am glad that God didn’t answer that prayer…

•   Exactly as I prayed it that day…

•   But I do have the sense that the hand of God…

•   Has been on my life since those days…

•   That He heard my cry, my prayer…

•   And He honored that in my life…

•   By saving me and setting me apart for the ministry…

•  To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ…

•   Jesus took the mess that was my life…

•   Brokenness, dysfunction, abuse, neglect, irresponsibility…

• And He…

•   …inclined to me

•   He stretched out his hand and reached out to me…

•   He stooped from his position in heaven…

•   To listen so that He…

•   …heard my cry

•   The only thing I could do in the midst of my circumstances…

•   Powerless against sin and the demons which tormented me…

•   But as God heard the cry of his people Israel…

•   In bondage in Egypt…

•   So also He heard my cry in bondage to sin and He…

•   …brought me up out of a horrible pit

•   A pit from which I could not escape…

•   Filled with clay that mired my feet…

•   So that I could not remove them…

•   Hopelessly stuck…

•   …set my feet upon a rock

•   The firm footing of faith in Jesus Christ…

•   The solid rock of The Good News which is the gospel…

•   That Christ came into the world to save sinners…

•   Of which I am chief…

•   No more sinking, shifting sand…

•   No more mire—no more hopelessness or helplessness…

•   But the power of the resurrection lives in me…

•   By the presence of the Holy Spirit…

•   And now He has…

•   …established my steps

Proverbs 3:5-6

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

•   He brought me almost immediately to the path I now follow…

•   That of serving the Lord in the representative ministry…

•   But even before He showed us the places we were to go…

•   The churches we were to attend…

•   The people we were to witness to…

•   The service to his kingdom we were to be involved in…

•   But for me, more than anything, He…

•   …has put a new song in my mouth

•   And that song is a song of…

• Praise to our God

•  Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.

•   When the witness of a changed life begins to sing a new song…

•   Praising the Lord—the One who lifted me out of the pit…

•   Who took me out the of the miry clay…

•   Who set my feet upon a rock…

•   And by it established my steps…

•   Who can’t say enough about what the Lord…

•   Our faithful and loving God…

•   Has done in our lives…

•   Doing what we were unable to do…

•   Who can’t say enough about what the Lord…

•   Our faithful and loving God…

•   Has done in our lives…

•   Doing what we were unable to do…

•   Then many will see it—they will see and hear that testimony…

•   And the Bible says they will fear…

•   They will come into the place of reverence…

•   Seeing the creating and redeeming hand of God…

•   And they will trust in the Lord…

Proverbs 16:20

…And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

Proverbs 28:25

But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.

Proverbs 29:25

…whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

•   To trust in the Lord is to be saved…

•   It is to know that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross…

•   Is sufficient payment to satisfy God for our sins…

•   To trust in the Lord is to know that He is faithful…

•   That He will never leave us or forsake us…

•   That the One who begins a good work in us…

•   Will be faithful to complete it in the day of Jesus Christ…

• Conclusion................................ motivating thrust

•   So, how is your song this morning…?

•   How is your inner and outer witness of God’s salvation…?

•   Have many seen and heard the new song…

•   And as a result of your life and witness…

•   Come to fear God and trust in the Lord…?

•   Do you long to come to the house of the Lord…

•   To worship the Lord and sing his praises…?

•   To hear the Word of God preached…?

•   To revel in the glories of the Lord—his matchless grace…?

•   If this is you

•   Then Sing! Sing the new song of God’s love!

•   Sing it out loud and let the world know what He has done…

•   You must be about the business of declaring God’s grace…

•   Or are you a ‘Christian’ who has…

•   No testimony or new song of God’s salvation…

•   Maybe you had the song @ one time…

•   But now you have forgotten the words or the melody…

•   Maybe you sang the song @ one time…

•   But someone laughed @ you and you were embarrassed…

•   So you sing it only in private now…

•   If this is you

•   Then I would urge you to return to the place in your life…

•   Where you remember God inclining his ear to you…

•   To hear your cry…

•   Go to the place where you waited patiently for the Lord…

•   And remember—remember—remember…

•   Remember all that God has done for you…

•   …lifting you out of the pit…

•   …setting your feet upon the rock…

•   …establishing your steps…

•   And as you recall and remember all the Lord has done…

•   Then Sing! Sing the new song of God’s love!

•   Sing out loud and let the world know what He has done…

•   Be about the business of declaring God’s grace…

•   Or maybe you aren’t a Christian today…

•   You’ve never had an experience of…

•   …that new song… being lifted out of the pit…

•   …your feet set upon the rock… your steps established…

•   If this is you…

•   Then you are still crying… still in your pain and grief…

•   The pain/grief of being lost and not found…

•   You are likely trying to medicate the pain away…

•   Trying to find a resolution and solution…

•   Perhaps you are trying to be good enough…

•   To earn the favor of your Father in heaven…

•   Thinking He will either laugh @ you or push you away…

•   I stand before you this morning as one in whom…

•   God has put a new song—praise to our God…

•   And I affirm in the strongest way possible…

•   That He wants to put a new song in your mouth as well

•   Because He loves you and wants to be with you…

•   He wants to ease your burden and pain…

•   And remove from you the chains that bind you…

•   And for you the message is the same as it was for me…

•   As it was for John Wayne…

•   surrender your life entirely to the Lord—yield your life completely to God. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to save your immortal soul.

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