5th Annual “Summer in the Psalms” Begins

Each Monday, I will endeavor to post in a series called, “Mike’s Monday, (Mid-Morning), Musings,” (in other words, don’t expect to see this at 6:30 am). In this series, I will be reflecting on the Lord’s Day gathering at Redemption Hill. So, (while my mother might find this interesting), this will be a post that is very intentionally written for the people of Redemption Hill. 

I will provide reflections of things that I observed from the Sunday before and wish to celebrate or use the opportunity to provide correction if needed, or perhaps elaboration to a specific point or reference in the sermon. All in all, it will be to celebrate the ongoing work of the Lord on Redemption Hill each week. It will be my desire for these posts to be short and sweet and to the point. 

Monday 6/19/2023 The First Post

(The Monday after Father’s Day) 

Here at Redemption Hill we have just begun our 5th Annual, “Summer in the Psalms,” series where we spend the whole summer steeped in the Psalms. This year, unlike previous years, we are spending the whole summer in just one psalm, Psalm 119. Yesterday, our church family was blessed to have our very own Elder Candidate, Jon Herrera, preach for us. Jon did a great job preaching through the first two stanzas of this substantial psalm, by pointing to Christ as the one who has lived up to the standard of deserved blessing spoken of in the first three verses. 

Psalm 119:1–3


[1] Blessed are those whose way is blameless,

who walk in the law of the LORD!

[2] Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,

who seek him with their whole heart,

[3] who also do no wrong,

but walk in his ways! (ESV)

I really appreciated the overall driving point of Jon’s sermon which was to understand that, if we are honest with ourselves, we can not walk away from the absolute language that the psalmist uses about those, “whose way is blameless”, those “who keep his testimonies,” and “seek him with their whole heart,” and also “do no wrong, but walk in his ways,” and with pride and arrogance say, “oh yeah, that’s me, to a T.” 

No, in light of the absolute language, combined with our understanding, from the rest of scripture, of the ultimate standard of God’s own holiness, we must say, with integrity, that no matter how pious we have been, no matter how much we have endeavored to keep God’s word or law, we have not been blameless. We have not kept his testimonies completely, we have not sought God with our whole heart, or done no wrong, and walked only in his ways. We must say that even on our best days, doing our best works, our obedience has been mixed with sin. We have both done what we ought not to have done, and have not done what we ought to have done in thought, word and deed, and therefore we have not done enough to earn God’s blessedness. 

So what then? 

Is blessedness not to be ours? 

Jon was faithful to point us to Christ!

“Don’t forget your adoption,” he said. 

Meaning, what? Don’t forget what got you IN, in the first place, it was not your performance, it was not your charisma, or talents, or abilities. (If we are honest, they weren’t that good anyways were they?) It was not your ability to keep God’s law. No, it was the love of a heavenly father who appointed you for his love before you were even born. An adoption plan to give you entrance to the family of God, and your IN, and my IN, the only way for ANYONE to get IN, is by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ alone! In whom we have received our salvation, through the redemption in his blood, and the down payment of the promised Holy Spirit, who bears witness to our adoption as sons, giving us the ability to cry out to God, “Abba Father!” 

So, remembering our adoption means acknowledging that:

We have not been blameless, in thought, word, and deed…

but Jesus has. 

We have not walked faithfully in the law of the Lord…

but Jesus has. 

We have not kept God’s testimonies, or sought God with your whole heart…

but Jesus has. 

We have not lived by doing no wrong…

but Jesus did. 

We have not walked in God’s ways, turning neither to right or to the left…

but Jesus did. 

Jesus is the one who is blessed according to Psalm 119, he is the blessed man of Psalm 1. 

So what about us, me and you? Is there any blessedness for us?

OUR blessedness is to be found in him, in Christ.

In spite of our shortcomings, in spite of our failures, and ironically no matter how impious we have been, no matter how much we have NOT endeavored to keep God’s word or law, no matter how much we actually do deserve all the blame, (and we do, we are fully culpable). No matter how much we have failed to keep God’s law… If we will acknowledge our sin, repent of it and turn to Christ in faith believing, that what he did in perfect life keeping God’s law, will and way, and what he did in substitutionary death, burial and resurrection, by grace, we receive, from the fullness of a loving heavenly father, and the faithfulness of our savior who loved us and gave himself for us, all the blessings earned by Christ. 

So, this week, remember your adoption and praise God that, as the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21, for our sake, God made Christ Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him, (in Christ), we might become the righteousness of God.

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