Psalms – Week 35 Sermon Notes

By September 25, 2016October 6th, 2016Sermon Notes


Mayo Clinic: Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. You may be generally unhappy and disappointed when you’re not given the special favors or admiration you believe you deserve. Others may not enjoy being around you, and you may find your relationships unfulfilling.

Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around talk therapy.

*Talk therapy(counseling)…means just that…talking with a person with training and understanding…who can hopefully help a narcissist see life closer to what it really is.

*David used talk therapy on himself

*Not that David had narcissistic personality disorder…but we all live somewhere on the spectrum of having an inflated sense of our own importance along with a fragile self-esteem.

*Last week we saw how he asked God to speak to his soul…to tell him “I am your salvation.”

*This week we see how he is speaking to his own soul…telling himself to worship, to reorient to God.

Psa. 103:1   Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits —  

*David is speaking to himself…”Soul,…praise the Lord, praise his holy name”

*Praise=speak of the excellence of someone.

*Praise your employee, child, a waiter…speak of actions or traits that are excellent.

*Praise of the Lord is to speak of the excellence of his actions, and character.

*He is telling himself…to praise the Lord.

*”Self…speak to me again of the excellence of the Lord…tell me again who he is and what he has done.”

*He is doing this to remind himself to not forget…

*How do you remember to not forget something?

*Isn’t that a contradiction…to remember to not forget?

*No, but it implies specific action…forgetting happens when we fail to take action to remember.

*What kinds of actions can you take?…You can stick a note on the mirror, or door, or your calendar on your phone

*You can rehearse it in your mind…talk to yourself…”304-2306, 304-2306…bread, milk, coffee, bread, milk, coffee”

*David is talking to himself…telling himself to remember…to not forget.

*What is that David is reminding himself to not forget?

*”Don’t forget the Lord’s benefits”

*What is a benefit?…an advantage or profit gained from someone or something.

*What are the Lord’s benefits?

3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,  4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,  5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  

*These are the specifics of what God does in the lives of people.

*Forgives sins

*Heals bodies and minds

*Crowns you with love and compassion

*Satisfied you with good things…so you rise up strong like an Eagle.

*These are not summary promises for everyone all the time…clearly we understand that life has trouble, trials, pain…everyone dies…people have different paths marked out for them.

*But the fact is…and secular research bears this out…those who take their faith seriously (practice it…community worship, prayer, lifestyle application)…live longer, better lives on the whole.

*But many of these things are temporary when looked at from the context of this life…but he includes the permanent benefits as well…the forgiveness of sins.

*So he remembers the benefits of the Lord…but he goes back in time to remember.

*He begins to remember things that happened long before he was even alive.

*He tells himself to remember Moses and the Exodus.

*He grounds his praise not just in the experiences of his own life (which can go up and down but in the fixed history of what God has done in the past.

6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.  7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:  

*He “remembers” concrete, historical realities…not just the killing of a giant (pretty memorable), or the making of a King from a boy (also, monumental)…but the rescue of a people from slavery through the blood of a lamb…before he was born.

*He is remembering the great foundational story of the OT…the raising up of Moses to rescue the people from slavery through God’s gracious and miraculous actions.

*This done with a sign…the blood of lamb spread over homes to protect the residents from God’s wrath.

*This is what David is remembering…what he is telling himself to not forget.

*Sure he has his own stories…but he is remembering the equivalent of the OT gospel…that is what the Exodus clearly represents.

*He stays in Exodus by focusing his attention on a key verse from Exodus 34:6

8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  

*Listen to it in the original context.

Exodus 34:6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,  7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

*David, Moses, Jonah, Jeremiah, Joel, Nehemiah, and Hezekiah…all used this verse in their lives…this pronouncement of God’s character and actions toward us.

*He is just…unforgiven sin does not go undealt with

*He is forgiving…he does forgive sin, and it is thus dealt with through his own grace

*Then he unpacks that verse…9-19

*His holiness demands justice but his love brings grace.

*He does not treat us as our sins deserve…because his love is a great as the heights of the heavens are above the earth….endless, limitless

*Keeping the spatial analogy going…our sins are put away as far as the east from the west…impossibly far, east and west cannot met.

*He concludes like he began…speaking to his soul…but now he has expanded his cry to include the heavenly hosts, all of creation…as well as his own soul.

 20 Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.  21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.  22 Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

*As his soul is being reoriented to God through his choice to praise and to remember…his perspective expands out…he sees the glory of the Lord, being about much more than himself.

*He speaks the objective truth of God to his inner soul…this turns his soul out to the world larger than himself.

*David’s self-talk is not just based on his own subjective feelings…he tells himself to remember what God has done in his life and in history.

*His attention is turned to greater, larger things…the glory of God in all of creation…starting in his own mind and mouth.

*Surely this is an antidote for both an inflated sense of ourselves as well as a fragile self-esteem…both deeply impact how we relate to others…as well as our personal well-being.

*The antidote for inflated, fragile self…remembering the excellence of God…turning our attention to him.

*Have you had the experience here you are in a situation where you are struggling with perspective, intimidated, trying to please people…maybe a class or school, office, or family setting…the world becomes very, very small…it shrinks to the size of that group of people and even smaller to the voices in your own head.

*Your feelings of insecurity, or self-importance, or failure, or success…are loud and disorientating.

*Then you remember to remember the reality and the excellence of God…in an instant…perspective shifts.

*It happens to me with some regularity…I wish it didn’t have to happen…but I am grateful that since it needs to happen it does.

*Happened last week…feeling certain things about myself and others…I remembered to remember the excellence of the Lord…the Lord became large, the world became his again…reorientation.

*Perhaps you struggle with guilt, remorse…crippling shame from the past.

*Past…in a sense is not real, doesn’t really exist as such…contrary to sci-fi its not continually happening….what is left is the echo, or the results, the impact, the memory…the guilt.

*Shame from the past, guilt is a powerful burden…but our past sins have been covered (for the Christian) but the work of Christ more past than any of our sins.

*Remember to remember the excellence of the Lord…who remembers you are dust…weak and prone to fail…but who chooses to remember your sins no more.

*In order to live a life of remembering we need to life a life of talking to ourselves.


  1. Talk to your soul.

*What do you talk to yourself most about?…How bad things are?  What is not good in your life?

*Its possible things are very bad in your life…all the more reason to remember to remember his excellence.

*Clearly its okay to share struggles with God and others…but it is so important for the health of our souls that we speak to them of the excellence of God…this often starts with speaking to ourselves of his excellence.

  1. What do I talk to my soul about?

*We must remember that we have been forgiven because of what Christ has done

*We look back past our own live to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus…to the gospel.

*Like David…who grounded his remembering not just in his own life but in God’s activity in history.

*So too we must look back to what God has done in history…on the cross.

*What is this so important?  It is a fixed point of reference.

*Remembering what God has done in our lives is important…but our lives cannot serve as their own point of reference…we need to navigate by something outside of our own experience…a fixed point…that fixed point is what God has done in Christ.

*Even our perspective on our history can go up and down based on our current mood or status…but the work of Christ is fixed…we navigate how we see ourselves, God, life by that fixed point

*Here’s why that’s vital.

*God do you love me…look at my life…I’m not seeing it?

Soul…look to Jesus on the cross.

*God do you see me, do you care…I am confused here.

Soul…look to Jesus on the cross.

*God how can you allow this, how can this go on…are you good or you able to do anything about this?

-Soul…look to Jesus on the cross and to Jesus alive from the grave.

*Our experience of God is very often focused on the moment…we easily lose sense of the larger work of God in history and in our lives.

*We should remember what he has done for us in the course our lives…but our fixed reference point…our north star is the gospel.

  1. Remembering to remember brings reorientation...Reorientation creates expansion in our hearts and minds…our souls
  • David went from telling himself to remember to praise God
  • To telling everything to join him in praising God.

*I can imagine David…focused, like all of us do, on his own life, his own problems…all of reality had shrunk done to right here, right now…to me and my problems and concerns.

*He remembers to remember…”Soul…don’t forget his benefits!…list them for me right now!”

*By the time he has done this…looking at God in his life and in the larger scope of history…he is seeing more than himself…much more.

Practice together:

Psa. 103:1   Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits —  3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,  

*Be still…ask the Lord to help you turn to him…tell yourself…to remember.

*”Terry…praise the Lord…Terry, right now remember.”

4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,  5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.  

*Reflect on what he has done in your life…taken you through bad, brought good.

*If all seems bad now…he will redeem your life from the pit…he will crown you with love and compassion…but in the meantime you must turn outward to him.

7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:  8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  

*David looked back to Moses…we look back to Jesus.

*The Lord is compassionate to you…he is slow to anger

*If you feel you have reason for him to be angry at you…if you feel shame and guilt…look away from your guilt to the cross.

9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;  10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;  12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 

*He has taken your sins far from you…he loves you as his child.

*You don’t have to feel worship…to practice worship…

*Say to him…You have removed my sins as far as the east from the west.

*You are my compassionate father, I am your child.

 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;  16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.  

*He knows you are weak…he knows you are easily disoriented…he is aware.

*Give up your fear of not being perfect…you are not, he knows it.

*Give up your fear of being exposed as not being perfect…those you are afraid will find out…already know….certainly he does…it doesn’t matter…the work to look perfect is not worth the effort.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children —  18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.  19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.  

*The covenant we are under is not kept through obedience but through the finished work of Jesus.

*He is not going to start disliking you because of your failure…obedience is love based not fear based now.

*Confess sin…because you want to love him…not because you are trying to earn his love.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.  21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.  22 Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

*Terry prayer: God deliver us from the fear that keeps us from experiencing the fullness of your love and expressing the fullness of your love to others.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*Terry prayer: 

“Deliver us O Lord from the chains we make with our fear.  From the love of our own comfort. From the fear of having nothing. From a life of worldly passions…deliver us O God.

From the need to be understood. From the need to be accepted. From the fear of being lonely. Deliver us.

From the fear of serving others.  From the fear of death or trail. From the fear of humility. Deliver us O God.

When we taste your goodness O God, we shall not want.

As we remember right now…we taste your goodness…we remember your excellence.


1Cor. 11:23   For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,  24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

*Confess sin, confess need…remember.

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