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Psalms Week 2: Psalm 92

Mary Ellen Ermis May 21, 2023 sermons, cityrise, houston, Psalms, Roger Patterson, West U Baptist,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Sunday, May 21, 2023 at our West U Baptist campus. To view the sermon in full, check out the link below.

Over the next few weeks, many of our high school students, university students, masters candidates, and doctoral candidates, will walk across a stage and be handed a diploma.

During those various ceremonies all over the country, someone will get up and give a commencement address. This is usually a special guest speaker.

At my wife’s college graduation from Ole Miss, the famous author, John Grisham, got up and delivered a message.

Most commencement speakers will share a speech that will be an encouragement to the graduation class. The speaker will share some of their philosophy of life that flows from their worldview.

And most likely as a graduate, you will never have this intimate-a-moment with these people again.

In other words, it might be the last time you have ever had them speak into your life.

As our students go off to college, statistics tell me, that a handful of them will never return to church…not just to our church, but to any church. Knowing this to be a great possibility, WHAT IS IT, if this is the last time you ever hear me speak into your life, THAT I AM TO DEPOSIT INTO YOU?

Let me give you four things that come from Psalm 92.

Four Principles for Life

I. Worship Leads to Joy

Psalm 92:1-4

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”

Here we have the mature Psalmist…most likely King David, who has been through challenge upon challenge in his life. As a poet, instrumentalist, and songwriter, David comes to this conclusion:

                                    Worship leads to Joy.

So many people chase after joy. They look for it:

  • in money…
  • in fame…
  • in a spouse…
  • in recognition by other people…
  • But the true joy that is deeply satisfying…the joy that brings tears to your eyes, comes when you worship God for who He is.

Notice the way the Psalmist invites us to worship:

  1. Worship by giving THANKS — verse 1 says, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord.”

Did you stop to simply give thanks for God this week?

  1. Worship by Sharing a TESTIMONY — verse 2 says, “to declare your steadfast love in the morning and your faithfulness by night.” As you can see, these are set to music. But sharing a testimony with a friend can bring great joy as well.

This week, I had the honor to sit with a longtime church member. This man played football in high school and in college. It was during both high school and college that he encountered the same health scare. And this health scare required three surgeries.

As a college athlete playing big time Division 1 football, this surgery set him back significantly…It was so significant that he had to Redshirt his sophomore year.

The plan to move him into the middle linebacker role got disrupted. As he returned, the coaches determined to move him from middle linebacker to the outside. The passing game was developing significantly, and he had some wheels. But it was a set back that felt like square one.

Have you ever felt like you were back at square one?

But, during his senior season, he got a lot of playing time, and in one game in particular, he had three interceptions.

He told me…

“Throughout my journey, I saw the Lord’s hand over my life. But especially now, as I look back. God had a plan and He knew what was best for me. What felt like square one was actually what created even greater opportunity for me.”

There were tears at that table…as he continued to talk about the square one moments that led to great blessing in His life.

Friends, it is good to speak of God’s faithfulness. There is joy at that table. There are riches in those conversations.

  1. Worship by singing a TUNE — Notice verse 3 and it’s reference of instruments: “to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.”

God gave us music to praise Him — to lift our voices and sing songs that ascribe worth to Him.

So, let’s have a little Joy experiment.

  • First, I want you to think of two things that you are thankful for today. What two things:
  • maybe it’s two family members
  • Maybe it’s something at school and something at work.
  • Maybe it’s the fact that you are graduating or just graduated…that you made it!

What are you thankful for?

Now, right there…right where you are…bow your head and close your eyes…and voice a simple prayer

God…thank you for…_______. And thank you for ________.

And you may have more…God, thank you for _________.

Now, with your head bowed…your eyes closed…and with your voice, would you join me in song?

God, you’re so good…God, you’re so good….God, you’re so good…You’re so good, to me.

I pray you experience His joy for your life that is only found in opening your mouth to speak or sing about what He has done!

Remember, Worship Leads to Joy.

The second principle I want to share with you…if this is the last time I ever get to speak into your life is…

Four Principles for Life

  1. Worship Leads to Joy
  2. Watch out for Fools

II. Watch Out for Fools

Notice how King David speaks about his encounters with fools.

Psalm 92:5-9

How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep! The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O Lord, are on high forever. For behold, your enemies, O Lord, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered.

Notice how David tells us that fools have no understanding. The call what is right, wrong, and what is wrong, right.

Now, why do I say, “Watch out for Fools?”

Well, notice what happens to fools?

Psalm 92:7

“that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever;”

Notice…it says here that the end of the fool is ruin and destruction. It appears that they are the ones who are thriving…that they are the ones flourishing, but their end is ruin and destruction.

How many of you want destruction and ruin?

The way of the world is one that PRESSURES YOU INTO CONFORMITY.

Proverbs 1 warns against this Peer and Cultural pressure.

Proverbs 1:10-18

10  My son, if sinners entice you,

do not consent.

 11  If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;

let us ambush the innocent without reason;

 12  like Sheol let us swallow them alive,

and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

 13  we shall find all precious goods,

we shall fill our houses with plunder;

 14  throw in your lot among us;

we will all have one purse”—

 15  my son, do not walk in the way with them;

hold back your foot from their paths,

 16  for their feet run to evil,

and they make haste to shed blood.

 17  For in vain is a net spread

in the sight of any bird,

 18  but these men lie in wait for their own blood;

they set an ambush for their own lives.

Peer pressure to do wrong results in RUIN.

Cultural pressure to go against what God has said is right, will result in RUIN — in a person’s life and in a nation. I don’t want that for you. Your church doesn’t want that for you.

But this is the world you live in…and it’s nothing new under the sun…each generation has their battles and struggles…and here is what I know, God must trust this next generation of believers that are emerging and will lead the church. Given the culture wars that are underway on the university campuses, God must really trust this coming generation.

Look with me at Genesis 1 for a moment. I want to highlight a culture wars that we are all facing.

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So, look at this for just a moment. Here we have on the first pages of the Scripture, God makes man and woman in His image.

During my lifetime, I have seen a fight for women’s rights on many fronts. In athletics, Title 9 was passed, providing funding and opportunity for women in sports on the collegiate level.

The irony is that the very political party that fought for women politically, is now trampling them in their pursuit of normalizing transgenderism.

Allowing men to compete in women’s sports, and then the NCAA allowing a biological male to be nominated for the female athlete of the year is a slap in the face to women who have fought for an opportunity to compete at the highest levels in their sport.

And the Peer Pressure and the Cultural Pressure is that you and I just have to accept it.

Men and women who are being interviewed for roles as federal judges won’t even answer the question, “What is a woman?”

The fundamental tactic of Satan is this simple tactic we see in Genesis 3.

Genesis 3:1

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 

Do you see it? The tactic of Satan is this…

“Did God really say…?”

Did God really say a man is a man and a woman is a woman?

  • No, just grab a can of Bud Light. We will show you a man who looks like a woman and we will celebrate that perversion.

Now, why am I focused on this?

  • I’m not being transphobic or racist or trying to attack people.

Here is what I am trying to point out.

If the enemy of God can discredit God’s first works recorded in the Scripture, he can discredit the entire message of the Scripture. It’s that simple.

For those of you who are here and or are watching this online and this is a struggle for you, we are here to help you. We love you. We want you to know that God loves you. We want you to find His love.

Our heart as a church is to lead you away from ruin, to a place of freedom, that you might experience joy.

But the pressure to conform is vast…it’s real…and it’s the battle for the hearts and minds of students on university campuses.


Four Principles for Life

  1. Worship Leads to Joy
  2. Watch out for Fools
  3. Walk Closely with Jesus

This is the third principle I want to leave in you.

III. Walk Closely with Jesus

Walk with Jesus. No one can walk with Jesus for you.

In other words, you have to make your faith your own.

Your parents have laid a foundation, and you get to build on that. Build on your faith:

Make it a priority.

Make it a place where you find community.

And Grow Exponentially!

And Watch God work for you and for your good.

Psalm 92:10-11

10    But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;

you have poured over me fresh oil.

11    My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;

my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

Look at what the writer says here.

10 – You have exalted my horn. – The word horn here represents strength.

And notice the animal…it’s a wild ox.

An ox is a massive animal. The wild ox was untamed. It had a strength to be feared.

When students go off to college these days, there are not only the temptations to party and engage in promiscuity, but there is also an assault on one’s moral and spiritual life.

So, we hear stories of student’s faith under assault. And students, if you don’t walk closely with Jesus, you may crumble.

But when you make your faith your own, you will learn something amazing.

Do you know what it is?

         Jesus is so strong, he has strength to give away!

Turn to him for strength.

Turn to him for refreshement.

Let him refresh you and renew you.

10b says, “you have poured over me fresh oil.”

This is a picture of renewal. Let him renew you.

And then, as you walk closely with him, let him handle those who oppose you.

That’s what the Psalmist is confident of in verse 11.

Psalm 92:11

My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;

my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

Let God handle your enemies. Don’t let them get in your head. And if they do, caste those cares upon our Lord, as He cares for you.


Four Principles for Life

  1. Worship Leads to Joy
  2. Watch out for Fools
  3. Walk Closely with Jesus
  4. Win with Wisdom

That’s number 4.

IV. Win with Wisdom

We have just spent a month examining the wisdom found in Proverbs. As you saw in our study last month, the Scripture says that God’s wisdom is more valuable than rices – gold, silver or fine stones.

Notice what the life of wisdom looks like over time.

Psalm 92:12-15

The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

What are the characteristics of those who are winning as they live their lives before God?

  1. They are flourishing – like a Palm Tree that SWAYS in the wind, enduring the storms, and bearing fruit.

They are flourishing like a cedar in Lebanon – these great trees were used for building buildings.

The righteous are characterized by a strength and fruitfulness to their lives.

  1. They are in Church – Notice where they are located.

Psalm 92:13

They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.

These who are winning at life, plant themselves in God’s house and its here that they flourish.

  • It’s here that they are likely to find a mate who believes like they do.
  • It’s here that they are likely to have someone to mentor them and pour into their life.
  • It’s at the church their lives will be filled up again and again.
  • It’s here they will learn the Scriptures, find community, be discipled, be given a place to serve others, and learn to live out the gospel.
  • It’s here in God’s house where you are relevant into your old age.

That’s what verse 14 says.

Psalm 92:14

They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,

And notice something with me. These wise, righteous, relevant senior adults – look at this – THEY HAVE A MESSAGE!!!!

Psalm 92:15

to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

What’s their message?

Look how Good God is to Me!

God is so good! Good is so good!  God is so good, He’s so good to me!