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My Heart is Fixed - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2023 12:00 am

My Heart is Fixed - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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January 15, 2023 12:00 am

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalm 57:7).

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! Thou the resolve, my God and King, thou triumphs of this grace! This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Come, thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy praise! Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise!

Teach me some melody of sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above! Praise the Mount, O fixed beyond it, Mount of God's unchanging law! The message we used the past two Sundays was on the text in the Psalms which says, Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Certainly it is good to begin this new year with expectation.

Opening your mouth wide by faith, claiming the promises of God and expecting Him to do great things to the glory of His name. Now today, we're going to continue with a theme that I trust will be helpful. The subject, My Heart is Fixed. So as we look ahead and know that there will be times of trials and difficulties and discouragements, if we can say with the psalmist, my heart is fixed, we'll remain on the right track. Today we're using the first half of the message and I hope you'll be sure to join us at this same time next week with the second part, which gives greater insight into the fact itself that our heart is to be fixed. I hope the message will be a blessing to you and if it is, we'd like to hear from you. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. This is a five Sunday month and so we particularly need to hear from you at this time.

We also encourage you to visit our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. We sang that well-loved hymn, Come Thou Fount. The words to the last verse, O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be. Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above. The hymn writer asks that his wandering heart would be bound to the Lord and acknowledges that he is prone to wander, prone to leave the very God that I love.

My subject, my heart is fixed. If our heart is prone to wander, then indeed it would be a great blessing to be able to say my heart is fixed, focused upon the Lord. Let's turn to Psalm 57. Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me, for my soul trusteth in thee. Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be over past. I will cry unto God most high, unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up, sealer. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. My soul is among lions, and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue like a sharp sword. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, let thy glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps. My soul is bowed down. They have digged a pit before me in the midst whereof they are fallen themselves, sealer. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed. I will sing and give praise. Awake up my glory, awake, psaltery and harp.

I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people. I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens and thy truth unto the clouds.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, let thy glory be above all the earth. There are those that are very unstable. The book of 2 Peter describes such in chapter 3 and the 16th verse. Peter refers to the things that have been written of Paul, things which he says are hard to be understood, but says, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable rest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

He's talking about individuals that are unlearned and unstable. They rest the scriptures. That is, they twist the scriptures as they do other scriptures, not only those that were written by Paul, but others as well, unto their own destruction. Now, one of the purposes of preaching is that the pastor teacher might establish God's people so that they are not unstable. We look at the book of Ephesians chapter 4 verse 11. And he gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ. Verse 14, that we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive. The pastor teacher then has a responsibility to teach God's people, instruct them, that the saints might be perfected, that is come to spiritual maturity, that they might be edified, that is built up, so that they are no longer as children being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, by the cunning craftiness that men use to ensnare and deceive others.

There are those that lie in wait to deceive. So we want to be faithful in preaching the word of God that God's people may be strong, established, not unstable, not wavering, not wandering, but that their heart might be fixed, that their mind may be settled, that they understand the truth and are committed to following and serving Jesus Christ. As we look at this 57th Psalm, we first note that David says, My heart is fixed even in the midst of calamities. He prays that God will be merciful to him and says, I will make him my refuge until these calamities be overpassed.

I recognize that they are temporary. There is coming a time that the situation will change, and all of us can say that. In whatever trial that we may encounter, it will either come to an end or the Lord will take us home to be with him and we'll be out of it one way or another. The calamities will eventually be overpassed.

But notice the things that he describes. You'll see in the title of the Psalm that it is to the chief musician when David fled from Saul in the cave. Think of what a calamity it was, what a constant turmoil it was, what a burden it was, how fear must have sometimes gripped him as Saul was constantly seeking his life. Now, any of us may feel that we have significant troubles to face and burdens to carry, but if there was somebody, in fact not just anybody, but the king and all of his men who were constantly hunting you down and it was their intent to kill you, don't you think that would be a little stressful?

It would be a difficult way to live, don't you think? And that's exactly what David was encountering. Wherever he turned, Saul and his men were in hot pursuit. And then also says that he was among lions. In this fourth verse, my soul is among lions and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men. These were vicious lions. These were lions that were set on fire.

They were breathing, determined to destroy him. And these were men, but described as vicious lions. We find that expression also in the book of Jeremiah chapter 50. In the 17th verse, Israel is a scattered sheep.

The lions have driven him away. First the king of Assyria hath devoured him, and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. So two of the heathen kings that had invaded the land and brought great devastation are described as lions.

David then was in great trouble because there were those about him who were vicious, who were determined to destroy him and to take his life. The next thing we note in the fourth verse, after saying that he is among lions, he furthermore says, speaking of these sons of men who are vicious, whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword. Now think about facing individuals who, by what they say, by the rumors that they circulate, by the efforts that they put forth to destroy, are described as having teeth that are like spears and arrows and their tongue as a sharp sword. We look at the book of Proverbs chapter 30 and see how the description is given here that indeed the tongue can be a very deadly weapon. Proverbs chapter 30 verse 14, There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jolt teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth and the needy from among men.

There is a generation. There are people then whose teeth are as swords, their jolt teeth as knives. Their purpose is to devour the poor. They are vicious. They wish harm to befall others.

They want to annihilate those that they are opposed to. And then in Psalm 52, Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs like a sharp razor working deceitfully. These are rather strong terms, are they not, when it talks about what can be done by the tongue, by the use of the tongue, by speaking harsh words, unkind words, inappropriate words, critical words, slanderous words.

The tongue deviseth mischief like a sharp razor. Thou lovest evil more than good and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah, thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. Love devouring words, the tongue deceitful, the tongue speaking words that are harmful, destructive. Oh, how God's people ought to be careful about how they use the tongue. What they say, what words are spoken, what words are spoken to one another between husbands and wives, within the family unit between parents and children, between brothers and sisters in Christ, between neighbor and friend.

Words can edify, they can build up, they can encourage, or they can divide, they can harm, they can destroy. And so the psalmist is speaking of these enemies so viciously attacking him. And in verse 6, he says, They have prepared a net for my steps, my soul is bowed down, they have digged a pit before me, in the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. They have digged a pit, they have prepared a net, they have devised a plan, they have tried to entrap me, they have tried to ensnare me in every conceivable way. We read in Psalm 31 verse 3, For thou art my rock and my fortress, therefore for thy name's sake lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me, for thou art my strength.

Pull me out of the net. Lord, they have been deceitful, they've done this behind my back, but nevertheless, they have prepared this net in which I could be caught, taken, destroyed, and I'm praying for thy deliverance. I need the help and mercy of God to sustain me as these enemies would seek to devour. In Proverbs 26 verse 27 it says, Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein, and he that rolleth a stone it will return upon him. So as he speaks of those that had dug a pit hoping that he would fall into it, we cannot help but look at this solemn warning that the one that digs a pit shall ultimately fall in it. Let us be careful then that we do not follow the pattern of wickedness as is here observed. So as we think about the calamities that David face, we think about the calamities that we face.

David talked about facing the lions. Well, in the book of 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8 it says that Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We have not had to face a ravenous beast. We maybe have not had to fight with the beast of Ephesus as Paul described it. But we do have a vicious enemy. We do have that roaring lion who is Satan and his intent is to destroy. He is seeking whom he may devour. We then may face many calamities as a result of satanic attacks. And just as David also faced those that had tongues that were sharp and vicious and destructive, we are reminded in the book of James chapter 3 of the destruction that can be wrought by the improper use of the tongue, by what people say.

James chapter 3 verse 5. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth. How many times something may be said, it soon recognized it was out of place, improper, maybe unfair, maybe totally a misrepresentation of facts and you'd like to pull it back. But once it's been said, damage is done.

Oh, what a great matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, so the tongue among our members that defileth the whole body and seteth on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire of hell. The language couldn't be much stronger than that. To say that when you give way to using your tongue improperly, you're saying things to harm others. You're saying things that will separate friends. You're saying things that will dishonor God.

You're saying things upon which there's no foundation to base it. It's slanderous that he says this is that which is set on fire of hell. Certainly then God's people ought to be very desirous of using only those words and saying those things that will be to the honor and praise of Jesus Christ that will encourage and help others. And then as we think about the calamities that we face, we think of the providences that come our way that we cannot understand. How often when it seems you have committed yourself to serve the Lord, that then there are so many difficulties that are to be encountered. It's then that opposition arises. It's then that sometimes you see weakness in your own flesh that you hadn't even seen before. And it's easy to struggle greatly trying to figure it all out.

Why has this happened? Why hasn't God shielded me from these circumstances? Surely such thoughts must have crossed the mind of the Apostle Paul. God had called this man, given him a great work to do. How much he suffered. 2 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 24.

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep. In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils with the heathen, in perils of the city, in perils of the wilderness, in perils of the sea, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness, beside those things that are without that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. My, say why would God not have shielded his servant from so many difficulties?

If he had such a great work for him to do, why would he not have given him a smooth path to travel? But obviously this was in the providence of God. God had a purpose for Paul to have to face so many difficulties in his life.

In fact he added to it by giving him a thorn in the flesh. And Paul prays three times that it might be removed. And the answer was my grace is sufficient for thee. So after considering all of this in 2 Corinthians 12 verse 10, he says, Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong. Now you may have thought from time to time that you have really done a lot of growing and reached a level of spiritual maturity beyond where you have been in years gone by. Let me ask you, have you reached the place that you can say truthfully, what Paul says here, that I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake.

I have to confess to you from my standpoint, I don't believe I'm quite there. That when the stresses come, when the burdens come, when the persecutions come, I still sometimes am ready to ask, Why Lord? But Paul says, I take pleasure in these things, because I know that by them I'm made to see I am weak, and it's when I am weak that then I am strong. So David says, My heart is fixed even in the midst of my calamities. Secondly, we find that the psalmist is saying, My heart is fixed because I am trusting God as my deliverer. This is the reason that in spite of all of his troubles, he can say, My heart's steadfast. My heart is fixed. I'm not going anywhere.

I'm not going to give up. My heart is fixed and fixed upon the Lord. He says, It is God Most High that I trust, the Most High God.

Now that lifts our spirits just to think about it, does it not? To know that the God that we worship is not like the false gods of men's imagination, it's not like the idle gods that men themselves have made. We worship and trust the Most High God. I like this expression found in the book of Genesis chapter 14 as Abraham meets Melchizedek. Melchizedek the king of Salem brought forth bread and wine, and he was the priest of the Most High God. And in verse 19 of Genesis 14 it says, And he blessed him and said, Blessed be Abraham of the Most High God, the possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand, and he gave him tithes of all.

Notice the language. Melchizedek speaks of the Most High God who is the possessor of heaven and earth. Now if your trust is in God, the Most High God, the one who is the possessor of heaven and earth, you've got reason to be steadfast. You've got reason to be able to hold your ground.

You've got reason to keep going when you don't feel like it. Because you say, my trust is in the Lord. Not trusting in myself, not depending upon my own abilities, I'm depending upon Him. He is sovereign. That's a wonderful truth.

Many have difficulty with it. But it's such a basic, fundamental teaching of scripture to recognize God is sovereign. We look at Psalm 47, verse 1, O clap your hands, all ye people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord Most High is terrible, that is, He is glorious, He is powerful, He is marvelous, He is a great King over all the earth. There's a clear declaration of His sovereignty. He is a great King and He's King over all the earth. So it is because David is trusting the Most High God that he can say, my heart is fixed.

What about you today? You have moments that you would say with a hymn writer, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. You have moments when you look at yourself and you see your own weakness, you see your own depravity, and you say, maybe I'm deceived. I might as well just give it all up anyway.

I can't seem to get it right. And there are so many things that happen that I cannot understand and cannot explain. I struggle with a lot of frustrations.

I don't know how I'm going to be able to get by. But you come back to this truth and understand that it is the Most High God that you are looking to and it will stabilize you. In Psalm 138 in the sixth verse it says, Though the Lord be high, yet He hath respect unto the lowly, but the proud He knoweth afar off.

Now that's encouraging, isn't it? When you think about the Most High God who is the possessor of heaven and earth, you may think, well, you're not going to be interested in hearing from me. Who am I? Why would the Lord hear me? But here is a wonderful promise that He hath respect unto the lowly. So you feel to be lowly? You feel to be weak, undeserving, unworthy? Well, I'm not going to tell you you're not. You're thinking it's right.

You are. But the good news is that He pays attention to the lowly. He hears their cry. I will call upon the Lord, who is learning to be brave. So shall I be saved, shall I be saved from my enemies. Certainly it should be our desire that we could say with the psalmist, my heart is fixed.

No matter what comes, no matter what trouble I may encounter, I'm not going to veer from the course upon which I've started. I want to honor His name. And the psalmist says, I will call upon the Lord. So we want to be calling upon Him to give us the grace and strength that we can say without question, my heart is fixed. I hope you will write to us, and until next week at the same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. The Lord liveth and blessed be my rock and let the God of my salvation be exalted. So will I give thanks to Thee.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-15 08:02:56 / 2023-01-15 08:12:42 / 10

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