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Praise from A to Z

Tom Pennington • Psalm 145

  • 2021-11-21 AM
  • Sermons


Well, as we anticipate celebrating Thanksgiving this week, and for some of us tonight in the Thanksgatherings and Thursday with our family and friends; I thought it be appropriate for us to step away from our ongoing study of John's first letter and to consider the issue of praise and thanksgiving. In fact, what I want us to do is to consider some biblical reasons to offer God praise and thanks. And by the way, the two go together – praise and thanksgiving. You don't truly praise God for anything unless you are at the same time both thankful for His character and His acts. And when you give thanks, the Scripture is quick to say that you are praising Him as well. So, the two are inseparably joined. I want us to see this morning in our brief time together several reasons for our praise and thanksgiving. And I want us to see it from one of my favorite Psalms and perhaps one of yours as well – Psalm 145 that we just read together.

In the early church, this Psalm was repeated before the noon meal. According to John Chrysostom, one of the Early Church Fathers, it was also recited with communion to remember not only that all physical blessings come from God, but all spiritual blessings as well. The Jewish Talmud says of this Psalm, "Whoever repeats it three times a day may be sure that he is a child of the world to come". Well I wouldn't say that the rote repeating of it is true, but if this Psalm is prayed in its original meaning to God, then I think that's true.

The heading of this Psalm, you'll notice, identifies its author. It's of David. This is the last of 75 Psalms written by David in this alter. The heading also tells us its purpose. Notice it is "of praise". Interestingly enough, this is the only Psalm of the 150 with this word "praise", or can also be translated "song of praise", in the heading. But another one of the Hebrew words for praise, "barak", occurs three times in this Psalm. And it really helps us divide the Psalm and understand the flow of its thought.

In verse 1 David says "I". Notice the first-person pronoun, "I will praise You". David's personal praise begins in verse 1 and runs down through verse 9. But then in verse 10 we see another group that will offer praise, "Your Godly ones will bless", or barak, "You". David expects and urges God's people corporately to praise God. And that begins in verse 10 and runs down through verse 20. And then the third time this word appears is in verse 21, "All flesh will bless", or barak, "His holy Name forever and ever". David longs for all of mankind, all flesh, to praise the Creator. So those three expressions, those three acts of praising then, sort of set this Psalm up. You have the praise of an individual, of personal praise, David. You have the praise of the godly, the people of God collectively. And then ultimately, you have all mankind.

Now it's interesting in defining what praise is in this Psalm; if you go through it and you look at all of the verbs that are a form of praise, you'll find these. David speaks of extoling, blessing, praising, declaring, meditating, speaking, telling, eagerly uttering, shouting, talking, and making known. All of those are forms of true and legitimate praise of God.

But this Psalm has a special theme. The theme of the praise in this Psalm is: Praise of Our King and the Character of His Sovereign Reign. Notice verse 1, "My God", literally in Hebrew "The King". You see, David when he wrote this was a king. The king of Israel. But he calls for praise of The King. It's interesting when you think about it in David's terms, in the terms of the Old Testament, this King is none other than the eternal Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. In Psalm 2, God the Father says, "I have established my King in Zion". His Son. You come to Psalm 110 and David acknowledges that he has a Lord over him., talking about the Messiah. Talking about the King, our Lord Jesus Christ. And of course, you come to the New Testament, and clearly our King is Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 6:15, "He is the blessed and only Sovereign". We're studying Revelation together on Sunday nights. In Revelation 19, Jesus returns from heaven with a banner across His chest which says "The King of All Kings and The Lord of All Lords". So, as we read this Psalm, I want you to understand that God has mediated His rule, His reign, through His eternal Son. Nobody else but our Lord Jesus Christ. So, He is really the focus of this great Psalm.

Now several other words reinforce this theme of God and of our Lord as The King. Words such as majesty, which occurred two times in this Psalm. Dominion, which occurs once. And kingdom, which occurs four times. So, he's talking about our King. And he makes two basic points about our King in this Psalm.

The fist is that God is great. He says that on wo occasions in verse 3 and verse 6. And then secondly, that God is good. He says it in verse 7 and again in verse 9. If you grew up as I did, reciting that childhood prayer before a meal, "God is good. God is great. Let us thank Him for our food", it comes form this Psalm. So, the point of this Psalm then is this. If I were to take it and encapsulate its message it would be: We are to praise and to thank our God and King for the greatness and the goodness of His sovereignty.

Now this is a unique Psalm. It is in Hebrew, an acrostic. That means every verse begins with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet. There are eight acrostic Psalms. David wrote five of them. This is the last one in this psalter. There is a letter missing. There are 21 verses here, but there's a letter missing. It's the letter "Nun" in Hebrew. It's equivalent to our letter "N". Sometimes in acrostics in Hebrew poetry that happens. It happens here. Nevertheless, we can still say that this Psalm offers praise to God from A to Z. That's the idea. Berlin writes, "The entire alphabet, the source of all words is marshaled in praise of God".

Now here's an outline of this Psalm as we begin it. It's framed on those uses of the word praise. First of all, in verses 1-9 you have personal praise. In verses 10-20 you have corporate praise. And then in verse 21 you have universal praise. So, let's look at it together.

Now, I have to admit to you that I'm a little frustrated this morning because we have a short time for study and there are 21 verses in this Psalm. My goal isn't to cover them all in detail. It's to do two things. One, it's to lead us through it; and I want to focus on just a few verses at the end especially, but also, I want to give you a larger framework for your praise and thanksgiving this week. It's wonderful in this Psalm, how it unfolds.

So, let's do this together. Let's look at it. First, consider then the priority of personal praise in verses 1-9. David begins with his commitment to personal praise in the first two verses. Look at it there in your copy of the Scripture, if you have it with you. Verse 1 says, "I will exalt you, my God", that is, you are my God. I am committed to you and you are committed to me; literally, "My God, the King". "And, I will bless your name forever and ever". David says, I am going to exalt your name of your defining character forever. Not only in this life, but in eternity. And then David adds not only the length of his praise, but the frequency of his praise. Verse 2, "Every day I will bless you". Whether the day brings joy or whether it brings sorrow, I am going to praise You and I'm going to praise your name forever and ever. My daily praise will go on into eternity. This is the commitment and attitude of a lifetime. Let me just ask you this morning, if you profess to know Jesus Christ. Is this characteristic of you? Is this the approach you have to life? That every single day of your life you will praise the God from whom everything in your life comes. It was David's commitment. And we are to join him as well. We are to join him in that commitment.

Now, having made that commitment, David describes the reasons for personal praise in verses 3-9. He begins with the greatness of God in verses 3-6. He is great in His person. Verse 3 says, "Great is the Lord", in who He is and His person, "and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable". God is great. When we use that expression about people, when we say "he's a great man" or "she's a great woman", what do we mean? We mean either they have a character that's admirable or they have deeds, accomplishments that are beyond the average. That are magnificent. Well that's what we're talking about when we say "God is great". His moral character is great, and what He has done is great. But when you compare what we say about human beings and their greatness to the greatness of God, it's like comparing a candle and the noonday sun. God is great. David was astonished at the extent and magnitude of God's achievements and the greatness of His character. God's greatness in fact, His character and achievements, are so magnificent, are so immense, that they can never be fully discovered. They are, notice what he says, "unsearchable". God is so great that if you tried to reach the ultimate extent of His greatness, you'll never reach the bottom. You'll never get there.

It's interesting you know, Psalm 139 says God knows everything about you and everything about me. But not one of us does or can know everything about God. Davidson writes this, "All authentic worship must contain this sense of the transcendence of God". Listen, if you think of God as like you, you're never really going to worship Him. It's only as you understand that He is great beyond your possible imagination. That you pale in comparison to God your Creator. That's the only time that you're going to get out of yourself and your puny little thoughts and see the greatness of God and worship Him. He is great in His person.

Verses 4-6 say He is great in His acts. You'll see that there are a series of expressions here. Look at verse 4, "Your works", "your mighty acts". Verse 5 says, "Your wonderful works". "Your awesome acts", verse 6. All of those expressions together are used in other context of God's saving acts. When God intervenes in human history to rescue, to save, to redeem. Whether you're talking about the rescue of His people from Egypt, or whether you're talking about spiritual salvation. People will continue to rehearse, David says, the reality of and the power of God's awe-inspiring actions. Acts that produce fear, and reverence, and submission to God. You say, where are those acts? They're in that book that you hold in your hand. David read about, before his lifetime, the great acts of God. And he says God's people rehearse those, and I will meditate on them and consider them. He was motivated to praise and give thanks because of God's greatness.

He was also motivated to praise and thanksgiving by the goodness of God. This is verses 7-9. David introduces this theme at the beginning of verse 7. Notice what he says, "They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness". The Hebrew word translated "abundant" there is, guess what, the word "great". "They will eagerly utter", literally they will bubble over like a spring or a fountain with their memory of God's great goodness. David then goes on to rehearse that great summary of God's goodness that God revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai. Look at verse 8. This is from Exodus 34, "The Lord is gracious". God is full of grace in His person. That is, there is a quality in God that delights to do good to those who deserve exactly the opposite. Think about that. God delights to do good to us even though we deserve exactly the opposite. He's full of grace.

He's merciful. He's full of mercy. He's slow to anger. By the way, that's an important point to underscore. It's not that God never gets angry. We'll talk about that in a little bit, He does. But that good news is He is slow to anger. That is, He is patient when He is provoked. It takes God a long time to get hot. He is great in His steadfast love. That means He is fiercely loyal in His love to those with whom He's entered into a relationship. He's great in steadfast love.

Then in verse 9, David uses the word "good" to summarize everything that God has revealed about Himself in Exodus 34. And he argues that that goodness extends to all of God's creation. He is good to all of His works, to everyone and everything.

Now that's David's rehearsal of personal praise. This is what he says, "I will say. I will meditate on. I will repeat.".

That brings us to verses 10-20 and corporate praise. We're not only to praise God individually, but we are to gather with others who love the God we love, and together we are to praise Him. That's what we're doing here this morning. That's why we gather as God's people. One of the main reasons behind corporate worship. We're going to do that, Lord willing, many of us tonight at homes around the metroplex as we gather. We're going to do that with believing families and friends on Thursday or sometime at the end of this week. Corporately, we praise God. Verse 10 begins with a commitment to corporate praise. Notice, "all Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord". In other words, every created thing, if it doesn't have life, it will declare who You are by its very existence. Or if it's intelligent, then it will give thanks to You O Lord. But then notice the change at the end of verse 10, "And Your godly ones shall bless You". The Hebrew word translated "godly ones" here is an interesting word. It's built on the Hebrew word "hesed" which means steadfast love, loyal love. Here's the idea. God shows us loyal love, we just saw that a moment ago; He's great in steadfast love, and we who know Him are loyal and loving in return. That's the idea behind this word "godly ones". It doesn't have to do with our moral purity; although, certainly that's true if you know God. We've been studying that in 1 John. This has to do with our loving loyalty to God. We are the lovingly faithful. "They", he says, "will bless you". God is calling here through David for corporate praise, especially from those who are truly His.

Now having called us to corporate worship, notice David in verses 11-20, gives us reasons for corporate praise. They're the same two reasons in his personal praise, but in this section, David focuses on the rule, or the sovereignty, of God. The word "kingdom" occurs four times in this section. So, let's look at this praise of God for His sovereignty. He begins, first of all, by focusing on the greatness of God's sovereignty in verses 11-13. Now I wish you could see this in Hebrew, because I told you this is an acrostic of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. What's interesting is, in the Hebrew acrostic, these three verses that focus on God as King use the three Hebrew letters in reverse order that make up the Hebrew word for king. Now there are those who say, "Well, that just happened. They just happened to fall that way in the acrostic.". I think David was smarter than that and ultimately, the Holy Spirit is smarter than that. This is an intentional arrangement. It's amazing. Even the structure drives home the greatness of our Lord's sovereignty here in verses 11-13.

And in these verses, he talks about different attributes of the greatness of God's sovereignty. I wish I had time, and I don't. In fact, last night I had a longer version of this sermon and I was cut, cut, cut last night. This part ended up on the digital floor of my computer. But let me just give you the list here. Here are some of the qualities of the greatness of God's sovereignty. First of all, there's the glory of His sovereignty. There's the power of His sovereignty. There are the actions He takes in His sovereignty. There's the majesty of His sovereignty. And I love this one, verse 13, the eternity of His sovereignty. Notice verse 13, "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom". God's reign is forever. Our Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign forever. But I also love the second half of verse 13 where he deals with the stability of His sovereignty. Look at the second half, "And Your dominion endures throughout all generations". Now at first glance you might be tempted to think that's just saying the same thing as the first half of the verse. It's not. The first half of verse 13 says God reigns forever. The second half of verse 13 says His reign forever is uninterrupted. In other words, Jesus Christ our Lord will never lose His sovereign power. Not for an election cycle, not for a generation, not for a moment. He will always be King. I love that – the greatness of His sovereignty.

But as He did with personal praise in the first nine verses, here in this second section dealing with corporate worship, David also turns to the praise of God's goodness. And especially, the goodness of our Lord's sovereignty. Verses 14-20. Back in verses 7-9, he talks about God's goodness in these large sweeping terms, who He is. But in these verses, it's like the goodness of God puts on work boots. Or maybe a better analogy would be, takes up His scepter and rules. This is what it looks like. Here's what God's goodness acted out looks like. He speaks in verses 14-20 about God's enduring commitment as our sovereign King to take care of each one of us who are His people. Our good King is genuinely committed individually to His people. He doesn't just look out among the masses and say "Yes, they're my people". If you're a follower of Jesus Christ, He sees you as His people, but He sees you as an individual as one of His people. And here's how His goodness, His good sovereignty, expresses itself.

Let me just give them to you. Number one: He helps those who need Him. Verse 14, "The Lord sustains all who fall". Literally, the Hebrew says, "those who are falling, those who have stumbled and are in the process of falling to the ground". It's a very picturesque way to describe those who encounter trouble and hardship in this life. When we are falling into those calamities, our Lord puts out His hand to sustain us. To keep us from a devastating self-destructive fall. It's like Psalm 37:24, "When the righteous falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand". I love that picture. It's like a parent walking alongside a child who's barely able to walk, and the child loses his footing or stumbles over something and begins to fall, and the parent has that hand of the child locked in his own and is not going allow it to fall to its utter destruction and harm. That's God. Psalm 94:18, "If I should say, 'My foot has slipped,' your steadfast love, O Lord, will hold me up". This is our God.

I don't know what trouble you may find yourself in today. I don't know what difficulty you're encountering. But if you are His; if you have truly embraced Jesus Christ as your King and Lord, then He's made a commitment to you. He helps those who need Him.

It goes on in verse 14 to say, "He raises up all who are bowed down". This expression is often used in the Psalm of those who are bowed down by grief and despair. Psalm 38:6, "I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long". Maybe that describes you today. Maybe you really have fallen. Well, the Lord raises up all who are bowed down. Like a loving parent, God picks up a child who has fallen. Dusts him off, gives him the help he needs. God is always present to help, as the members of His family encounter difficulties and troubles in this life. God hasn't promised to protect us from the difficulties of this life. But He's promised to be with us. And He's promised many times to hold our hand and keep us from falling. And other times, if we have fallen, to pick us up, and dust us off, and meet whatever needs we have. This is our God. This is our Lord.

Also like a parent, secondly, He provides for those who depend on Him. Verses 15-16. Verse 15 says, "The eyes of all look to You", literally, wait on You, "and You give them their food in due time". God provides food for every creature on this planet. Psalm 136:25, "He gives food to all flesh, for His steadfast love is everlasting". Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air," Jesus says, "that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them". Did you know that there's not a bird on this planet or in your backyard that God hasn't provided the food for? I love Psalm 50. It says, "Every bird of the forest is Mine". And He cares for them. Ultimately, in the same way, only God can provide for our physical needs. That's why Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:11, "Give us today our daily bread". You're going to sit down to some kind of a feast likely this week, because you've gone to Tom Thumb, or Kroger, or Central Market, and you've stocked up your pantry. It's really easy to see a disconnect between what you're enjoying and God, who provides all things. But let me just make sure you understand what this text is saying, is that any food you eat, period, comes from God. Because farmers can't produce food. Grocery stores can't produce food. God alone can produce food. So, every bite you eat comes from the hand of God. And notice, He gives everything its food in due time, or at its time.

John Calvin writes, "There is a certain time appointed for harvest, vintage, and hay crop. We have no small reason to admire the seasonableness with which the different kinds of fruit and nourishment are yearly produced". Have you ever thought about that? Before refrigeration? What if God said, "all the crops are going to come in May". Boom. What happens to the people on this planet? But God in His great wisdom and goodness spread the year with bounty.

Verse 16, "You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing". This is God's goodness to His creation and His common grace to all people. Matthew 5:45, "God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous". Acts 17:25, "He is not served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things". There's a framework for your Thanksgiving this week. "He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things". Every thing you have that's good comes from God.

Notice how God gives. Verse 16 says He gives with an open hand. That is, generously. The picture is of a person who's feeding animals and just continues to hold out an open hand and allows that animal to eat as much as they want. You see, God doesn't dispense His provision in miserly, carefully measured amounts. Instead, God is extraordinary in His generosity. And all of us can attest to that. The result, verse 16, is that all living things are satisfied. Now David is not arguing here that there are never times of difficulty and leanness. Times when resources run low. He himself experienced that. No, what he's saying is taken as a whole, our lives are filled with the generosity and the goodness of God. It's like what Paul said to those idolaters in Acts 14:17, "He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness".

This week, you're likely like me and my family; to find yourself satisfied with food and gladness. If that happens in your life, there's only one proper response. And that's to lift your heart to God and give Him thanks. Because He's the One who provided all those things.

Thirdly, we look at the goodness of His sovereignty. Consider that He is consistent and predictable with all. I love this. This may be one of the chief reasons to give God thanks. He is consistent and predictable with everyone and everything. Verse 17, "The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind", this is also from the Hebrew word "hesed", or "lovingkindness, or steadfast love; here it means loyal, "in all His deeds". In other words, God is fair in everything He does and He is consistent and faithful in all His deeds. The stress is on the fact that God always acts the same way in all His behavior, in all His actions toward everyone and everything. People may be unpredictable. They may be constantly changing. They may be fickle and capricious, but not God. God is dependable, loyal, predictable. You can always count on God to be who He always has been.

Number four. He saves those who trust Him. By the way, back on that last point. My mind goes to Hebrews, right? Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. He's always who He is. Verse 18, "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth". Notice the emphasis on "all" who call on Him. Now in Old Testament terms, those who call on the Lord are those who have faith in, who depend on, who trust in God for salvation and for all things. In other words, they are true believers. It makes sense when you think about Romans 10 where the New Testament gospel is set forth. And what does Paul say in verse 13? "For whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord, he shall be saved." This is true faith in the true God. And notice, they call upon the Lord in truth. In other words, genuinely, sincerely from your heart. Listen, God knows your heart. And if you're just going through the motions. If you're just saying "I want my life. I want what I want and I want to live the way I want to live. But it'd be nice to have some fire insurance to get out of hell. Lord, save me." No. Those who call upon Him in truth. Who are coming to Him and acknowledging His right to rule. You can't be calling on the Lord and trusting in yourself or in some idol you've made at the same time. You have to call on Him in truth. And for those who truly believe in Him, who truly trust in Him? Who have genuine faith in Him? Notice, "The Lord is near". In the sense that He's near to respond to their cry and need.

Number five. Here's the goodness of His sovereignty. He answers those who fear Him. In prayer. He responds to their prayers. Verse 19, "He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him". This is like the promise of Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart". That doesn't mean that He's going to give you every bad thing that you want. No, it means that if you delight in the Lord, He's going to change your heart. So, you want what He wants. And He's happy to give you that. Verse 19 goes on to say, "He will also hear their cry", their prayer, "and will rescue them", will save them. By the way, this further defines those who fear the Lord. They're the ones who cry out to Him in their need. You see, the One we cry out to for help when we're in need is the One we fear in biblical terms.

And by the way, God doesn't hear the prayer of everyone. A lot of people think that God listens to whoever. Throw it up. It's okay, He hears. No, He doesn't. Proverbs 15:29, "The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous". He answers the prayer of those who fear Him.

And finally, number six. He eternally preserves those who love Him. Verse 20, "The Lord keeps all who love Him". He "preserves them" is the idea of that word "keeps". Now, certainly He does that in this life. Psalm 91:14, "Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name". Psalm 31:23, "O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful". He's talking about during this life. But He will also keep us; and I think this is the point of this verse, eternally. Why do I say that? Because the second half of the verse is talking about the eternal destruction of those who don't trust in Him. So, I think this is eternal preservation. He will keep us for eternity. Look at John 10. This is our Lord. This is our King. Our Shephard King, to use the analogy of Psalm 23. What does He do? John 10:27-30.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.

Jesus says, listen, those who belong to Me, My sheep, My subjects, those who have come to God through Me, I give them eternal life and I will make sure that they never perish. I will make sure they're preserved and protected forever.

Verse 20 goes on to say, "But all the wicked He will destroy". God preserves His people, but He will destroy eternally the wicked. Who are the wicked? Who are these people? Well they're the opposite of true believers. Notice how David describes true believers. In the largest sense in this whole Psalm, they're the ones who daily praise and give thanks to God, who meditate on God and on His works, who talk about Him to others, who praise Him. But more specifically, verse 10, they're the godly ones. They're the ones who are loyal and committed to God. Verse 18, they're those who call upon God in truth. Who put their trust and their faith in God for salvation. Verse 19, "those who fear Him". And verse 20, "those who fear Him". So, the wicked then, are the opposite of those things. They are not loyal and committed to God. They do not call upon God in faith for what He offers in His Son. They do not fear God. And they do not love God.

How does God respond to them? "The wicked He will destroy." You read this Psalm and its so filled with the goodness of God to His people that you could easily get the idea that Jesus our King is just a sentimentalist. And everybody gets in. And it doesn't matter who you are or how you live. It's going to be okay. A lot of people have that idea. Jesus says it's not going to happen that way. What did He Himself say? He talked about hell more often than anyone else in Scripture. Read the Gospels. And you get to the book of Revelation and what does it talk about? The Lamb and His wrath against rebellious mankind. Don't mistake God's goodness and His patience with you in this life as some sort of exoneration for your sin. In fact, Paul says in Romans 2:4 that the goodness of God that you're experiencing right now; think about all the good things your life is filled with, the goodness of God is intended to call you to repentance. So, don't mistake the good things you're enjoying right now as God winking or overlooking your sin and rebellion against Him. "The wicked He will destroy." This is His rule.

Verse 21 ends with universal praise. "My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever." This is how David ends his contribution to the Psalms. With his own personal commitment to praise God and an expectation that all people will join him in that praise forever.

So, this week, let me encourage you to let God's greatness and His goodness, as it is laid out in this Psalm, give expression to, to shape your personal praise and your corporate praise with your family and friends. And even now in the Lord's Table, we give God thanks for His goodness in Jesus Christ our King. Bow with me.

Father, we thank You for these great and wonderful truths. We thank You that You in Christ are our gracious and good King. We thank You for His greatness and we thank You for His goodness. And Your goodness, Father, to us in Him. We thank You that You have brought us to know You through Him. That we are now Your children. That we are now His subjects and He our King, because of His perfect life, His substitutionary death, and His resurrection. Father, I pray for those here this morning who don't know You. Who are those who don't call upon You, who don't fear You, who don't love You, who don't praise You. Lord, help them to see, whatever their profession might be, that they aren't really Yours. And that someday, they will face the destruction that the King brings. Lord, may the goodness they experience now lead them to truly repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Thank you that He came and lived a perfect life; the life we should have lived. And then He died the death we deserve at Your hand. He suffered the justice, the penalty that our sins deserved so that God could still be just. So that You Father, could still be just and yet, be the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. Thank you for the resurrection, when You raised Him from the dead. Lord I pray that today, those who don't know You would come to that place. But Father, for us who do, thank You for this joy of celebrating our King and His goodness. Lord, as we come to the Lord's Table, and remember His death for us, remember what He's accomplished on our behalf, Lord help us to do so with clean hands and pure hearts. Help us to confess our sins, even as we've learned from 1 John 1:9. Lord, help us to know that if we are confessing our sins that You are faithful to Your character and to Your promises, and You can be just because You judges these sins on Christ on the cross, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, each of us know who knows You, we do confess our sins in our own hearts to You. And we pray for that forgiveness so that we can take of the Lord's Table in a way that honors Him. We pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.