Psalm 25:14

21 Oct

The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.

Psalm 25:14

Dear God, this sermon from Tim Keller was all about friendship with you. I have to say that this week has surprised me. It seems you keep pointing me to one of my least favorite books of the Bible–Psalms. Yesterday, you sent me to Psalm 88. Today, I was searching for Tim Keller sermons on YouTube and the first one that came up was this one. So okay. I get it.

Basically, the story of this sermon was friendship with you. Keller said that the concept of friendship with God is unique to Christianity (and I would imagine Judaism as well). David, in this psalm, talks in verse 14 about a unique relationship with you. You make known your covenant to us. Even the fact that you have a covenant with us is remarkable.

With that said, here were the five points of Keller’s sermon today (the italicized parts are not quotes, but my paraphrase of the concept):

  • 13:30 Obedience necessary for friendship. Only through obedience do we become closer to the type of being Jesus is. He said that friendships between people make each person better by sharpening us against each other. Well, you cannot be made better, so the sharpening happens one way. That makes sense. There was a man who is now dead who mentored many young men. One of my criticisms of him was that he would say he wanted to be your friend, but the friendship was certainly one way. He was the dominant person in the friendship and I wasn’t interested in that kind of a relationship. But with you it’s different. First, you already have said I am good enough for you through the sacrifice you/Jesus made. And second, you are much more patient with me than I could ever imagine would be possible.
  • 17:00 Justification by faith alone. If you don’t believe this then God cannot be your friend, he has to be your boss. It will be a mercenary relationship. Service for pay. 21:00 If the sermon on the mount is true then I have no hope. God saved me from the Sermon on the Mount. I had a conversation with a Catholic friend about the doctrine of once saved always saved and saved by faith vs. saved by faith and works. I was arguing the once saved always saved/faith alone side of the coin. Keller didn’t address the once saved always saved part here, but basically he said something that makes a lot of sense to me. If your friendship with me is contingent on my actions/behavior, then there is no way we can be friends. Grace is the only thing that bridges the gap between you and me. He said that he heard someone say one time that you don’t need to be a Christian to be saved, but you just need to follow the Sermon on the Mount. Keller’s response to that is, “Have you ever read the Sermon on the Mount?” There is no way I could ever live up to that sermon. As Keller put it, you saved me from the Sermon on the Mount.
  • 22:15 Dynamic two-way communication. 24:45 If you want to KNOW god is speaking to you you have to go to the Bible. 26:30 Eugene Peterson said you can’t just read God’s Word, but you must respond to it. This part actually affirmed these journals I do through scripture. It started with the importance of prayer and communicating with you, but he also cautioned that if we are just doing it in our head then we can be fooled into thinking our own words are yours. He gave an example of a man who felt he heard from you that his son would grow up and be a great preacher. After his son died at a young age, he realized what he had heard wasn’t from you, but was just the pride of a father for his son. Then Keller brought out something Eugene Peterson said about responding to God’s Word. It’s not enough just to read it, but we have to process it and respond to it. I think I do that through these journals and it certainly had changed my life and my relationship with you.
  • 29:00 Seeking his face. Sometimes you’ve got to feel him. 31:00 it’s one thing to know god is holy with your mind but it’s another thing to sense it and let it change you. It’s one thing to know God is love and it’s another to actually feel it in your heart. It’s not enough to have this just be an intellectual exercise. I need to make space to feel you. To worship you. To open my emotions to you. This is probably the area where I am weakest in our friendship. There’s a fine line to walk between letting emotion drive my relationship with you and controlling my emotions so that what you and I have is real. Over the last few years–especially as I have gone to more traditional churches–I have not been nearly as emotional as I should be.
  • 34:00 meditate on Jesus’s death as an act of friendship. Keller opened the sermon talking about the different types of love that C.S. Lewis talked about. Eros. Agape. Philia. Storge. The friendship one, philia, is one thing you achieved with us through becoming human and living as we live. You came alongside us and saw the world from our perspective. Then you died so that there could be room for me to be who I am.

Father, thank you for your friendship. Thank you that I can even sit here on this sofa this morning and talk with you. Thank you that you care. I’ve been amazed at your attention to detail over these last 9 months (basically, this calendar year). You have shown up in the little things time and time again. Thank you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


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Posted by on October 21, 2020 in Psalms



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