Pastor Jerry Locke
Another Sermon Series by Pastor Jerry Locke

4445 Hodgkins Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76135

Webmaster's Note: A Selection of 24 Single, Stand Alone Scripture
Sermons by one of our outstanding Independent Baptist Preachers,
Brother Jerry Locke, of Fort Worth, Texas. Enjoy!
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16 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
Psalm 118:24 - "A Single, Stand Alone Scripture For Having the Best New Year...Living One Day at a Time"

Introduction - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
The Bible contains powerful:
Books...Genesis, John, Romans, Revelation
Passages...Genesis 1; Psalm 23; Isaiah 53.
Verses...Too Many to List

Most all Scripture needs a context for correct interpretation. Isolated verses are often the source of misinterpretation and ultimately heresy. The fact is, most Bible verses are not intended to stand alone.

But there are some single scriptures that are so powerful, so clear, so complete that they are able to stand alone. There are three things we are intending to do with each of these “single, stand alone” scriptures.

Memorize...Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” We will assign the scripture a week in advance to memorize.

Message...Organize and discuss these single scriptures.

Meditate… Psalm 1:2 ”But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

16 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
Psalm 118:24 - "A Single, Stand Alone Scripture For Having the Best New Year...Living One Day at a Time"

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

“Twas the day after Christmas, When all through the place
There were arguments and depression --- Even Mom had a long face.

The stockings hung empty, And the house was a mess;
The new clothes didn’t . . . And Dad was all stressed.

The family was irritable, And the children—no one could please;
Because the instructions for the swing set, Were written in Chinese!

The bells no longer jingled, And no carolers came around;
The sink was stacked with dishes, And the tree was turning brown.

The stores were full of people, Returning things that fizzled and failed,
And the shoppers were discouraged, Because everything they’d bought was now on half-price sale!

‘Twas the day AFTER Christmas —-- The spirit of joy had disappeared;
The only hope on the horizon, Was twelve bowl games the first day of the New Year!

Today marks the last Sunday of 2004 — Sunday number 52, day number 360. We have only 5 more days in 2004 and then we will be presented God’s gift of the year 2005. A year is so big, but the older I get the quicker they go. A new year can a little intimated. I personally think a new year is best taken on like eating an elephant—one bit at a day at a time.

How about a single, stand-alone Scripture to end an old year and start a new year? Let’s try Psalm 118:24 on for size. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

1. The Song

Let’s keep in mind that the Psalms are actually songs. But these were not just any kind of songs; they are spiritual songs . . . songs of worship . . . songs of praise. The book was the hymnal of the Jewish people. Unlike Western poetry that is based on rhyme or meter, Hebrew poetry is based on rhythm and parallelism.

Psalm 118 was a song of thanksgiving sung by worshipers in their procession to the Temple.

A side note of possible interest is that Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the Bible. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

Let’s sing the chorus of Psalm 118:24. This is the day, This is the day, That the Lord hath made, That the Lord math made We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day that the Lord hath made We will rejoice, we will rejoice And be glad in it. This is the day, This is the day that the Lord hath made.

2. The Segment . . . “This is the day…”

God has many great “days.” What is “the day” God has in mind here? There is a mingling of three understandings.

The Lord’s Day . . . 1st day of the week . . . resurrection. The Jews call the Sabbath “the queen of days.” Christians should call the first day of the week “the King of days.”

“That day”….no one knows the day nor the hour...return of Christ. We are to look for, love, and pray for “that day.” The verses before and behind Psalm 118:24 are prophecies of Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

“This day” . . . Until “that day” comes we are challenged to make the most of “this day.”

Some make the mistake of getting stuck in “yesterday.” Its so much easier to live in the past.

Others make the mistake of postponing their living until “tomorrow.” For some, its always tomorrow.
Tomorrow I’ll trust Christ and be saved.
Tomorrow I’ll be baptized and join the church.
Tomorrow I’ll confess my sins and get right with God.
Tomorrow must be the devil’s favorite word.

If tomorrow is the devil’s favorite word, God’s favorite word must be “today.” If we are wise, we will make the most of “today.”
Today trust Christ and be saved.
Today be baptized and join the church.
Today confess your sins and get right with God.

3. The Sovereign… “Which the Lord hath made…”

Do we really believe this: the Lord is at work this very day.

Our days are Shaped by the Lord . . . wisdom.

Isn’t it humbling to realize how little we had to do with so many important issues in life.
We didn’t choose our parents...God did.
We didn’t pick out the place of our birth . . . God did.
We didn’t decide the genetic make-up that would determine the color of our eyes and hair, the size of our frame, and our I.Q. . . . God did.
We don’t make the ultimate decision of how short or long we live on this earth . . . God does.

How do you approach each day? If you are like most Westerners you probably go at it from the wrong direction. The Jewish way of looking at each day should be considered. They believe that a new day begins at sundown. They start their new day with rest and then go to work. “The evening and the morning were the first day,” Genesis 1:5. Our idea is we go to work and then try to rest and never seem to find it.

How many of you believe God had everything to do with the day you are born? And the day of your death? What about this day? What about every day? It is God who shapes our days. He makes our days for us . . . special order.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” Psalm 37:23.
“Teach us to number of days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom,” Psalm 90:12. See Psalm 39:4.

Our days are Shared with the Lord . . . companionship.

After Adam had been created, God said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” And then God created Eve for Adam. God knew we all need human relationships.

But all human relationship are marred . . . marred by sin and weakness.

This is why God wants all of us to develop, not only horizontal relationship with people, but a vertical relationship with Him. God promises to never leave us nor forsake us.

He is always with us….
In every task. “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheth me,” Phil. 4:13.
In every trial. “My grace is sufficient for thee,” 2 Cor 12:10. He will walk with us through every valley.
In every triumph. “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” Romans 8:37.

Our days should be Spent for the Lord . . . purpose.

Some people confess they are “bored.” Can you imagine such? Bored with life? Bored with the days the Lord has made.

Not Paul. As soon as Paul was saved he immediately asked, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Acts 9:5. And then he went about spending his days for the Lord. He said he would “gladly spend and be spent,” 2 Corinthians 12:15.

I have been at the side of many people who were at the end of their life --— their last day on this earth. I have yet to hear one person who wished they had spent more time at work or playing some meaningless game. I have heard many people regret not spending their days serving the Lord. Jesus calls us, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me,” Luke 9:23. This “daily cross” is the demand of discipleship, being a full-time follower of Jesus Christ. We cannot allow anything to get in our way!

Our day is to be spent for the Lord worshipping, witnessing, and working for Him.

4. The Sentiment - “. . . I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

This is not needless repetition. God wasn’t filled up this part of the Bible with empty words. Rejoice is a heart word about our private life. Glad is a face word about our public life.

If rejoicing is in your heart, gladness will be on your face! It will! The absence of gladness on the outside is a dead give-away that rejoicing is absent from the inside.

We are not to fill our days with mourning and murmuring. Some of God's most severe judgments in the Bible were against murmuring. What is murmuring? Its griping. Its belly-aching.

When you think about it, All complaining is ultimately against God. When God orders up your days and you don’t like them, you are really complaining against the God who made your days.

This is not to say there will not be some sorrow in some days. But “we sorrow not as other who have no hope.” Our worst day on this earth is nothing compared to the endless joys we will know in eternity. On that days we need to rejoice and be glad “on credit.”

“Rejoice.” This word is a compound word from the word “joy.” The “re” in front of “joy” implies we revisit joy, we recycle joy.

“Glad.” Would you do something for me after you get home today? Go stand in front of a mirror for five minutes and check out your “face value.” I’m not talking about whether you are pretty or ugly, whether you are handsome or homely. I’m talking about whether anything on the inside of your life has made its way to the outside of your life. Too many Christians go around with a pathetic religious look on their faces --— you know, the one somewhere between acid indigestion and migraine heartache! They look like they are on a liquid diet of green persimmons and straight lemon juice.

Remember, “rejoicing” and “gladness” is a decision. It’s a choice. Our disposition is a decision. The true Christian life is not something we have to endure, but something we get to enjoy.

You may be thinking, “But I’m not happy.” Happiness is tied to what is happening to you. Gladness is about what is going on in you. “Joy” is the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22. Joy is not about you mustering up a cheerful attitude. Joy is surrendering yourself so fully that the genuine life of Jesus Christ in you works its way out.

Let’s emphasis the “we” in this Scripture. “We will rejoice and be glad in it.” This “we” is about our influence we share. Each of us together have a responsibility to bring joy to the team.

We tend to make too much of the few bad things that come our way, and make too little of the many good things that come our way.

While on a short-term missions trip, Pastor Jack Hinton was leading worship at a leper colony on the island of Tobago. A woman who had been facing away from the pulpit turned around.

“It was the most hideous face I had ever seen,” Hinton said. “The woman’s nose and ears were entirely gone. She lifted a fingerless hand in the air and asked, ‘Can we sing Count Your Many Blessings?”

Overcome with emotion, Hinton left the service. He was followed by a team member who said, “I guess you’ll never be able to sing that song again.”

“Yes, I will,” he replied, “but I’ll never sing it the same way.” (Source: Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, p. 206).

Are there any Baptists here today? We Baptists believe the Bible teaches eternal security --- once saved, always saved. We believe because of what Jesus did through the shedding of His precious blood that when a person places their faith in Him for salvation they are saved eternally. Sin cannot rob you of heaven. But, I want to be very clear, sin can rob you of your joy and gladness. It can take away your song. Sin will steal your song, Psalm 51:8-15.

And many believers have lost their joy and gladness as they have been a victim of the struggles of life, Psalm 137:1-4. Loss of health, loss of a job, loss of finances, loss of a loved one. You have hung your harp on the willow tree.

It is not God’s will for you to always live in perfect health, be rich, have everything you have ever wanted . . . but it is God’s will for you to rejoice and be glad all the days he has given you.

I am asking the Holy Spirit of God to fill this place with His presence because in His presence “is fullness of joy” and at His right hand “there are pleasures forevermore,” Psalm 16:11. Would you make a decision to live this year one day at a time and to rejoice and be glad in it? “Preacher, I’m not rejoicing and glad. Its not anybody’s business why, but I’m through making excuses and I’m tired of a joy-less life. I want to ge right with God in this area of my life.”

Jason Lehman - “Present Tense.”
It was spring,
But it was summer I wanted, The warm days,
And the great outdoors.

It was summer,
But it was fall I wanted, The colorful leaves,
And the cool, dry air.

It was fall,
But it was winter I wanted, The beautiful snow,

But it was spring I wanted, The warmth,
And the blossoming of nature.

I was a child,
But it was adulthood I wanted, The freedom,
And the respect.

I was 20,
But it was 30 I wanted, To be mature,
And sophisticated.

I was middle-aged,
But it was 20 I wanted, The youth,
And the free spirit.

I was retired,
But it was middle age I wanted,
The presence of mind,
Without limitations.

My life was over.
But I never got what I wanted.