Sermon Detail

Strength for the Journey Strength for the Journey: Means of Grace - Receiving and Digesting the Word of God

September 24, 2023 | Buster Brown

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."  Psalm 1:1-3

The means of grace are God’s appointed instruments by which the Holy Spirit enables believers to receive anew the empowering presence of Christ and the benefits or redemption in him.

“The means of grace are such as Bible reading, private prayer, and regularly worshiping God in Church where one hears the Word taught and participates in the Lord’s Supper. I lay it down as a simple matter of fact that no one who is careless about such things must ever expect to make much progress in sanctification (growth in the grace of Christ). I can find no record of any eminent saint who ever neglected them. They are appointed channels through which the Holy Spirit conveys fresh supplies of grace to the soul and strengthens the work to which he has begun in the inward man.”  JC Ryle, Holiness (p. 26)

“Without God’s grace we are lost. And we need God’s grace not only at the beginning of the Christian life but throughout So, naturally we ask, where can we go to find God’s continuing grace to us? Where do we go to get the resources for sanctification, for continuing spiritual growth? The short answer is that there are three places, the Word, fellowship, and prayer.”  John Frame, Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Waiting for the Lord in anticipation/expectation (Psalm 27:14, Isaiah 40:32, Lamentations 3:25-27, Isaiah 30:18, & Psalm 30:5-6).

"For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. As for me, I said in my prosperity, 'I shall never be moved.'”  Psalm 30:5-6

We wait/look to the Lord in confidence because:

• It produces joy and leads to happiness (v. 1).

• There is usefulness in honoring the Lord and leads to a life of encouraging others (v. 3).

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  2 Timothy 3:16-17

"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion."  Psalm 84:5-7

1. The posture of refusal (v. 1).

“The question of whether we let pundits or prophets calibrate our morning identity is an urgent matter of neighbor love. So long as we look to the news for our identity we won’t respond to the information with genuine care and concern for our neighbor.”  Justin Earley, The Common Rule

2. What the believer is to do (v. 2)...Delight: joy/pleasure/treasure…meditates.

Meditation is filling our mind with biblical and theological substance and consistently chewing on that content as it shapes our character and fills us with purpose. Meditation is filling the mind, not emptying the mind.

“Meditation is a marvelous means of God’s grace in the Christian life – perhaps the most misunderstood, and most underrated, of the disciplines in the church today. And it is a high point of receiving God’s word.”  David Mathis, Habits of Grace (p. 55) 

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."  Joshua 1:8

3. The result (v. 3).


1. Why does the waiting, watching, longing for the mind of God in scripture facilitate replacing the “orphan mindset” (I don’t measure up, I’ve got to work to be a part of this family) with the mindset of “full and free adoption in Christ?”

2. How do we make mediation more central to our living and relationships?

3. Why did Jonathan Edwards (d. 1758) say that the means of grace were the endeavoring to promote appetites by “laying yourself in the way of allurement?” What do we do to lay ourselves in the way of allurement/the path of blessing?

4. Why is the intake of scripture a fight to see and know the goodness of God?