Steven Furtick — New Loops
Many say this is David's greatest hit. Of all of his psalms, this is to some, his finest work. C.S. Lewis said it's one of the greatest lyrics in human history, and who are you to argue with C.S. Lewis? Touch somebody and say, this must be a good one. It really is.
Listen to all 14 verses. "The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night, they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words, no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth."
What a paradox this is! He said they have no vocal chords, no esophagus, no larynx, yet they speak so loudly. The skies declare the glory of God and the heavens show forth His power in such a way that it reaches the end of the earth. It's a silent sermon.
"Their words go to the ends of the world. In the heavens, God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other. Nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple."
Touch somebody and say, God's Word works. "The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold. They are sweeter than"
Krispy Kreme, North Carolina translation. "Than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned, in keeping them" In keeping them, not just in hearing them, but in retaining them. "In keeping them, there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins, may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression."
And here comes Pastor Mickey's verse. "May the words of my mouth" he said it in the King James English, because Pastor Mickey is 78. "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart" take it down. "Be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."
And now that I said the Scripture, we can get the sermon started. Have a seat. It matters where you start. It matters where you start. You'll agree with me, it matters how you start your day. Let's use a few examples, with your spouse.
Holly and I were very happy on our honeymoon night and the next morning. I'm not going with this where you think I'm going with this! When she looked at me, and I looked at her, and we had both been up, and we had both brushed and we had both been awake for 15 minutes, and we had not said a word, and she looked at me, and I looked at her, and we knew that we had made the right decision because she looked at me, and she said to me, "You don't like to talk in the morning either"? in the morning"!
And we knew it was meant to be, because we can start our morning without saying a word. We could start our morning without saying a word, and I found out that you can preach a sermon without saying a word. Some of the loudest sermons I will preach will be with my life, not with my lips. In fact, if I preach one sermon with my lips and another with my life, it won't be long before nobody wants to hear what I have to say, no matter how loud I say it!
Silent sermons: there's the one that I preach, and then there's the one that I live. My grandfather was a preacher. I only heard him preach one time that I remember. I probably heard him preach other times that I don't remember, but I remember only one sermon that I ever heard him preach. Can't remember what he preached, but remember hearing him preach one time.
I saw him preach hundreds of times. There's a difference. I saw him comb my grandmother's hair when she didn't even know his name anymore, because Alzheimer's had completely erased her memory of him, but it didn't matter, because like you've heard so many times before, he would say, she might not know who I am, but I know. I know who I am, even if she doesn't.
And so, I am the kind of husband that will comb her hair, and show up every morning when visiting hours start and not leave until they kick me out, and take her to Wendy's every day for lunch. And he had no integrity, because they would share a Diet Coke every day at Wendy's, and get free refills, and only pay for one instead of two.
But see, he was preaching a silent sermon. He wasn't the first one. He wasn't the first one to preach a silent sermon, because Moses was a man that God wanted to use, but he wasn't very good with words. So, God said don't worry about what you're going to say. I'm going to give you a stick. If you take the stick and stretch it out.
It's always in the stretch that you discover the supply. It's always in the stretch that you discover the strength. It's always in the stretch that you discover the supernatural. You ought to be getting warmed up by now! Somebody shout, stretch!
God said, Moses, if you'll stretch your staff over the waters, you won't have to say a word! I'll make the waters part and the people will know what kind of God I am, not by the words that you speak, but I'll make the waters preach for you!
It's a silent sermon! Moses wasn't the only one who preached a silent sermon. One woman in the Bible was so taken by the presence of Jesus Christ that she snuck in a room with some perfume, some really expensive perfume. The Bible says it was worth a year's wages. And people knew that she loved Jesus, not because of her speech, but because of the smell of the fragrance that she poured out at His feet.
Now, I can't find one time where she said a word in the passage, but Jesus said wherever the Gospel is preached, the memory of what this woman has done will be told, because some sermons are preached through smell rather than by sound.
I'll prove it to you. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went down in a fiery furnace. I'm preaching now! We passed the introduction! And they turned up the heat seven times hotter than normal, and they thought it would kill them. But when they came out, they didn't even smell like smoke. And when you don't smell like what you've been through, and when you've been through the fire, but you're not bitter about it, and... It's a silent sermon.
Jesus got down in the dirt one day, and a woman who had been caught in the act to get stoned! Jesus said if you've never done anything deserving of becoming human target practice, go ahead and fire away! And then He knelt down in the dirt, said not another word, and everybody started walking away, and He said not a word. He was writing in the dirt. I think He was writing their names and what they did But, I don't know what He wrote. Maybe just the essence of His presence was enough that His perfection became a reflection of their need for grace.
Some of the greatest sermons are silent sermons. Silent sermons. Those guys preached one today before I ever opened my mouth. The preaching started. Sam and Brian, you don't know them? They brought my pulpit out. They said something before I said something. First of all, they said that this is a heavy pulpit they've been lifting.
By the way, when you're really strong, you don't have to talk about how strong you are. Real strength shows. And when you really love God, sometimes it's something that's a seemingly insignificant act of service. I wonder if their sermon will actually mean more to God than mine, because nobody will download Sam's podcast, but he preached. It's a silent sermon.
People ask me often, when are you going to let Holly preach more? Well, first of all, she told me two times a year. Any more than that, and she's leaving me. And she doesn't like it that much, but she preaches every week. Every week, she preaches. Every week.
If you don't believe me, just look over at her right now. She's got her notebook open, and this is the second time she's heard this sermon. And she's still pretending to take notes and writing a grocery list! That's not true! She gets something new out of it every time. It's a silent sermon. A silent sermon. Can you preach a silent sermon?
Lazarus did. The Bible says that Jesus needed some way to reveal that He was not only healer, but He was resurrection. But if He said it, people might doubt it. But if He did it, somebody had to die. Sometimes the greatest sermon of your life will be by the things that you went through! In fact, I love it, because that same passage where the woman broke the perfume, her name was Mary. She was Lazarus' sister, and while she was pouring out perfume, Lazarus was chilling, leaned back at the table. He didn't have to say a word.
The fact that he was dead and now alive, the fact that he was in the ground and was now sitting at the table, was proof of the power of God! How many know, just the fact that you showed up to church today makes the devil sick? He can't stand to see you in the house of God! I'm preaching by my very presence, and it's a silent sermon.