Contemplation – Gospel in Life


Tim Keller |  June 2, 2002

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  • Art and Beauty
  • God's Love
Psalm 27:1-14
RS 148-09


In the book of Psalms, we’re shown various spiritual disciplines, which are practical skills we have to engage if we’re going to grow into the people God designed us to be.
Here in Psalm 27, we learn about adoration — personal individual adoration, contemplative adoration. We will look at Psalm 95 at a later date in which we’ll learn about corporate adoration. You cannot grow without both of them. They have to both be there. They’re both absolutely necessary.

We’re going to focus specifically on verse 4 which talks about the “one thing I ask, one thing I seek.” What is that one thing? We learn three things from this psalm about it: why it’s so important, what it is, and how to do it.

Understanding Psalm 27

Psalm 27 shows us the importance of adoration in our personal and community spiritual growth. The key verse in Psalm 27 highlights the need to chase after one main thing in life. This psalm helps us understand why this pursuit is crucial, what it means, and how we can live it out.

1. Why it matters

David’s psalm talks about the many things that might scare us, like war or losing someone we love. Despite all these fears, David believes that having one key thing helps him stay strong. He’s honest about life’s tough times, but he doesn’t let them break his spirit.

2. What it is

Some people think beauty is a fancy idea meant only for the upper class. But thinkers like Elaine Scarry and Immanuel Kant tell us that beauty is important for everyone. When we see beauty, it makes us feel hopeful and connected to others. It shifts our attention from ourselves to appreciating the beauty itself. When we find supreme beauty in God, we experience joy, community, and fulfillment.

3. How to do it

There are many ways to seek God’s beauty. The most important thing is to understand how great He is in a personal and heartfelt way. When we focus on His beauty with discipline and praise, we find healing, provision, and satisfaction. To truly see God’s beauty, we must understand the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When we seek God’s presence deep within ourselves, our hearts change and we become able to face anything with love.



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