Friday, April 18, 2014

Relationship



Christianity is a relationship between each of us and Jesus Christ. He sealed that bond when He shed his blood for the remission of our sins.

We give thanks for Jesus’s unselfish act. But we also must remember that He died for not only us and our sins but also those of the neighbor we don’t see eye to with. While we think we are safe in the arms of God. We have to realize go loves those in the correction systems, county jails, state department of corrections and the federal bureau of prisons.

I remember a conversation I had with a close friend about the son of a young woman who previously went to church with us. The son’s name appeared in the “vital statistics” column-what our city
newspaper calls the list of the new arrests. My friend said something profound, “There, but for the grace of God, goes me.” 

It is through the grace of God that we have a relationship with Jesus. It is because of that grace that our Lord endured Calvary for us.


graphic: ericatrikette.wordpress.com


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wash and Cleanse Sin







“Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”
Psalm 51:2 (NIV)

“Wash away my iniquity. . . “
David choses to clarify his desire to be right with God. The king wants God to clear away the sin that encumbers him and those close to him.

In this passage, (Psalm 51) David seeks forgiveness from God. He uses at least three different words for his behavior—transgressions, iniquity, and sin. He examines this sin like a person would examine a gem—studying each surface of it. In this way, David comes clean before God.

In our 21st Century, we have people who make light of their sin. They use the excuse that “no one gets hurt, so what’s the big deal?” Or they put off the idea that they have done anything wrong, as in “It’s not sinful to say that.” And then there are, “That’s who I am.” Or “It’s just me.”

“. . . cleanse me from my sin.”

David magnifies his desire to get right with God by approaching his condition from yet a third angle. Once he recognizes his sin, courtesy of Nathan, he knows its severity.

An innocent baby, David’s son took ill and died. David was grief stricken. He had committed multiple sins in his affair with Bathsheba and the following cover-up. I believe he would not tolerate that level of behavior had anyone else committed those transgressions.

In our 21st Century, we aren’t as forthcoming about our sinful selves. We are quick to point out our neighbor’s transgressions and, at the same time, call our misdoings acceptable. When Jesus walked this earth, He told his followers to “take the plank out of your eye before you point out the sawdust in your neighbor’s eye.”


David is in the process of repentance (coming clean) of his sin. We all should do likewise.  

gra[hic: pinterest.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

David’s Pleading to God


“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:1

David, the king of Israel, pleads for forgiveness from God. He begs for mercy. Mercy happens when we do not get what we deserve.

The prophet Nathan approached David and let the king know that his affair with Bathsheba was not a secret.

Not only did David commit adultery, He had her husband murdered when Uriah chose not to return to his home when he was called back to confer with the king. These words could either seem haughty or humble. I believe they show repentance and sorrow over the bad choices and the resultant loss of an innocent newborn baby. 

“. . . according to your unfailing love. . .”

            David knew of God’s unfailing love. God’s love kept David safe from King Saul when Saul tracked down David and threatened his life. He experienced God’s love when He protected Daivd from his son Absalom.
            God loves us unconditionally—we don’t have to meet any standard to receive this love. He loves us because He created us.
            We don’t fully understand the concept of this unconditional, unfailing love. We know it exists, we see evidence of it all the time.

“. . . according to your great compassion. . .”

God forgave David for his transgressions that stemmed from the Bathsheba incident. The Apostle John wrote, “If we confess our sin he is faithful and just and cleanses us from our unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

He does this because of his ability to walk with us and experience our sadness when we realize what we have done and the resulting hardship on ourselves and on others that our sin touches.

How great is God’s compassion for us His children? We can only imagine. He told Abram (Abraham) to look as far as he could see God would eventually give him all that land.

How many times did God forgive us for transgressing against Him?   

“. . . blot out my transgressions.”

King David asks God to blot out (absorb) his sins. This tells me a couple of things:

1.         David knew he had crossed the line between what was acceptable and what wasn’t.
2.         David also knew God would remove the offensive actions from his ‘sheet’.

When I was in the fifth grade, we had fountain pens (pens that used liquid ink) In order for the ink on a sheet of paper to dry quickly; we had a piece of absorbent material we placed on the inked words or lines to blot out the excess.


            In today’s world, we still can ask God to remove our sins from our lives.

graphic: bibleencyclopedia.com

Heirs Because of Hope

cecelialester-quiet spirit But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works d...