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Enough

by | June 28, 2016 | In Daily Reading No Comments

June 28, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 1 Kings 17-19
Old Testament Only: 2 Chronicles 7–9
New Testament Only: Acts 3:11–26

Enough

Today’s Passage: Psalms 75-78

Bread and WineWhen God lead Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land there was an interval of over 40 years between being set free and arrival at their destination. I have always viewed this story as an allegory for the journey of all believers. Please don’t get me wrong. That is not all the story of the Exodus is about. It is not just an allegory. It is much more; history at the least. Still one can see in that story the walk of all believers. We are saved by the blood of the lamb which covers the entranceway to our hearts. Having received that salvation, we are to follow our Lord to the Promised Land. How do we behave on that journey?

Again, the Israelites illustrate how many of us behave on this journey. In Psalm 78 we hear a sort of retelling of this journey. Do you remember how they grumbled against God while they wandered in the desert?

Psalm 78:17-20 ESV
“Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
He struck the rock so that water gushed out
and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
or provide meat for his people?”

God sustained the Israelites as they struggled toward the Promised Land. He went with them, guided them, protected them, and provided for them. Evidently, that wasn’t enough. Think about it. God fought their battles for them. He physically stayed with them and guided them. He provided bread, manna from heaven, and meat, quail, from the sky; He made water pour forth from rocks and it wasn’t enough. They still grumbled against God.

How do you and I view God? Has He not saved your eternal soul? Is He not with you residing within your heart? Do you not eat and do you not drink? He went and died on the cross in your place; is it not enough? “Oh, God give me this. God, please give me that.” “Why does God allow this to happen or that to happen?” Come on; admit it; every once in a while you grumble. That is certainly human. Human or not, however, it is wrong. I’ve shared this analogy before. My daughter is a very blessed child. When she was little, she had shelves of books, a house full of toys, drawing materials, DVDs, computer games, a couple Nintendo’s, and a million stuffed animals. Yet every once in a while she would come to me and tell me she was board. She would beg for more and give me a very hard time when I say no.

What she had was taken for granted and the blessings she had were never enough. Do you know what makes her grateful? When I let her have it; when things were taken away from her she suddenly realized how good she’s had it. I’m afraid that is often the case for you and me where God’s blessings are concerned.

Psalms 78:32-34 ESV
“In spite of all this, they still sinned;
despite his wonders, they did not believe.
So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.
When he killed them, they sought him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.”

It was when God’s discipline fell upon them that they stopped their grumbling, repented, and earnestly sought God. Why does it take discipline to cause us to wake up and act right? Why can’t we appreciate God’s blessings and be content in His peace? Why must we continually demand more and more? Brothers, let us realize our need to praise God for His wonderful blessings and to delight in His provision. Not only is what He provides enough, He is enough. Let’s start acting like it!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

June 27, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 1 Kings 15:25-16:34, 2 Chronicles 17
Old Testament Only: 2 Chronicles 4–6
New Testament Only: Acts 2:42–3:10

Eye On The Prize

Today’s Passage: Psalms 71-74

Eye with CrossYesterday was my wife’s birthday and so I was at the store trying to pick out an appropriate birthday card. Yes, I was cutting it down to the wire. I won’t go into all of the reasons for that disgraceful situation. I am not, nor will I be, the last husband to wait until the last minute on such things. My point isn’t my trouble with procrastination but the difficulty in finding a decent card. Now I don’t mean the cards were “indecent”; they were perfectly respectable as far as language and subject matter were concerned. My struggle was with the object of the cards. Here are cards for men to wish their wives a happy birthday and they all seemed to be focused on the husband.

The cards would go on about how lucky the husband was to have such a wife and they would talk about how the husband didn’t tell the wife how much he loved her or voiced appreciation for all the things they did for the husband and the family. All fine as sentiment goes but I was reading a lot of “me, myself, and I”. The cards seemed to focus on what the person being praised could do for the one doing the praising. Is the value of my spouse only equal to the sum of what she does for me?

Of course I appreciate all that my wife does for me, and I would be lost without her, but she has such great worth beyond all of that. She is beautiful, intelligent, funny, caring, compassionate, supportive, talented, and so much more! She loves God and is a child of the King! She is fabulous far beyond what she does for me and I would know that if I didn’t stay focused on “me, myself, and I”.

As husbands we need to widen our vision beyond ourselves and what our wives can do for us. We need to take a step back and look at this wonderful blessing from God. Our wives are our partners; flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. God has ordained that we be good and faithful stewards of the wives placed in our care. We must put ourselves second and our spouses first. We should cherish our spouses not for what they do for us but because of who they are; a wonderful gift from God!

Beyond that relationship, how do you view God? Is it the same story there? Do you love God only for the things He does for you? Does this mean that if you feel like He isn’t doing enough for you, or that He failed to do what you wanted, that He is no longer worthy of your love and praise? I hope not. As I read the Psalms today I was moved by the verses of praise that focused not on what God could do, and does, for me, but on His worth beyond my own self interests.

The moment I stop thinking about myself and start marveling about my wonderful wife and my awesome Lord and Savior is the moment I am full of joy. I recommend you join me in that exercise. You will be glad you did.

I’d like to close with another quote from J. Vernon McGee. I find his commentary illuminating.

“As I said in the beginning, we are dividing the Book of Psalms according to the Pentateuch. The first forty-one psalms we call the Genesis section. Psalms 42–72 are known as the Exodus section. Now we come to Psalm 73 which brings us to the beginning of the Leviticus section. It corresponds to the Book of Leviticus because in this section—even in Psalm 73—the sanctuary is prominent. You see, the Book of Leviticus is the book of worship for the tabernacle and later for the temple. It is one of the greatest books in the Bible. Now as we come to this Leviticus section of the Book of Psalms, we find the emphasis upon the sanctuary and, in particular, on two aspects of the house of God. The Book of Leviticus emphasizes two things: that God is holy and that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins—the key words are holiness and sacrifice. These two words will also figure largely in this Leviticus section of the Book of Psalms.”

McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Have a fantastic day guys and keep your eyes on the prize; Jesus!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

June 26, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 2 Chronicles 13-16, 1 Kings 15:1-24
Old Testament Only: 2 Chronicles 1–3
New Testament Only: Acts 2:14–41

Let Your Light Shine Before Men

Today’s Passage: Psalms 68-70

Light - Par can beamNot long ago the mini-series “The Stand” by Stephen King has been on TV. I enjoyed reading the book on which that mini-series is based shortly after college many years ago, and read it once again just a few years ago. I have always found the story fascinating because it is an imagining of the end of the age; something with which I have always been fascinated. It is a story about the end of civilization, with the few remaining humans dividing up between the good and the bad. A confrontation is inevitable and the title, “The Stand”, refers to the need of the good people to take their stand against the bad.

As always, we can’t get solid theology from pop culture, but in some ways Stephen King got it right. There is an end coming, and good will defeat evil, and of course, you and I must take our stand against evil. Stephen got another aspect of this right as well. The “good” people did not take up arms against the bad. They depended on God and stood against evil with nothing more than obedience. In the end it was the hand of God that destroyed the evil.

Reading the 69th Psalm I was reminded of all that. Verse 6 prayerfully asks that those that hope in God not be put to shame through the Psalmist. He asks that those that seek God not be brought to dishonor through him.

Psalm 69:6 ESV
“Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
O Lord God of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
O God of Israel.”

Surrounding that verse are other verse that cry for salvation from those that would do the Psalmist harm. The Psalm goes on to say “and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” Jesus told us the world would hate us because it hated Him. We will face trouble from the Lost. They will accuse us of all kinds of outrageous acts. We cannot overcome all the falsehoods that will be cast our way. Still, our prayer, like David’s should be that our acts will not bring shame and dishonor on our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I hope I’m making the distinction clear. It is one thing for us to be accused of, and condemned for, things we have not done, or are not wrong. It is another thing for us to be rightly accused. We must do what is right. We cannot, and should not, fight God’s battles with Satan’s weapons. We must govern our words and our deeds so as to reflect rightly the light of Christ. God will win the battle. Let us simply do our part.

I want to close with some comments by J. Vernon McGee about the 69th Psalm as I found them interesting.

“This is a great messianic psalm. It is another psalm of David, and it is unique because it deals with the silent years in the life of the Lord Jesus. It is also called a shoshannim, or lily, psalm because He is the Lily of the Valley as well as the Rose of Sharon, and He is altogether lovely. Next to Psalm 22 it is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. Psalm 22 deals with the death of Christ; Psalm 69 deals with the life of Christ. I was drawn to this psalm when I was a student in college, and from that day to this it has been a favorite of mine. Psalm 22 is number one on the Hit Parade of the New Testament as far as quotes go, and Psalm 69 is second on the Hit Parade. It is quoted in the Gospel of John, in Romans, in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. Very candidly, I think there are many references to it which are not actual quotations. It is classified as an imprecatory psalm because verses 22–28 are what is known as an imprecatory prayer. Yet from that section the New Testament writers often quoted.

This psalm tells us about the silent years of Christ’s childhood and young manhood, of which the Gospels tell us practically nothing. Dr. Luke tells us about an incident in the life of our Lord when He was twelve years old, and then we learn nothing else about Him until He is about thirty years old. What about that period of time? This psalm fills in some of the details. We see some of Christ’s dark days in Nazareth and His dark hours on the cross. His imprecatory prayer is actually a cry for justice. This is the psalm of His humiliation and rejection.”

McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Brother, let your life reflect the light of Christ that you will not bring shame or dishonor upon your brothers and sisters in Christ. Let your light shine before men!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

June 25, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 2 Chronicles 10-12
Old Testament Only: 1 Chronicles 28–29
New Testament Only: Acts 2:1–13

Turn Off The Noise

Today’s Passage: Psalms 61-67

Power ButtonI love gadgets; I always have. I guess I live in the right time for gadgets don’t I? I walk around with two cell phones, each of which receives e-mails; one of them receives e-mails from about 7 different addresses. I have a Bluetooth headset for each phone; in fact one of them is a stereo headset for listening to music I have loaded up on my iPhone. We have two desktop computers, one is a Mac and the other a PC. I have a work laptop and a personal laptop. I have a cordless headset for my office line, along with a cordless handset. All of our phones in the house are cordless. We have five TVs in a household of three people.

The best gift I ever got my wife was one of those single serving coffee makers where you put a little sealed package in the thing and it pops out the perfect cup of coffee quicker than I can fill a cup at the refrigerator’s filtered water dispenser. We have two Kindle e-readers, two iPads, and I have a hand held electronic organizer, or three, lying around here somewhere. We have a portable DVD player we can take in the car with us on long trips away from our other two DVD players in the house. I have an old but still powerful stereo system to which I have the Bonus Room TV hooked up. I could go on and on but I’m getting tired of the game.

You know what all of that stuff is? Distraction. I was talking with a brother in Christ Wednesday night about the fact that kids today talk through texting. The telephone is so “last century”. Texting is the thing. We went on to talk about how things were when we were kids; you were really upscale if your house had a microwave or a VCR. It’s funny; I’m all “gadgeted” out and I’m complaining about the kids these days. Go figure.

I didn’t give much thought to all of my gadgets or the distractions they provide until I read today’s Bible verses. They are so powerful in their praise. I become almost breathless as I contemplate the truth of these praises. I wonder; why does God’s greatness only seem to strike me when I take a moment to read His Word? Listen to this:

Psalm 61:1-8 ESV
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.”

Does your soul thirst for God? Do you remember Him on your bed and meditate on Him in the watches of the night? Do you know what image came to me as I read that? I pictured David lying out in the fields with his sheep; he was a shepherd as a youth. Laying there with no TV or books or DVDs or CDs or Nintendos or cell phones; what did he have to occupy his mind? He had God. What do you and I have to occupy our minds? TV, books, DVDs, CDs, Xbox, and cell phones.

I drop into bed at night, exhausted from all the noise, in a pitch dark room, and drop off to sleep, only to get up and start rushing first thing in the morning. David fell asleep under the stars with no sound of traffic or electronic clatter in the background. He could feel the grass beneath him and see the stars above him and God was self-evident in His majesty. Laying there, enveloped in the awesome reality of His power, how could David not meditate on God?

I don’t think I do enough of that, and I wonder if you’re in the same boat. The wonders of this age are significant but they are nothing compared to a solid, moment by moment relationship with the Father God. They are nothing compared to meditating on Him. I think we miss a lot of what God has for us simply because we are too busy with stuff and things. All that glitters is not gold and this is never more true than when we compare the wonders of this world with the wonders of God.

I know I’m “preaching to the choir” here but guys, we need to start turning off the noise and distractions. We have got to make time for ourselves. Surprised you there didn’t I? You probably thought I would have said we needed to make time for God. I almost did but that would have been incorrect. God doesn’t need time with us; we need time with Him. It starts with this time we take every day to read the Bible, but it needs to be more than that. We need to spend time with Him in Prayer. We need to meditate on His Word, and on His character, and upon His ways. We need to lie down at night and meditate on Him in the watches of the night. To do this we are going to have to turn off the noise.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Are You AWOL?

by | June 24, 2016 | In Daily Reading No Comments

June 24, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 1 Kings 12-14
Old Testament Only: 1 Chronicles 26–27
New Testament Only: Acts 1

Are You AWOL?

Today’s Passage: Psalms 55-60

Soldier - Drunken SovietThe publishers of the Bible translation I use put the title “In God I Trust” at the head of Psalm 56 and as you read the Psalm you will see that phrase repeated a couple of times. It reminded me of what we have printed on our money, “In God We Trust”. I found the history of that phrase interesting and if you have a few minutes extra to read about it you can do so at:

http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/currency/in-god-we-trust.shtml

This history states that the move toward putting “In God We Trust” on our money started around the time of the civil war. It also insinuates that an “increased religious sentiment” existed at the time and had influence on this development. If this is the case, we would be talking about the middle of “The Second Great Awakening”. This is a time period that saw significant growth in the Methodist and Baptist denominations. In fact, the Baptist and Methodist denominations are now 2nd and 3rd respectively in number of adherents in America after Catholicism. The order changes slightly if you separate Southern Baptist from the other Baptist denominations. In that case Methodists are number 2 numerically and Southern Baptists are number 3.

Obviously, immigration played a big role in the ascendency of Catholicism in the U.S. The Second Great Awaking played a big role in the rise of the Methodists and Baptists. Of course many other denominations grew or came to be in this period.

I think we’ve come a long way since our national religious sentiment first placed that inscription, “In God We Trust”, on our currency; and not in a good direction. I wonder today if a majority would still be in favor of maintaining that motto; and if you read the history provided at the U.S. Treasury site mentioned above, you will see that this is indeed, legally, our national motto. Regardless of the answer to that question, I am more concerned with the thought that the motto no longer applies. My take on our American society today is that those that “truly” trust in God are in an overwhelmed minority.

On one hand, I am not surprised by this; on the other I am saddened that we American Christians have done such a poor job evangelizing our own nation. To this day we continue to send missionaries to foreign lands, and I know that we continue to do evangelism in our own country as well, yet China is on fire and the U.S. seems to be going the other way. It is hard to comprehend that a nation that sends and funds missionaries abroad to great success seems to have trouble evangelizing its own. Could this be because you and I are not as “on fire” to share the gospel with our friends, neighbors, and co-workers as are the new converts in foreign lands?

There is no secret to the spreading of the Gospel. It has always been spread through the individual efforts of one Christian sharing his faith with a non-Christian. That is happening in nations where Christianity is growing; it is not happening were Christianity is in decline. Now you can point to surveys that indicate that a majority of the U.S. population describes themselves as Christian, but I say to you that were those self-described Christians truly followers of Christ we would live in a vastly different country today. Perhaps our problem is that many who consider themselves Christians do so because their parents once took them to church. Maybe it is because many took Christ on as a cosmic insurance policy; “I’ll accept Christ just in case this Heaven and Hell thing is real.” Maybe it is because our churches were more focused on numbers baptized than number of changed hearts. Maybe our churches have simply not provided sufficient discipleship training or mentoring. Maybe it’s a little of all of the above.

My point is, there are some who call themselves Christians who are clearly not Christians. Now it is true that you and I cannot simply look at a person and visually ascertain the status of their spiritual condition. Of course, even those who have accepted Christ will stumble from time to time; I’m afraid I am too good an example of that truth as was David (granted he wasn’t a Christian per se). Yet, there is one way to separate some chaff from the wheat. If God says something is sin, and you say it is not, you are not a Christian.

Jesus Christ said that He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). He also said that not one dot or iota will pass away from the Law until heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 5:18). You cannot claim to be a follower of Christ and yet say that He was wrong. Why would you follow a deity you thought was wrong?

If you claim to be a follower of Christ yet look at the Bible and say it is just a collection of nice sayings, some of which are correct and some of which are wrong, then your faith is built on a fraud. Either Christ is who He says He is, or He is not. If He is not, He either knew He was not or He didn’t. If He knew He was not who He said He was, then He was a liar and not worthy of worship. If He didn’t know He wasn’t who He said He was, then He was crazy; also not worthy of worship. Jesus doesn’t give you a choice. He is God or He isn’t. His Word is true, or it isn’t. You follow Him or you don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose; He didn’t give you that option.

Brother, I don’t know which camp you fall into; was your heart changed or are you faking it? The problem with faking it is you can fool all of humanity, but the only perspective that matters is God’s and He will not be fooled. You may fool yourself, but not Him. If you are feeling a little uncomfortable right about now you might want to chat with your pastor. Once saved always saved, but walking the aisle and getting dunked isn’t salvation. Salvation comes with a changed heart. Those who have a changed heart know that they know that they know they are saved; there should be no doubt.

Now, we are all human and doubt is part of that equation. It is not my intention to have you doubt your salvation if your heart has been changed, but, frankly, I am really more worried about the one who wrongly thinks he is saved and isn’t. If you are saved and doubt, you are still saved. If you are not saved and don’t doubt, you are dead. Search your heart brother and make your salvation sure.

If you know you are saved I have to ask you, as I have to ask myself, are you sharing the Gospel? Do you believe or not? You know that Jesus is your Savior but do you know He is your Lord? Let me ask you something. Did you buy Him or did He buy you? Which should be following the others orders? He said go and make disciples. Are you? Your Lord has told you what to do. Your nation needs you to do what your Lord has told you to do? Are you AWOL? Get back in the trenches soldier; you’ve got work to do.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

June 23, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Proverbs 30-31
Old Testament Only: 1 Chronicles 24–25
New Testament Only: John 21

Go And Sin No More

Today’s Passage: Psalms 49-54

Man praying - orangeIt seems to me that all the theology of the Bible is found in these Psalms. Take for example Psalm 49.

Psalm 49:7-9 ESV
“Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever
and never see the pit.”

You and I cannot save ourselves or anyone else. Even if you and I sacrifice our life for the transgressions of someone else it is not enough to save them; our very life is not valuable enough to pay the high price required by sin. These verses tell us that in man there is no hope. Of course, that is not the end of the story. You see, while man cannot save himself, God can and does save man. God can and did pay the price required of sin.

Psalm 51 illustrates this fact perfectly. Remember back in 2 Samuel when David took another man’s wife and then had that man killed? We all know that by God’s standard both acts were heinous. What you may not have considered, however, is that as king, David was above reproach. In fact, what he did in this instance was not really an unusual act for a king of that era. By the human standards of the day, outside of God’s law, David didn’t do anything wrong. God’s standard, of course, is a different matter entirely. There is scriptural evidence to suggest that David was being eaten up by his sin prior to Nathan’s confronting him; it bothered him and he became quiet and withdrawn.

I think one of the things that has bothered many of us who have read about David, is that he seems to be such a great man of God and then, seemingly out of the blue, he commits two horrendous sins in succession. How can a man with such a close relationship with God, who clearly loves the Lord and has shown time and again an ability to deny his own self-centered desires in order to be true to God’s standard, drop the ball in such a catastrophic way? “He didn’t just tell a little white lie to keep from hurting someone’s feelings; he committed adultery and murder!”

Do you know how you can tell David loved God? His sin bothered him. When Nathan confronted him with his sin, he could have, like any other king of the day likely would have, had Nathan killed. Instead, David confessed his sin. You see, if you are God’s man, sin will bother you. If you are God’s man He will discipline you. If you are God’s man you will confess your sin from a broken heart with true regret and remorse. In verse 1-6 of Psalm 51 we find David’s confession. He admits he has fallen short of God’s standard and that he needs to be forgiven.

A man that does not belong to God does not feel he needs to be forgiven for his sinful behavior. How can one who feels they have done nothing wrong desire forgiveness? How can forgiveness be given if it isn’t requested? David is God’s man even though he sinned. And that is my point about the theology we see here in the Psalms. David, a hero of the Bible, is not good enough to save himself. Even with all of his great works and great Psalms of praise, he cannot save himself; he falls short of the mark and deserves the pit. What hope do you and I have if even one like David is not good enough? Our hope is the same as David’s; it is the fact that God convicts us of our sin and enables us to perceive our guilt. Our hope is in the fact that He loves us enough to discipline us and provide cleansing for us as a result of our requesting forgiveness. Listen to David’s words:

Psalm 51:7-12 ESV
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

You see, David knows that God must do the work of salvation. God must cleans us and renew our spirits within us. Now I found a couple of more verses in this Psalm fascinating.

Psalm 51:16-17 ESV
“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

God has developed an entire system of sacrifice; burnt offerings and wave offerings and peace offerings and the like, but David says God will not delight in that sacrifice or he would give it. He says that the burnt offering is not enough. The sacrifice that God requires is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. I worry about those that seem to come to God too easily. Is their spirit really broken? Do they really have a broken and contrite heart? It is not for me to say, but either it is or it isn’t. If they are not broken by their sin, how can they truly ask for forgiveness? We tend to say that all you have to do to be saved is accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. This is, of course, true, but a little over simplified. There must be confession and a changed heart. You cannot simply take Christ on as some kind of cosmic insurance policy without any sense of remorse or brokenness; it is not a sincere request.

As I did the dishes prior to sitting down to write this post, I listened to a song performed by Bob Carlisle entitled “We fall down”. It is the story of a man who trudges his way past a cathedral every day as he drags his wares to market. As he passes the cathedral he imagines how wonderful it must be to live in a place where you are warm and well fed and the burdens of the world are shut out. One day a priest passes by and the man asks him what it is like to live in such a place. The priest replied “We fall down, we get up. The saints are just the sinners who fall down and get up.”

We have to be careful about getting our theology from pop Christian songs; far too many of them are a little off, and one might find things in this song with which to disagree. Still the idea that the saints are just the sinners who fall down and get up is pertinent to what the lesson of David teaches us. When we accept Christ we are “reborn”; we are new creatures; the old is gone the new has come. Our problem seems to be we don’t understand the power of the new creature and we have phantom sensations that remind us of our old selves. I’ve heard it said that an amputee will often have a sensation that the removed limb is still attached. The limb is gone but the mind, for some reason, gives the sensation that it is still there. I think we can get that same kind of sensation after we have had the old self removed.

What this phantom sensation means is that we might, from time to time, fall down. The question here is what are you going to do once you’ve hit the floor? Will you deny your sin, or will you confess your sin and ask for forgiveness? The enemy is a dastardly creep. He will encourage you into a stumble and then condemn you in an effort to keep you down. David has shown us the proper response. We must confess, ask for forgiveness, and get back up and on with being a man of God. We will have to live with the consequences of our sin as David did, but we must rise in the victory already provided by Christ, go, and sin no more.

Have a blessed and righteous day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!