Friday, August 12, 2011

August 13, 2011

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." Psalm 119:9-16

If I have not yet made the case for the truth and reliability of God's Word, let me try one more time.

First, let's review. The evidence we have presented to this point:

1) Fulfilled Prophecies - every prophecy concerning Jesus was fulfilled completely.

2) Historical Accuracy - if measured by the same standards as other commonly accepted ancient documents, the Bible would fare well.

3) Miraculous Preservation - for ages the Scriptures have been under attack by kings, emperors, and czars. These tyrants have tried to destroy copies if the Bible, killed the people who printed them, and arrested those who possessed them. Still, the Scriptures not only survived, but remain a number one best-seller!

4) Unity of Structure - The Bible was written over 1,500 years by 40 different writers in three different languages on three continents and yet there is a single theme - the redeeming love of God!

5) The Influence for Good - It can easily be documented that everywhere the Bible has been honored and taught, the social climate and culture have been superior to non-biblical cultures. That has been true throughout biblical history. No other sacred writing has impacted history to a greater extent than the Bible.

So, faith in the Bible is well-founded. However, there is one more convincing and powerful proof for the veracity of the Word. What is it? It is the proof of a changed life!

When someone begins to study and believe and live by Biblical truths, that life changes dramatically. People who used to be hateful, suddenly become loving. Why? The power of the Word? People who once were very selfish, suddenly begin devoting their lives to serve others. Why? The power of the Word. The Word of God has tranforming power!

How can you see that power in your life?

Love the Word

Is the Word of God a controlling passion in your life? Do you love it more than life itself? Light the Psalmist, you should delight in His Word. When you do it will transform your heart and mind.

Learn the Word

The Psalmist hid God's Word in his heart. That takes time and effort and study. Read it. Memorize it. When you do it will transform your heart and mind.

Lean on the Word

What do you depend on when you have to make a tough decision? Where do go to find strength during a difficult time? When you need encouragement, where do you go to find it? Jesus leaned on the Word - even though He WAS the Word! When you lean on the Word you will find it transforms your life.

Live the Word

If you are a believer in Christ and a lover of the Word, I am guessing that you chose that way because of a significant person in your life who lived out the Word. For me it was a man named Ralph Westafer. He lived out the Word so well and with such passion that it was hard NOT to believe in the Word. I'll bet you know someone like that.

Will you commit to become someone like that?

August 12, 2011

"For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge." Psalm 51:3-4

Sin may be in but sin is serious - seriously destructive.
King David, one of the godliest men in the Bible, was overcome by a moment of lust and committed a heinous sin. Then he compounded it by having her husband killed.
Destructive. Despicable.
As we focus on the anguish of the King, we get a sense of the awfulness of sin. Here's how damaging it can be:
Sin Desecrates
David's sinful acts had wreaked destruction on the sacred trust he had with God and with Israel as the King.
Also, he desecrated his marriage as well as the marriage of Uriah and Bathsheba.

His lustful fling destroyed two marriages and an innocent loyal life.
Sin Alienates

David's flagrant disobedience alienated him from his good conscience. It set him at odds against what he knew was right and holy. His peace was gone. His joy was gone. His fellowship with God was badly strained.

Sin Humiliates

Once David came to his senses (willful sin is much like temporary insanity) he could hardly believe what he had done. This man who loved God so much had dishonored God. This man who held the Kingship in such high esteem had dishonored the throne. This man who revered the Army of God, had violated military honor by betraying one of his loyal officers.

Everything good and sacred to this Honorable man had been dishonored by his indulgent act. This was so opposite of what he desired and dedicated his life to, he could hardly believe what he had done. He completely humiliated himself and all that he loved.
Sin Separates

God is Holy. That means He cannot sin nor can anything sinful exist in His presence. We are sinners by nature. We are sinners by habit. Therefore, our nature is incompatible with God's nature and that separates us from Him. We can have no fellowship with Him. He is a stranger to Him and we to Him.

David, who had been chosen by God and had entered God's presence through obedience and imputed righteousness was now separated from God. How tragic!

Sin Complicates

God exists in unity with the Son and the Spirit. Three in one through the mystery of the Trinity. God exists in the simplicity of love, holiness, and eternity. He created man for a simple fellowship of love and creativity. Because He wanted man's freewill to matter, He gave Adam one option to obey - don't touch the Tree of Life. As long as he abides by that simple rule, he had a perfectly simple existence. But his willful rebellion against God immediately complicated his life. Humanity's plight became exponentially more difficult.

David's world became incredibly complicated by his sin. Yours will, too.

Enough already? Have I made my point? Sin is destructive.
Fortunately, God is merciful. Thankfully, a merciful God sent His Holy Son to assume the desecration, the alienation, the, the humiliation, the separation and the complications of our sins so we can know the holiness, purity and simplicity of living in His love!

That's serious!