Psalms 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

I was reading about an ex-megachurch pastor today that feels he’s being discriminated against by his former church and the association. This man was caught up in a scandal after he committed sin. He resigned in shame and entered an agreed upon restoration program which was to last possibly “many years”. After a few months he left the program and started a new church. Now he is calling the church, it’s elders and Christians in general hypocrites for being unforgiving. It seems to me the man is still seeking after his own will, not the will of God by his actions and statements.

After David sinned with Bathsheba, pretty much breaking all the Commandments in the process, God did forgive him. But He forgave after David came with a truly broken heart and repentant spirit. And there were consequences for David’s actions; he didn’t get to build the Temple, it was left to his son, Solomon to do.

While God will forgive us, we do have to be like David was: with heart felt, grief stricken, conviction and an attitude of repentance. When you read Psalm 51 you can feel the contrition David felt. And as sorry as he was, or we might be, there may still be consequences to our actions and for our sin.

The lesson we need to learn (as I think the former pastor I began this writing with needs to learn) is that yes, there are penalties for our sin at times. But God is merciful if we will confess them and turn from them. And His forgiveness is the important thing in the long run. He can and often will take our failings and turn them into some thing for His glory. But only of we are obedient.

From the Heart

In commenting on Psalm 45 (http://is.gd/dqrDD) Charles Spurgeon wrote:

“Whereby they have made thee glad.” And who are thus privileged to make the Saviour glad? His Church his people. But is it possible? He makes us glad, but how can we make him glad? By our love. See, loving heart, how he delights in you. When you lean your head on his bosom, you not only receive, but you give him joy; when you gaze with love upon his all-glorious face, you not only obtain comfort, but impart delight. Our praise, too, gives him joy not the song of the lips alone, but the melody of the heart’s deep gratitude. He loves us, not for the value of what we give, but for the motive from which the gift springs.

Often we forget that our Lord looks at the intent of the heart in all matters, not only sin but also praise and worship. Ours need not always be a grand expression of our love to Him; the smallest gesture, the quiet whisper, the silent prayer, if they come from the heart with the attitude of love are just as pleasing to God as any other way we might praise Him.

How Smart Are You?

Cracker Barrel
Image via Wikipedia

Sunday night Bro. Steve brought the message.  At one point he used that game from Cracker Barrel, the one with the golf tees in the wooden triangle where you jump the tees like in checkers and try to end up with only one left, as an illustration point (the fewer pegs left in the triangle, the smarter you are, at least that is the premise of the game).  I honestly don’t remember what the illustration was because, in his usual style, he used a little self-deprecating humor saying he usually ended up with so many left it rated him as an “ignoramus”; I got such a chuckle out of him I forgot the illustration.  But it brought the following idea to my mind.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever played that game but it can be quite the challenge.  There are many ways to try that will end up with more than one peg.  But only one way to do it right.  And the slightest wrong move can send you spinning off course from what looked like a ‘win’ to total frustration and a ‘loosing’ game.

They sell that game at Cracker Barrel.  And if you buy it you get a set of directions that show you how to master the game.  With enough practice, you can then, using these directions, end up with one peg left every time and always ‘win’ the game.

Our Christian walk is kind of like that game.  There are a lot of choices to make along the way and many things in the world can cause us to make that wrong move, like in the tee-game, and send us spinning off course.  We have the instructions for how to get on course and stay there in our walk too: the Bible.  God has lovingly provided us with the Set of Instructions for everything we need know, the right and wrong ways to go about it all, and how to know which path to follow.  All we need to do is pick the Directions up and follow Them.

But unlike the golf tee-game we can buy, we can’t buy or earn the Right Way that God has provided for us.  Yes, we can purchase the Direction Book (the Bible).  But the price for ‘the game’ has already been paid in full: bought and paid for by Christ Jesus.

Psalm 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

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A Letter from God

Date:            TODAY
From:           GOD
Subject:       YOURSELF
Reference:   LIFE

This is God.  Today I will be handling All of your problems for you.  I do Not need your help.  So, have a nice day.
I love you.

P.S.  And, remember…
If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do Not attempt to resolve it yourself!  Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME  All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it.  Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it’s like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children..

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; Thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know!
Now, you have a nice day…

Psalm 18:1-2

1. I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

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