Hello Project Ezra! This week’s reading is from Psalm 25, and we will be addressing it from the perspective of humility before God. King David, who wrote this psalm, was called a man after God’s own heart, but not because his behavior was above reproach. Clearly there were times that it was anything but. However, David understood who he was in relation to God, and when he fell into sin, he came to God in repentance, and with true humility. Humility before God is sorely lacking in our day. From the pulpit where some pastors refer to God with an inappropriate air of familiarity, as if He was nothing more than a drinking buddy, to the man on the street who claims that when he stands before God, he will simply tell God what things are really like, and convince Him to change His mind, people want to approach God as if He is just another man, who must listen to them, rather than the other way around.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. While the Christian can have a relationship and an intimacy with God that is amazing, we must never forget that though we have been adopted into a family, we have been adopted by a King. God is the creator and sustainer of all that exists, and the laws that govern this world, and that govern our moral conduct and our standing before Him are His, and are not ours to change or question. Both His loving kindness and His holy majesty are truths of His character, and the fact that the Lord of all that exists cares enough to bleed and suffer and die for our sins should truly humble us. It is that message that I hope we will be able to share through this week’s reading.
As we enter December, we are also approaching our third year of the True Gift of Christmas reading. For those newer to the group, this is the weekend when we gather a team and read the entire Gospel of John in the open air. This has been one of our best readings in the past, and I want to strongly encourage you to gather a group of brothers and sisters in Christ, starting now, and to participate in the reading. Most communities have some sort of public Christmas celebration area or event that would be the perfect venue for this reading. In my area we have a large public Christmas display called Christmas in the Park. Thousands of people visit every day, so we find a public sidewalk area between the park and the major parking areas, we split up the reading between those available, and while one team member is reading the others pass out tracts and Bibles and talk to people. I would even encourage you to consider making this a church event. If you have any questions about the reading, feel free to contact me. The Facebook event will be going up shortly.
Thanks for being part of Project Ezra, and consider telling others about it. The Christmas season is the perfect season to get people involved. And please share any pictures, videos and testimonies you have from your readings. They are always a huge encouragement to me, and to others.
All for His glory,
READ PSALM 25
In this passage, David demonstrated that he clearly understood what many of us do not.
He understood his true standing before God.
David was the king of Israel and one of the most powerful men in the world at the time of his reign. Yet despite his power and influence, he was also called a man after God’s own heart.
David was not a man after God’s own heart because he was free from sin. The Bible records that David fell into horrible sin, which he tried to cover up through murder
He was a man after God’s own heart because of his trust and dependence on God, and because he saw his own sin, and came before God in true repentance, and in humility.
David recognized who God was, and he recognized who he was.
And David recognized the greatness of his guilt, and knew that all his sin was ultimately against God himself.
In Psalm 51:3-4 David says “For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against you; you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
David walked closely with God, and talked much about God’s love and mercy, but he also talked about God’s judgment.
Do you think about God’s judgment? You may not think much about God’s judgment, about His justice. You may believe that if there is a heaven, you are good enough to get there on your own, based on your own goodness, your own merits. But is that really true?
David knew better. When he tried to cover up his sin, God brought him face to face with it.
And we are praying that, through our message today,that you too will be brought face to face with your sin, and your true standing before God.
Are you willing to look at yourself in light of God’s standard? Or does your pride get in the way?
James 4:6 says that God opposes the proud, and gives grace to the humble, and it was the pride of sin that caused Adam and Eve to sin in the beginning, bringing us all under the curse of sin.
Because of our pride we choose to worship a god we have created with our hands, or in our minds that looks just like us, one who smiles at our sin, and we commit idolatry
Because of our pride, we put ourselves first, instead of putting God first, as we should.
Because of our pride we covet and steal, thinking we deserve more than we have, rather than gratefully accepting the blessings God has given us.
Because of our pride we commit adultery, putting our own pleasure and desires above God’s perfect plan for intimacy, marriage and family
Because of our pride, we sin. And the sin of pride leads to many other sins. Sin destroys our relationship with God, and because of our sin we deserve judgment and hell
TALK ABOUT THE REALITY OF HELL
David knew what he deserved from God. We need to know what we deserve from God.
We deserve judgment and hell and God’s wrath. But David knew something else about God’s character. He knew that He was not only a God of wrath, but a God of love
David asked God to remember His mercy and steadfast love, for the sake of His goodness, and for His name’s sake.
God is a God of love. In fact, the Bible says that God is love. And God demonstrated that love through the cross.
On the cross of Calvary Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, bled and died so that we could be forgiven.
Though Jesus was in very nature God, He chose to humble Himself, take on human flesh, and die for the sins of the world.
Through His sacrifice, through His suffering, sin is atoned for, paid for, and justice is satisfied.
Then three days after He died, He rose again from the dead, as He had said He would, proving His power over death.
The Bible says if you will repent, or turn from your sin, and trust only in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins, then you will be saved from your sins
Please do not make the mistake of thinking you can make yourself worthy of God’s forgiveness through your own efforts, that you can work your way to heaven.
The word says that unless you repent, you will perish. It says all our righteousness is like a polluted garment before God, that our good works are useless. And it says that you must come through Jesus Christ, for there is no other name under heaven by which you MUST be saved!
So learn from the example of King Dave. Look at his heart, and how he came humbly before God, and come humbly to the Lord today.
Confess and repent of your sins and throw yourself on God’s mercy, and He will save.
God’s word says that the friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.
So put your pride aside, and come to the Lord for salvation today!