25 July 2011

These Broken Bones

   Psalm 51:1-19

"In 1982, “ABC Evening News” reported on an unusual work of modern art—a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gun barrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at an undetermined moment within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell’s path! They all knew the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn’t happen during THEIR minute in the chair. Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn’t dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction. I think many of us stand at the roulette wheel of life [or in a chair like this] and say one more time around...just a little bit further...just go in a little deeper it won't hurt! I think many of us are forgetting about our sins and that we are all starring down the barrel of a loaded gun that could and will go off at anytime! Psalm 51 speaks of this kind of behaviour! A man who was willing to dabble in sin.....willing to look down the barrel for a minute thinking that the fatal blast wouldn’t go off during his time as he fulfilled his fleshly desires. A man who desperately needed to be broken over his sin. A man who was broken over his sin. LET ME ASK YOU! Does your sin make you weep? Do you feel broken over your sin? See, brokenness is the off ramp to your sin that is going in the wrong direction! Brokenness is the place that brings you to repentance which ultimately leads to forgiveness and ends in fellowship with Christ. See in order for genuine fellowship to ever happen.....God must break you and bring you to a place in your life where you cry out to God in repentance because of your sin. As George MacDonald said “Evil cannot be destroyed without repentance.” It’s a brokenness that makes you hate your sin. It’s a brokenness that makes you weep over you sin. HAVE YOU EVER FELT THAT WAY? You hated your sin so much that it brought you to a place where you can’t stand in anymore? It eats you up inside! Or is your answer no! I’m not really that concerned about my sin....He’ll forgive right! I have liberty in the blood of the Lamb, right? THE BIBLE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT THIS! 2 Cor 7:8-10 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it--though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." So let me ask you.........Where is your repentance leading you too? As Charles Swindoll says “remorse is sorrow over being caught and the pain of consequences that follow. Repentance is not being concerned for ourselves but having a contrite heart.” A brokenness over my sin! WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF GOD? A genuine brokenness over our sin which leads to a proper relationship with the One that paid your sin debt in full on the cross of Calvary. We open this Psalm that David wrote, about what a broken and contrite heart really looks like when our sin offends a holy God. David is completely broken over his sin! But in order for us to understand why! You need to go to 2 Samuel 11. We see in this passage that David committed not one sin but many sins! It’s like the person who tells one lie, and when that person is confronted, they tell another lie to cover up their original lie......... and as time passes by one lie turned into a multitude of lies! Remeber what Paul said the church at Galatia! “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” The same goes for David here is this Psalm! He committed a multitude of sin that grew throughout his entire body. And it begins with David disobeying God’s command as the king of the people......

1. HE STAYED HOME INSTEAD OF GOING OFF TO WAR WITH HIS MEN........This is where he was supposed to be in the first place. This is where sin always creeps its ugly head.....when we are not focused on Christ worried, disobedient or when were just plain bored.

2. HE LOOKED UPON A WOMAN WITH LUST IN HIS HEART.........This is one of the number one killers in the life of a man when it comes to relationships (marriage). Why do you think the porn industry is a multi-billion dollar market and the sexuality in the movies, TV shows, music videos or commercials are so popular in our culture today? Men are sexually driven by the opposite sex. That’s why it’s vital that women dress modesty......especially women who claim the name of Jesus Christ.

3. HE COMMITTED ADULTERY.........He took a woman who wasn’t his wife and defiled the bed in the presence of a holy God. Men around the globe today take women who are not there wife and do the same thing David did. [defile the bedroom] And this even goes out to those who are in a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship! You’re not exempt or an exception to the rule because you claim to be in love. True love is a man and a woman who become one flesh under God and they take the marriage seriously.......Why? Because God takes sexual intimacy and the marriage relationship seriously. If you are someone here dating and its gotten hot and heavy.... that’s not love, that’s lust and you need to stop it today....NOW! This is reserved for the marriage! If you truly say you love her you will honor her as Christ honours the church pure and holy until that day you say “I do”

4. HE COMMITTED MURDER.........He had Uriah killed because he was to deep in his sin and when a person is so desperate and not thinking rationally they will do anything to make it go away! David tried to hide his sin! You can’t hide sin.... which really means! “you can’t hide your sin forever! As Moses said in Numbers “be sure your sin will find you out.” The Apostle Paul said “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” 1 Cor 4:5. The Hebrew writer says we will all stand naked before Him “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Heb 4:13. But the sad reality is your sin will always be with you until you come to a place of brokenness and this is where David is at in this Psalm.

LOOK AT THE OPENING REMARKS THAT DAVID MAKES (v1-v5) This is a very personal and private plead of repentance to God and what’s amazing is that God left this in His book to demonstrate to us what genuine brokenness over sin looks like and what repentance and forgiveness looks like when we confess to the Lord on the altar of His grace and mercy. DAVID WAS BROKEN OVER HIS SIN (v1) David pleads with God to blot our remove this sin....Lord cover or remove my transgressions with your mercy and grace. Transgression literally means “my rebellion, my rebellion against You O’ God......this is a willing defiance against God and His truth.” David was crushed by the weight of his sin and his rebellious heart. HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU REBEL AGAINST GOD? See, we need to realize when you and I sin; we are sinning against the God who gives us our breath. For David it wasn’t Bathsheba he sin against........It wasn’t Uriah he sinned against,,,,,,It was the LORD God who David sinned against (Look at v4) His crime was ultimately against God; though the ripple consequences of his sin caused the life a devoted man [Uriah] and his future son who died after birth. Whay amazes me is that David also knew he was a sinner! ....this wasn’t foreign to him and it shouldn’t be to you and me either! Everyone in this room is a sinner and desperately needs His mercy and grace (v3) and we see it also in (v5a)
“I acknowledge my rebellion and sin” (v3)

“I was brought forth in sin” (v5)

David was broken because he feed his sin with his lustful passions. Sin is like a seed planted in the soil, it can only survive if you feed it and water it. Sin affects everything about you! The way you speak.....act.....respond.....and live! David couldn’t take it anymore....the pressure, the stress, the anxiety was to overwhelming for him to handle. The guilt and shame was eating at this man.......His sin brought him to a place of brokenness! Which leads to repentance? DAVID WAS BROKEN IN REPENTANCE (V7-V10) He pleads with God to “purge” these broken bones that LORD broke in him! Purge means to “expiate or cleanse” with “Hyssop” which is a leafy plant that the Old Testament priest used to sprinkle blood or water in a ceremony to cleanse a person from defilement (such as leprosy or touching a dead body). A prime example of this is when the Lord told the Israelites to apply blood with hyssop to their doorposts for the Passover. In this case, David felt defiled for his sin and wanted the Lord to thoroughly cleanse him from his sin...... (v7b) (That statement alone blows me away) Jesus Christ some 2000 years ago did that exact thing for me and you on the cross of Calvary. That’s how much God hates sin! Jesus Christ cleansed (purged) our sin with His precious blood and applied it to your defiled and unclean body! Not only does David want to be whiter than snow! David goes on to say “create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me” (v10 ) Take this black, defiled and wretched heart and make it new since my sin is ever before me. Cleanse me even though I’ve been corrupted since birth and renew in me a steadfast spirit so that I don’t fall into this wickedness again. Basically what David is saying “give me a holy frame of mind and remove this sin so that I won’t be easily shaken or cast down by the next temptation?” Remember! Sin never comes to fruition until the temptation is followed through. David was broken over the sin that overtook him through the temptation of a woman who was bathing outside her door. David is broken over the sin which brings him to repentance! Which is a turning away from; not I’ll continue going down the same road and see what happens the next time. Genuine repentance is a complete turning from the sin getting off the closet off ramp and going the other way! That’s not to say that you won’t be faced with this in the future on a different road. What I am saying is “in order to find victory over sin we must come to the Lord with a genuine desire and passion to kick this sin to the curb.” Genuine repentance! Not worldly repentance which leads to death as Paul spoke about to the Corinthian church. The kind of repentance that means nothing in the presence of God! "A hermit once, having renounced the world and lost all things, yet found no peace. It seemed to him in his lonely cell that the Lord asked something more. “But I gave you everything!” said the hermit. “All but one thing” answered the Lord. “What is it Lord?”.....the Lord answered “Your sins.” But this wasn’t David’s heart at all! He desired to be restored to God in such a way that he feared for his life in the presence of God (v11) This is a pray that as a believer in Christ will never have to do! Do you realize that? You can grieve....quench.....but never lose the Spirit!
Paul said “and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption” Eph 4:30. David was pleading for the Spirit to continue to work in him as the king to lead his nation forward, which was a special Holy Spirit anointing given to David which is how the Spirit worked in the Old Testament. God is awesome! God is so awesome that He is forgiving, patient and full of mercy! I’m amazed every day that He hasn’t destroyed us all already. It amazes me that He even decided to save anyone. David desired was to be in right standing with God out of adoration and obedience, not out of life of duty [sin confess...sin confess] (v12-v17) God desires His people to walk in the light where He is and to stay away from the darkness that lurks outside the doors of our heart. A communion with God should be our motivator each and every day as we face the day’s temptations and trials of life. I’m talking about that deep rooted fellowship that supersedes everything else in your life........but in order for that to happen, we need to be like David and confess our sins to Him. SO LET ME ASK YOU! Is there sin in your life today that you know you haven’t confessed to Him? Are you broken or do you feel broken when you sin against the God who spoke all things into existence and declared it good?
Do you care about your sin?

If your answer is NO! Then you truly don’t know what it means to be broken over your sin which is an offence to a holy God...........And you truly don’t have a heart that is ready for repentance. But if your answer is YES and this message have made you angry! Not with me, but your own sin! Good.........God is breaking you and humbling you to a place of repentance as He did to David in this wonderful Psalm of repentance and forgiveness.
You’re in the place that David was in when he wrote this Psalm this morning and you need to confess your rebellion and sin to God. As Paul Tournier said “true liberty is not found without confession of our sins and the experience of Divine forgiveness.” No matter what you have done, get right with Him....... right now! It could be any second that the gun goes off as you sit or dabble in the chair of your sin. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GRIPPED BY THE GLORY OF GOD? That a holy God in all His glory would forgive me and wash away my sins and make me whiter than snow. That He would embrace though the sinner that I am with unfailing love and mercy. But in order for that to happen......... HE MUST BREAK THESE BONES [your bones].........SDG

05 July 2011

Dad How Much Do You Make?

Here is a short story I came acoss as I was preparing for my message on Sunday. Lets just say it was a punch in the stomach for my behaviour somedays [most days for that matters]. I pray the LORD would give me a sensitive and humbled heart to my childrens needs more often as their father; to make that time for them above work and everything else....."Oh, how we loss focus sometimes when we are engulfed in our work responsibilities [at the church.]" Forgive me Lord for my selfishness and lack of consideration to the ones You gave to me to lead back to you. God bless and SDG!

With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work, "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
Greatly surprised, but giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: "Look, son, not even your mother knows that. Don't bother me now, I'm tired."
"But Daddy, just tell me please!? How much do you make an hour," the boy insisted.
The father finally giving up replied: " Twenty dollars per hour."
"Okay, Daddy? Could you loan me ten dollars?" the boy asked.
Showing restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled:
"So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right?? Go to sleep and don't bother me anymore!"
It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he had said and was feeling guilty. Maybe he thought, his son wanted to buy something.
Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son's room.
"Are you asleep son?" asled the father.
"No, Daddy. Why?" replied the boy partially asleep.
"Here's the money you asked for earlier," the father said.
"Thanks, Daddy!" rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money.
"Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!" the boy said to his father, who was gazing at his son, confused at what his son just said. "Daddy could you sell me one hour of your time?"

Unknown Author

04 July 2011

Who Am I

Psalm 8:1-9

We live in a very complex planet that is part of an amazing universe. I’m absolutely amazed when I think about our little planet we call "Earth". We know scientifically the earth is only a small planet in a relatively small solar system toward the outer edge of one of the billion solar systems in the universe. We know something of the distance. We know that light coming to us from the distant parts of the universe takes billions of years to get here. In fact! Recently the American Voyager II spacecraft reached Neptune, the last of the 4 planets it passed and took photographs of its astonishing voyage to outer space. Now Neptune is not even the outmost of the planets...... But, the radio waves sent back to earth from Neptune at the speed of light (186 000 miles per second) took 4 hours to get here. So a single set of communications from earth to the spacecraft and back to the States took one third of the day. The universe is massive and amazing! There is an estimation of over 350 billion galaxies (that’s a conservative estimation by the way). Philip Yancey gives the following description to help us appreciate the scale of that universe: “If the Milky Way galaxy were the size of the entire continent of North America, our solar system would fit in a coffee cup.” What I find more amazing is that God in His infinite wisdom and providence made this planet we call home to be a sustainable environment for humans.....animals, insects, plant life and the sufficient amount of resources to sustain it for thousands of centuries. God has prepared this small planet for one special purpose and that is a place to display the glory of His majesty and awesomeness. God is awesome! Can I say that? Not only is He awesome but He is excellent as well! By definition “excellence” means great virtue or worth; important or distinguished for what is amiable, valuable or praiseworthy.....it’s also a word that speaks of someone who is courageous, glorious or mighty. God is all those examples and so much more; that’s why I love this Psalm. David wastes no time as he pens these awesome words in the opening statement about our great God. Look at his opening remarks! (v1a) “LORD” which is Jehovah (Yahweh) and “Lord” which is Adonia.......this literally means “O Jehovah, our Adonia. It’s interesting to note in the later ages of Israel the Jewish people considered the name Jehovah to be so sacred that they would not pronounce it. So when they came to it in their reading of the Old Testament, as here, for example, they would say “Adonai” instead. In fact, when the Masoretes came in time to provide vowel pointing for consonantal Hebrew text, they wrote the vowels for “Adonia” whenever the name Jehovah occurred, as a reminder of what should be said. So when he read this verse, the pious Jew would say, “O Adonia, our Adonia,” meaning “Lord, Lord”. His name is so great they handle it with great care and concern "how majestic is your name in all the earth". See! God isn’t.........

• The big guy in the sky
• The man upstairs
• The big cheese
• The big teddy bear in sky
• Your personal genie in a bottle
• The big kahuna

He is almighty God and David proclaims this in his Psalm about the majesty to His sovereignty and glory. Two amazing and powerful titles which describes the authority and majesty of our great God. David says His name alone is so powerful and excellent, even the highest of Heavens cannot contain Him (v1b) even David’s son Solomon realized how great and excellent God is when he compared his life to Him. "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” 1 King 8:27. God is so excellent that creation cannot exhaust the glory of God! James Boice said “Even when creation expresses His glory, revealing His existence, wisdom, and great power as well as other attributes, it’s only a partial revelation of the surpassingly greater God who stands behind it.” I personally like what R C Sproul had to say about this! “Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their significance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.” God is so big in comparison to you and I.....even David or Solomon in all their kingly glory knew this! That’s why David penned these next words. (v3). WE NEED TO SERIOUSLY PULL THE CAR OVER AND STOP HERE FOR A MOMENT! When Julie and first were married we lived right in downtown Toronto. It was definitely and experience to say the least...the bright lights....sounds and smells at time. But! There is something you overlook or never really consider WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE CITY! And that is the remarks David says in this portion of his letter! (v3) “Your Heavens”..........................”the works of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained,” When you live under bright lights or when you are living a busy lifestyle, or focused so much on self you tend to forget these simple displays of God and His awesomeness.....I can relate! I can remember the first night we arrived at NBBI to start my schooling it was completely dark out and the power wasn’t hooked up to our mobile home yet...........But there was something we didn’t see at all when we lived in the city! I knew they were there when we lived in the city but when you stand on top of a hill in complete darkness you begin to see how big God is the billions of stars that He has put in place for His excellent name. When I read this portion of david's Psalm I can picture him as a young shepherd boy sitting in the valleys at night watching over his sheep as he pens these words or as the great king that he was sitting in high tower looking up to the Heavens as he prays or reads God’s precious word. We really need to slow down and soak in some of this good stuff that God has put in place to display Himself to you and me. We stop being busy all the time; like a chicken with its head cut off and stop once in awhile and ponder these wonderful truths about the God we serve. We should be looking to the Heavens and thinking about the same things that amazes David in this Psalm. God isn’t some distant deity or a god created in our minds that you can control. He is a God who is near and very involved in His creation and most of all His created children. Jer 23:23-24 "Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Declares the LORD.” God is so awesome and near, it amazes me that He even considers this wretched sinner such as me. Everything in this universe is in its rightful place.......He has ordained it that way. This means “everything is placed in its exact unalterable order.” (v3) That’s how excellent His name is, our awesome God would be “mindful” of you and me in His plan for the creation order. (v5-v9). Mindful means to be recognized, recount, record, remember, and make to be remembered. God who created this universe with great detail would look to man and say I give you I crown you with glory and honor. What does that mean? This is an effective way of identifying man with God and saying that he has been made in God’s image which reflects God’s glory. Not only are we crowned with glory and honors were to exercise dominion over the rest of creation. What is man that you are mindful of him “O LORD who majestic is Your name in all of the earth.” God has given angels spirits but no bodies and He has given animals bodies but no spirit.......but man, God has given both body and spirit...... David wrote “he made him a little lower than angels (or “Elohim”, God as some versions put it” (v5)Why didn’t He make us higher or equal with angels or God? The obvious answer is that God knows everything and he knows that mankind would want to be God! Take Nebuchadnezzar for moment! Here is a man who turned his back on God because he wanted to be like God.....Dan 4:30 “and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" This is a classic statement that speaks of many people around the globe today who made into the image and likeness of God. We call this secular humanism! Secular Humanism is a secular philosophy that espouses human reason, ethics, and justice, and the search for human fulfillment. It specifically rejects religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision-making. Which basically means it’s all about us....the selfish me factor! I get the glory, so forget God! What was the outcome for King Nebuchadnezzar as these words were still on his lips? “While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will." Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws.” Dan 4:31-33. See humanism leads to a life of destruction..........David did the opposite and reflected on the one who gets the glory in and through our lives. It is very careless to minimize God or put Him on the same playing field with all the other false gods or the image of man. David reflected on the majesty of His providential plan and grace to mankind (His special creation). (v3-v4). We are all like little ants in this vast universe! But God in all His glory is ever mindful of you and me as He has placed us as extremely important to Him. He is a God who is near, not a God who is a far off or some made up deity to sooth our conscience.


2. GOD IS SO MINDFUL OF YOU AND ME; HE KNOWS THE NUMBER OF HAIRS ON YOUR HEAD Matt 10:29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

3. GOD IS SO MINDFUL OF YOU AND ME THAT HE PROVIDES AND LOOKS OUT FOR OUR WELL BEING. Luke 22:35 “And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing."

4. GOD IS SO MINDFUL OF YOU AND ME THAT HE EVEN DISPLAYED HIS LOVE THROUGH ONE MAN (JESUS CHRIST) Phil 2:6-8 “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

God loves us so much that He lowered Himself than His creation to display that love for fallen sinners like you and me. He didn’t have to do it but He desired to do it on behave of sinful man and woman. And when I think of what Jesus did for me ......I’m forever humbled by this statement “What is man that You are mindful of him”
As the Christian band “Casting Crowns” said in one of their songs “WHO AM I”

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

God in all His glory gave us a special blessing by creating us to worship Him....to tell the world of His excellent name as our mighty God! That’s why David repeats the first verus as he ponders this great love that God has for sinners like us! “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (v9) As you reflect on this passage, picture yourself in a field late at night staring up to the Heavens as David starred and declare from your heart in adoration and thankfulness “I am Yours LORD”