Tuesday, June 16, 2015

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 36

Subtitle: An Inspired Truth… Rebellion separates us from God. However, God’s mercy keeps us from getting what we deserve.

Psalm 36:1-12 (GW)
1 There is an inspired truth about the wicked person who has rebellion in the depths of his heart: He is not terrified of God. He flatters himself and does not hate or {even} recognize his guilt. 3 The words from his mouth are {nothing but} trouble and deception. He has stopped doing what is wise and good. 4 He invents trouble while lying on his bed and chooses to go the wrong direction. He does not reject evil. 5 O LORD, your mercy reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God, your judgments like the deep ocean. You save people and animals, O LORD. 7 Your mercy is so precious, O God, that Adam's descendants take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They are refreshed with the rich foods in your house, and you make them drink from the river of your pleasure. 9 Indeed, the fountain of life is with you. In your light we see light. 10 Continue to show your mercy to those who know you and your righteousness to those whose motives are decent. 11 Do not let the feet of arrogant people step on me or the hands of wicked people push me away. 12 Look at the troublemakers who have fallen. They have been pushed down and are unable to stand up again.            
(God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, www.godsword.org)

My first thought in reading this Psalm is to say,
“Thank God I am not one of the wicked ones who has rebellion in his heart!” 
“Thank God I know who Jesus is!”
“I have been given salvation because God knows my motives are decent!”

Really?   “I have had nothing to do with my own salvation.”
“I have been saved because God is extremely merciful!”
The difference between me and someone who doesn’t believe in God is the gift of faith. I know without a doubt that I deserve to spend eternity in HELL. I am dependent upon the grace and mercy of the ONE who has the power and authority to punish me forever. I have only one hope – GOD’S MERCY.

God in His mercy provided a way for us all to be set free from the punishment of sin. God took that punishment upon Himself by becoming one with us in the God/Man, Jesus Christ. He came into our world, lived and died in our place, and rose to life breaking the power of death. (The non-believer denies that Jesus is God, or that there is a hell, or that their sins will be punished. They live for themselves, their pride, their legacy, but not for God.)

His mercy reaches to the heavens…   His mercy is so precious.
His mercy gives us the fountain of life…  His mercy takes us from the darkness of HELL’S destruction and places us in the light of God’s Son, our Savior.

His mercy continues…to be poured out on us…who continue to sin and rebel against Him…even when we know the truth…and claim Him as Lord. We depend on His mercy…it is our only hope for salvation.

Allow me to have a healthy fear of you, O LORD. Keep me humble in your presence.
Let me wash away my guilt and sins in the mercy of your righteous blood.
You lived and died so I might be free from the punishment of my own sins.
Sins of arrogance… sins of rebellion… sins of flattery… sins of deception, trouble, evil schemes, this list could go on and on… I don’t deserve God’s grace, but I will rest in it, because it is where my hope comes from.

Here is the Outreach Promise in this Psalm: God’s mercy extends far beyond the deepest ocean or even the highest mountain. Mercy is available to everyone who is crushed by the weight of their sin. Mercy is what mercy does; it spares us from the punishment we deserve, when we recognize that we deserve to be punished for our sins and throw ourselves on the mercy of God.

God has spoken “Call on me for help, and I will deliver you!”
And in other place, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!”

There are no sins that God cannot forgive!   Call on Him, today!  He will grant you mercy and forgiveness.

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