Saturday, December 26, 2015

BOLD Christian Outreach Reflections from Psalm 38

Subtitle: A “Come to Jesus” moment.

Psalm 38:1-22 (GW)
O LORD, do not angrily punish me or discipline me in your wrath. Your arrows have struck me. Your hand has struck me hard. No healthy spot is left on my body because of your rage. There is no peace in my bones because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me. Like a heavy load, it is more than I can bear. My wounds smell rotten. They fester because of my stupidity. I am bent over and bowed down very low. All day I walk around in mourning. My insides are filled with burning pain, and no healthy spot is left on my body. I am numb and completely devastated. I roar because my heart's in turmoil. You know all my desires, O Lord, and my groaning has not been hidden from you. My heart is pounding. I have lost my strength. Even the light of my eyes has left me. My loved ones and my friends keep their distance and my relatives stand far away because of my sickness. Those who seek my life lay traps for me. Those who are out to harm me talk about ruining me. All day long they think of ways to deceive me. But I am like a person who cannot hear and like a person who cannot speak. I am like one who cannot hear and who can offer no arguments. But I wait with hope for you, O LORD. You will answer, O Lord, my God. I said, “Do not let them gloat over me. When my foot slips, do not let them promote themselves at my expense.” I am ready to fall. I am continually aware of my pain. I confess my guilt. My sin troubles me. My mortal enemies are growing stronger. Many hate me for no reason. They pay me back with evil instead of good, and they accuse me because I try to do what is good. Do not abandon me, O LORD. O my God, do not be so distant from me. Come quickly to help me, O Lord, my savior. (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

The weight of the LAW is a crushing burden. It kills a mortal man because of his sin. Without a savior we would all be without hope. If this psalm sounds like the nightmare of a living hell, well that is the reality of living in sin in a sin filled world. We have a few choices, but none of them will help us fix the problem. We can try to drown the pain in alcohol or take the edge off with pain killers and drugs. However, the reality of these attempts only mask the real problem and cause more pain in the end.

Sin is like an infection, unchecked it will only get worse. What is rotten on the inside starts to ooze and smell and drive people away. The body cannot heal itself without outside help. It needs the skilled hands of a surgeon to remove infected tissue and clean up the surrounding area. There is only one who can do this. This is the work of the one who created us in His image and who is able to recreate us again. Our Lord and Savior Jesus is the only one who is able to remove the sin and guilt from our lives and give us a new life in Him.

Jesus is able to do this because He met the demands of the LAW by standing in the path of our punishing blows and taking them upon himself. Our Savior died in our place to set us free from the punishment of our sin. Death had no power over Him because He lived without sin. He came back to life and gives eternal life to everyone who trusts in the forgiveness and salvation He provides.

Sometimes we have doubts and the guilt comes back to haunt us. We wonder out loud if God really paid the full price for our sin. We let despair get the best of us and we try to escape the pain on our own. We don’t like to hear the words that condemn us, but we need to understand that they are meant for our good. We cannot by our own power or strength believe in God or come to Him, we cannot come to Him with anything to offer in exchange for our salvation, we can only come us beggars pleading for mercy.

It is the broken and contrite that will receive forgiveness and salvation. And that leads us to the BOLD Outreach promise of this psalm. No one is beyond help! Every broken person who trusts in Jesus Christ, the Savior / Messiah, will be rescued from the destruction of sin now and into eternity. Some have called it their “Come to Jesus” moment. It is truly an awakening that opens our eyes to the helplessness of who we are, and the reality of who our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is. It is God's LOVE for us that compelled Him to die for our sins. He wants everyone to be with Him for eternity. He forgives those who ask for forgiveness and surrender their lives to His will. He grants eternal life to everyone who trusts in Him for salvation. BOLDLY GO and TELL others this GOOD NEWS!

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