The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life
Proverbs 21:1-10 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty. The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, Because they refuse to act with justice. The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
For several years I have been blessed to work in Louisville to provide for my family, having had an opportunity to observe the construction of the new downtown span, the Abraham Lincoln Bridge. Day by day I would cross the Kennedy bridge, and slowly but surely the new bridge came together. Theft by way of tolls, and long commutes aside, I can testify to you after having worked on many a construction site, that the construction of that new bridge and the reworking of Spaghetti Junction was an engineering marvel to behold. The scale of that job was massive. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people participated in building the new bridge, and it seems to have been a successful endeavor. One thing in particular that amazed me, was how the bridge was constructed by working from both the Kentucky side, and the Indiana side, simultaneously, with workers meeting in the middle of the 2100’ span to complete their task. Ben would be someone to ask about this, but it seems to me, that a deviation of even 1/8th of an inch on one end of a 2100’ span could have very expensive ramifications. I remember while working in the field as an electrician, installing conduit on a wall, slight differences in measuring where to place the hangers that would support the conduit, would lead to the conduit run being several inches off the mark when you got to the end of the conduit run. I can only imagine what slight deviations in the beginning of a bridge project translate to in the end. Apply this now, to you spiritual life. How often do we say, “It’s only a little glance”, “I only did it once”, “No one but me knows”, “These thoughts never even leave my mind”, “Surely one time cannot hurt”, and on and on we deviate from the narrow path that God calls us to, and stray onto the wide. The Proverb today tells us that: “The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.”
Is your way crooked today? Have you moved off center from where God would have you? How would you even know? The bible teaches us that we are to hide God’s word in our heart that we might not sin against Him. God’s word is our standard, our measuring stick. If we are trusting our flesh, looking to the world, and believing the lies of Satan to know whether or not the path we are on is crooked, what seems like a slight deviation in the beginning, will find you far off the mark and out of God’s will in the end. This Proverb tells us that if our way is crooked, we are guilty before God. If you are guilty today, you need an advocate, someone to plead your case for you. Your friends and family cannot speak for you. Your Pastor cannot advocate for you. There is one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ the righteous. Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God. This is how one becomes pure and upright. Not by deeds, not by attempting to work off your sin debt. You see, unlike a faulty bridge calculation which may lead to the span missing the mark in the middle by several feet, our unforgiven sin sends us to hell, where there exists an infinite span of separation, a great chasm, which no bridge can span. Let us go boldly to the throne of Grace, and repent of our sins today, having faith that God’s word is true when He says that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Let us kneel.
Dear Heavenly Father, there are perhaps some among us here today who are without hope, separated from you by sin, unbelief. We pray for those who would believe, that they would be born again, that they would have Your Spirit put within them, and be enabled to walk in newness of life. We pray also for those here today who can rightfully cry out “abba Father!”, that they would recognize how they have deviated from Your Word, and call out to You for mercy and forgiveness of their sins. Father, we pray that You would strengthen us in the inner man, to lay aside the weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Father, we are weak and feeble, but You are strong. Help us to trust in Your Son Jesus, our advocate, and not in our pathetic attempts to satisfy Your wrath. It’s in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. – 2 Peter 1:2-4
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 7/22/18 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Aaron Sabie.)