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 21:21-31 He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor. A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust. He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride. The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work; All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent! A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever. A wicked man displays a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure. There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord.
We’ve all heard the idea that dogs are loyal haven't we? Bad day at work? Dog loves you anyway. Lose your temper and lash out at dog? Dog comes slinking up apologizing for your bad attitude. Dogs are loyal. Man’s best friend. People on the other hand, not so much. Disgruntled job hopping employees, unsatisfied housewives, millionaire athletes whining about their salaries and demanding trades; everywhere we look, loyalty, or faithfulness, is being cast aside in favor of ME. What we desire is supreme. Our desires take precedence over family, employer, and unborn child. What we want nullifies all high minded ideas of being loyal because it is all about ME. Loyalty is old fashioned, like you, mom and dad. Our wishes are actually our god. We worship our desires, waging war with all those who stand in opposition, casting down every lofty opinion that rises up against the knowledge of MY wishes. My body my choice. My parents are old fashioned and don’t understand ME, and surely they know it’s all about ME. My wife isn’t doing what I want, so I’ll trade her in for a newer model. What I want to do after high school is more important than what God wants me to do. Doesn’t God remember that He made me with these desires? He should probably just bend to my will. At the root of all this unfaithfulness, is a lack of desire for righteousness, being faithful to the god of our stomach rather than to the One True God, because we love sin rather than God. In the end, we are never satisfied. That new, grass is greener on the other side job, is worse than the one you had before. That pornography you dabble in has its hooks in you, and you suddenly find yourself with no desire for anything, yet you cannot stop looking, needing more and more. Young men and women strike out for wealth, fame, and prominent careers, only to find themselves enslaved to the American dream, murdering their babies to buy themselves more time, addicted to stuff and self, on a collision course with God’s wrath. God’s Word points us towards a different path this morning.
He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.
If you are dead in your sins and tresspasses this morning, you are on the wide path of destruction, enslaved to the appetite of your stomach, and are surely not pursuing righteousness and loyalty. Holiness, without which no one will see the Lord, is a religious exercise for you. You check off all the boxes so that your friends and family are none the wiser: church, check! family devotion, check! tithe, check! Fake smile, check!, while inside, you plot and scheme your own desires outside of God’s will for you, pursuing the lusts of your flesh rather than righteousness, and loyalty to your Lord and Master Jesus Christ. This path you are on is the way to death. Won’t you repent today, brother and sister? Jesus said that one cannot see, nor enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless we have been born again. Cry out to God for a new heart and His Spirit. Are you weighed down with Godly sorrow this morning? Amen and Hallelujah! Repent and trust in Jesus Christ. Follow Christ onto the narrow path of righteousness and loyalty, forsaking your sinful desires. Pursuing the desires of your heart, rather than righteousness and loyalty, is the broad way to destruction. Let us kneel and pray.
Heavenly Father, we Your people are weak, sinful, and unfaithful to You. We often pursue idols and the thing created rather than pursuing righteousness. Father, we are loyal to the god of our stomachs, chasing the lusts of our flesh down the broad path of destruction. Please show us grace this morning that we might recognize our sin and repent, before You demand we give an account. Father, we are unprofitable servants who desire that our will be done rather than Yours. Please forgive us. Father, please give us clean hearts, steadfast spirits, and new affections this morning that seek to pursue righteousness, that are loyal to Your Son Jesus, that honor You in all of our words, thoughts, and deeds. 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:
Galatians 3: 6-9 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
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 8-5-18 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Aaron Sabie.)