Monday, February 22, 2010

Failure: Where do we go from here?

Yesterday at Vintage we continued the journey through “LIFE” our study on Matthew 5-7. Our topic was not an easy feel good message. We talked directly about sin, focusing on three specific areas: sexual lust, marriage and lying. (Matthew 5:27-37) In these situations Jesus’ focus is on the internal.

Rob's sermon: Our Vintage Podcast

As I listened and personally reflected, Psalm 38, the Psalm for the day in my one year Bible reading plan, came to my mind. In Psalm 38 David is experiencing trouble as a result from his own sin. God helped me to see a picture of repentance in this text. When failure happens in one of the three areas of Matthew 5:27-37, God desires for each of us to respond in a certain way. Repentance is a Biblical word we might not truly understand, especially in relation to what it looks like practically lived out in our daily life.

So, note the progression of repentance from Psalm 38

The Anguish
v.1-8 David describes his anguish and acknowledges that he deserved it because of his sin. Repentance begins at this point of humility. First we tell God that we messed up and did what we wanted, not what He wanted.

The Loneliness
v.9-14 David describes his loneliness because his friends have deserted him. As king, David felt vulnerable to his enemies in this trouble. In our repentance we must also reach this point where we realize that nothing around us (spouse, family, friends, counseling, therapy or a monthly meeting) can ultimately fix our situation. The reason is because when we’ve tried everything else like David we must come to realize that we have a issue in the heart that is only for God. He alone is our Hope.

The Desperation
v.15-22 David declares his desperation on God alone for salvation. Repentance happens at this exact point when we confess and apologize for the sin that we have committed against God. (v.18) Amazingly we have a God that hears our cries for help no matter who we are or what we’ve done. His salvation has no limits. His response to our sin is salvation only through Jesus’ death burial and resurrection. Through surrendering our life to Christ we are forgiven and restored to a right relationship with God. Once this happens we can begin to deal with the effects of the sin and those around us who have been affected. Then forgiveness and restoration are lived out towards others.

Other Psalms of Repentance: 6, 32, 51, 130, 143

Live the Gospel, Love the City, BE the Church!