Wednesday evening a brother shared a verse that helps motivate me to learn God's Word:
119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
heart's desire is not to turn away from God, but to walk closely to Him.
But my sin messes
My sin separates.
My sin brings shame.
My sin turns my heart against God.
When I first wrote the four previous sentences,
they just began with "Sin". But I changed that to "My sin" .
If I blame
the problem on a vague, cosmic problem of sin, that puts the problem somewhere else, far away from me . . . Sort of
like, Flip Wilson's saying, "The devil made me do it."
But as we have been learning
in the adult series in Sunday School (Join us at 9:30 a.m. !) , King David owned his sin, so that he could experience God's
David said, Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. . .. .Wash me, and I shall be whiter than
snow...... Psalm 51: 2,3, 7
When we own it, and state our sin, and go to God
for forgiveness, the doors of forgiving refreshment crack open into our hearts, the light shines in, and the washing happens,
cleansing our guilt. God hides his face from our sins, removing our shame (verse 9)
And as we walk forward in the path of sanctification, we are empowered to obey as Jesus commanded the woman caught
in adultery, Go and sin no more. John 8:11
Jesus' command does not
mean we will ever become sinless. Romans 7:13-25 would not agree with that thought. But Jesus' command in John
8 does mean that our dear Savior and Lord is looking for progress in holiness, a greater love for Him that would drive out
our baser loves and sinful desires.
Practically speaking, may I challenge and call you individually,
whoever reads this, and call you as leaders, and call you as a congregation, to show your love for Christ by loving His written
Psa_119:97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the
day. It is hard for us to meditate on it all the day unless we have memorized at least some of it !
Love His word by memorizing it. This is one of the things we do as a congregation, learning the verse
of the month, what I have called "Redeemer Scriptures", because that is the name of our Savior who gave the scriptures,
and the name of the church where we are learning them together,
It just so happens that the
"Redeemer Scripture" for October is a profound encouragement for redeemed sinners like you and me:
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
we may obtain mercy
and find grace to help
in time of need.
Whenever you feel guilty, and are listening to the accusation of the devil, that you dare
not show up at God's doorstep again with a sin to confess to Him, you will be able to quote this verse in your heart if you
learn it this month. You will be able to say to God. I come boldly to your throne of grace, dear Father, because
your Son is not a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are,
yet without sin. - Hebrews 4:15. Jesus understands the depth of our temptations, and yet never gave into
them, so that as the Good Shepherd of our souls, He was a perfect sacrifice qualified to die for our sin, and at the same
time a caring Shepherd wanting to apply that forgiveness to us because He personally walked as a human and knows the
weaknesses of the human condition.
When you freely come to the throne of grace, you are strengthened
in your relationship with Christ, bonding with Him as "family", so as to be experiencing last month's verse:
he who sanctifies
and those who are being sanctified
are all of one,
which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.
The action of
taking advantage of the throne of grace, coming boldly to Him for forgiveness, inflames our hearts to a new obedience.
Forgiveness from the guilt of our sin, is the first step in being sanctified to avoid future sin, because we do not
wallow in our sin, avoiding God, avoiding the throne of grace. The more we avoid God, the more we sink deeper and deeper
in the thoughts, words, and actions of sin. But coming to the throne quickly serves to identify ourselves with Jesus
as His brother or sister, and serves to help motivate us to help one another as the Body of Christ in this process of sanctification.
I challenge you to see the Redeemer Scripture as not another program of a church. Instead
please view it as our investment at RRPC in your personal progress as a believer. It will build you up, that you may
not sin against God, that you may be sanctified, that you may know God's family better, that you may find grace to help in
time of need.
The context of Hebrews 4:16 points mostly in the direction of the weakness of sin
- - Heb. 4:15 speaks of weakness in association with temptation, Heb. 5:2 speaks of the weakness of going astray.
But I also would encourage you to claim the provision of the throne of grace whatever weakness you face, whether it
is spiritual, physical, emotional, medical, relational. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Philippians
Sincerely, Pastor Ned