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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Ugly Truth of Our Sin and Our Victory in Jesus! (Blogging Through the Bible)

Salvation from sin

In our Bible reading plan for this week, Psalm 14 and Psalm 15 really caught my attention because as you'll see in my study notes below, one Psalm deals with the characteristics of the ungodly and the other deals with the 10 characteristics of those who desire to abide in the presence of God

Those of us who have called on the name of the Lord can remember the depths of sin that He pulled us out of. Every salvation story is different, but two realities they all have in common is the realization of...

...the ugly truth of our sin and our victory in Jesus!

It's so fitting that we find ourselves in Psalm 14 and 15 several weeks before we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's only because of His marvelous Light that broke forth into the darkness of our sin-tainted lives that we now can walk in the victory that Jesus gives to us. His entrance into this world in human flesh, living obediently to fulfill all the requirements of the Law, choosing to die on the cross in our place, and rising from the dead on the third day were all for our restore our broken relationship with God.

It is only as we face the truth of our fallen nature that we can see clearly our need of a Savior. It's only then that we can ask Jesus to forgive us, to cleanse us, and to live inside us so that we can walk confidently in the victory of a life surrendered to Him.

***Here are my S.O.A.P.s for Psalm 14 and Psalm 15***

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Psalm 14

Scripture: Psalm 14:1, 3-7
1The fool has said in his heart,
There is no God
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call on the Lord?
There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the Lord is his refuge.
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

The characteristics of the godless: 
1) Says there is no God
2) Twice in verse one and verse three it says they are corrupt (act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain)
3) Do abominable works
4) Twice in verse one and verse three it says they do not do good
5) Turned aside (avoid something)
6) Have no knowledge of God
7) Eat up God’s people (exploit them)
8) Do not call on the Lord
9) Shame those who trust in God as their refuge

We see in verses 5 and 6 our comforts as children of God, living among the godless. We have the presence of God in our lives, and we have His protection. In verse 7 we find our hope in the blessed return of Jesus putting an end to sin and silencing Satan!

Application: I’m so thankful for the presence and protection of God in this dark world! The hope we have of the second coming of Jesus is what we need to fix our eyes on as we walk in a world that is so full of wickedness. 

 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:18)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, every day we see more and more the evil of this world. The godless no longer try to hide in the darkness of their sin. They mock Your people and flaunt their sin out in the open. I pray for the salvation of their souls…I pray for true repentance to be birthed in their hearts and minds. Your Word tells us that You are longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. May it be so in the lives of those who are still entangled in a life of sin. May today be the day of salvation for those who have yet to call on the name of Jesus so that they will be ready when He returns. Thank You for that blessed hope we have. Thank You for Your presence and Your protection while we wait for Jesus. It’s in His hopeful name I pray. Amen!

Wednesday, December 12, 2014

Psalm 15

Scripture: Psalm 15:1-5
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
    And works righteousness,
    And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
    Nor does evil to his neighbor,
    Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
    Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

Ten characteristics of those who desire to abide in the presence of God:
1.)   Walks uprightly
2.)   Works righteousness
3.)   Speaks truth in his heart
4.)   Doesn’t backbite with his tongue
5.)   Does no evil to his neighbor
6.)   Doesn’t take up a reproach against his friend
7.)   Despises the evil of the vile person
8.)   Honors those who fear the Lord
9.)   Swears to his own hurt and does not change (keeps his promises even when it’s no longer to his advantage to do so)
10.)     Doesn’t put his money out at usury (unethical loans intended to unfairly enrich the lender) or take a bribe against the innocent (instead uses his money in a way that honors God and shows care and love to others)

I will never be able to possess all of these characteristics in my own flesh. No matter how hard I try, I will always fall short. 

Sure, maybe there’s a couple of them I might not have difficulty with, but like the 10 Commandments…if I’ve broken one, I’m guilty of them all. 

Just like the 10 Commandments, this list of 10 characteristics of those who desire to dwell in the presence of God points me to my desperate need for Jesus. He fulfilled all the requirements of the Law when He walked this earth in human flesh. It is only because of His righteousness that I have been declared righteous before God and will one day be allowed to dwell eternally in His presence. 

The promise we are given as we seek to walk in obedience to the will of God in this world is that we will live eternally with Him. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)

Application: We must look up to God in prayer, receive direction for living found in His Word, and live the moments of this life as God calls us to through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. We can walk as God is calling us to walk because we have the same power living in our hearts that raised Christ from the dead and can breathe new life into our dead flesh {Romans 8:11}.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit living in me that empowers me to be who You created me anew to be and to do all that You have called me to do. I pray that as I look to Your Word as a lamp to my feet and a light to my path that I would be obedient to walk in the truths You show me. May I remember to look up to You always in prayer knowing that You are faithful to hear me, that You care, and that You desire that fellowship time with me. Thank You, Jesus, for fulfilling the requirements that I could not that were necessary to restore my broken relationship with our Father. I pray that I would continually walk in the example of Your obedience so that these characteristics would be evident in my life. In Your life-changing name I pray. Amen!

Here is our reading plan for the rest of the week:

Psalms Reading Plan

I'll see you back here again on Friday for another Blogging Through the Bible post!

Walking in His Grace, 

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