What Keeps Me From the Lord?

Bible Readings for the day: 1 Chronicles 22:2-23:32, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Psalm 91:9-16
Meditational Reading: 1 Chronicles 22:19a
David told Solomon:  “Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God.”

I supplied to the “David told Solomon” because we need to remember the context what happened in the meditational reading: David was not a paragon of virtue.  He was a murderer, an adulterer, and that’s just the beginning of the list.  But David was also something else; he was a person who repented when confronted with the reality of his sin.  David was a person just like every other person in the world.  From a human perspective he was a bad sinner.  From God’s perspective we are all bad sinners.  We remember Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Everyone is a sinner; everyone is under God’s judgement.  When I say “everyone,” my name is first on the list.  David was a sinner just as I am a sinner just as all of us are sinners.

As David’s rule comes to an end, as David informs Solomon about the building of the Temple, David exhorts Solomon to set his mind and heart to seek the Lord his (Solomon’s) God.  David stumbled and fell throughout his kingship.  He failed; he sinned.  But when confronted with his sin, David repented.  He confronted the reality of sin; he recognized the damnable aspect of his sin; he confessed his sin; and he received God’s total and complete forgiveness.  David lived a life of continual confession and forgiveness, just as we should live such a life.  Now, at the end of his rule, at the end of his life, David is in a right relationship with the Lord his God because he lives in the forgiveness God provided.  David finished well because he lived in God’s forgiveness.

Now, we look at the Solomon.  Solomon started his reign as king very, very well.  He was dedicated to the Lord his God.  But something happened along the way.  Solomon turned away from the Lord; in his mind he still worshiped the Lord, along with the gods of his many foreign wives.  Something happened and Solomon no longer set his mind and heart to seek the Lord his God.  Maybe Solomon became a pragmatist:  he would insure his rule and make treaties with the kings and nations that surrounded him, ratified by marrying the unbelieving daughters of those kings.  Solomon set up foreign altars so that his non-Israelite wives could worship their false gods and, soon, Solomon also worshiped those false gods.  And Solomon persisted in his sin of idolatry.

My life is a constant temptation to take my eyes off of the Lord my God.  My life is a constant temptation because I am a sinner.  In the back of my mind the little voice questions, “Can God really forgive this one?  Will he forgive this one?”  My sinful nature wants me to forget God’s love, forget God’s forgiveness, forget God’s promise.  Remember back in the first paragraph I wrote, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”?  I didn’t complete the full sentence, the complete thought:
“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”  (Romans 3:22b-25a)

The bad news:  I am a sinner.
The good news:  God the Father totally and completely forgives ALL of my sins and offered his Son as the total and complete sacrifice to pay the price of my sins.

I am in a right relationship with God now and for eternity, because God did all that is necessary for me to be his now and for eternity.  I am forgiven.  I live a life of forgiveness.  I confront the reality of sin in my life, I confess that sin, and God totally and completely forgives because of Jesus and his sacrifice on my behalf.  Living a life of forgiveness, I can and will finish well because of Jesus my Savior.

A prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you for giving yourself as the perfect sacrifice for my sins.  Thank you for the forgiveness you give me.  Let me always live in that forgiveness, never forgetting you and your great love for me.  Amen!

Should you wish to access Pastor Kerner’s sermon archive, you can do so at https://gslcsuffield.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/sermon-archive-2010-2011/

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 585 South St. (Route 75), Suffield CT 06078 USA  http://www.gslcsuffield.com  Should you wish to support this ministry, you can mail a check to the church.

If you liked this post in any way, please think about sharing it on your social media sites.  This is an effective way to evangelize on the internet.  You can also friend me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.kerner

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