Through the Word in 2020 / Feb. 16


We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from: https://www.navigators.org/resource/bible-reading-plans/
Today’s 4 readings are: Matthew 17:1-13; Acts 23:12-35; Psalm 38, Leviticus 1-4.
 
​One of the most certain evidences of the genuine life of God in the Believer, is the distress they experience over their sins. This is not something which lessens as you mature in Christ, but that increases.

For the most part, if we know our Bibles well and the truth of the Gospel, we do not fear the loss of salvation. We know God saves us full well knowing our brokenness and the seeds of sinful rebellion that still lay buried in our souls – all too often bringing forth their poisonous fruit. But there is nonetheless genuine distress over our sins. And what that distress looks like is described all too well in this Psalm.

But also in this Psalm is the wonderful pattern of prayer David establishes in the aftermath of his own sin. He pleads that God discipline him as a son, rather than as a stranger. And that is the core of the rest of his prayer. He banks on the privilege of sonship. Something every Believer can and should do. Especially in the aftermath of failure.

Sin has put distance between him and his God. Sin has obscured the delight in God he was used to. And he is sick over it. He feels the weight of his sin and does not try to escape it, but merely calls upon his God in regard to it. And he fears that he will never be the same again, especially in terms of the closeness with his God he had previously enjoyed.

And there Beloved, is the heart of one who truly belongs to God. The thing that torments them most about their sin, is how they fear it damages their fellowship and closeness to The Father.

And so the closing 2 verses summarize what David senses is his deepest need: “Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me!” And this he says is what it means to him to have God “Make haste to help me, O Lord of my salvation.

The state of a true Believer is not revealed by whether or not they – we – sin, but how it affects our intimacy with the Father. And if our sin does not seem to bother us all that much in that regard – we may need to find out if we are really His or not. Conversely, such a pain is one of the surest proofs that one is His.

Perhaps your own heart smites you today because of some failure, and the gap that seems now present between you and your God. Good. This is a sign of genuine life. And good too, that your God hears your cry at the pain of it – and will not forsake you or remain so “far away.” Oh how He loves to forgive and reconcile. ​

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