Proverbs 4:18-27 says this: “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” We must be willing to let God take the thorns out of our life and get rid of any sin in our life! God in His mercy gives us the grace to do this layer by layer just as in school you go from first grade to second and on until your graduate. Some people sad to say never go beyond kindergarten in their spiritual walk with the Lord! Do you want to come to church and have a feel good sermon and leave or come to church and get convicted of your sin and do something about it?
Proverbs 14:12 says: There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” This is talking about both physical and spiritual death when we sin. We are to trust the Lord with our all our heart and not lean on our own understanding! Jesus wants to give us an abundant life but will we let Him? Will we serve the Lord as Joshua 24:14-15 says with these words? “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Will we love God with all our heart, soul and spirit and love our neighbor as ourself? Our neighbors are those right in front of us like our spouses, children and grandchildren and anyone the Lord puts in front of you!
1 Samuel 6 shows the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, and they sent it back on a new cart with two cows pulling it. 2 Samuel 6 shows David and all his men went to bring up the ark of God. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah. David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” Proverbs 16:25 says: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” This is what happened for the end leads in death as happened when David forget the right way for bringing the ark back to Jerusalem. Only Levites were supposed to handle the ark and no one else and even then they were supposed to purify themselves to do so. God’s anger burned hot due to this highly irreverent act!
None of us are righteous, no not one for all our righteousness is as filthy rags! Only if we are wearing Christ’s robe of righteousness can we be righteous! But some of us may say, oh I can be righteous- look at all my good works! No, you cannot for there is only one way to righteousness and that is through Jesus who is the way, the truth and the light! John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not die but live!” The only way to heaven is through Jesus and it is a narrow path! Sin distances us from God and we have choices to make! How do you peel an onion back? Layer by layer!
Our prayer for today is Psalms 51 which says: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offering. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.” When we pray this prayer we are asking the Lord to get rid of any offensive way inside of us. How do we have clean hands and a pure heart? The answer is by spending time with Jesus everyday! We can never be good enough but in Jesus we can! We do not want greasy grace in our life where you think you can just get saved and then do whatever you want! Wrong! We all have to deal with sin in our life and it is not pleasant but we must do so trusting in God’s Word and through the Holy Spirit we can do all things as Jesus strengthens us!
Come visit us Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. for exciting Bible Studies taught by Pastor John Berry who is teaching on faith for the next 4 weeks. Wednesday at 7 p.m., we have services with Bible time, prayer time and a wonderful meal following! Don’t miss these exciting things happening at South Texas Christian Center! Visit us on line at: www.stxcc.org