J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Living For Others Part 3 – Christ Lives For Us

Part One of this series can be found here, and Part Two can be found here.

Psalm 69 gives us insight in how we live this life.  It is a Psalm of David.

69:1 Save me, O God!  For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.

Any of you felt this way this week?  I bet many of you do.  Do you feel like the waters are up to your neck?  Do you feel like you are sinking and there is nothing to hold onto?

3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched.  My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.

Do you feel like you are crying out to God so much that your throat is sore and parched?  Do you feel like God is not listening to you?  And as is all that wasn’t enough, listen to verse 4.

4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal must I now restore?

Do you feel like people hold you accountable for things in which you should not be accountable?  Are people asking too much of you.  Do people outright accuse you of things that are not your fault?

Now before we go on, hear this person’s problems.  They are overwhelmed with the worries of life.  They don’t feel like God is hearing their cries or answering their prayers.  Other people are accusing them or attacking or asking too much of David.  Unfortunately, these are not the Psalmists or your only problems.  Look at verse 5.

5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.  6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
O God of Israel.

David knows that He is a very sinful person.  No sin of word, deed, thought, or speech is hidden from God.  We might have amnesia about our sin, but God does not.  In addition, David fears that his sin is so corrosive that others who trust God will be put to shame because of his sin.  This is like when you worry that you are such a pitiful, lustful, selfish person that you are sure that your spouse and kids are going to be absolutely messed up because of you.  So then we find the hope of Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

7 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons.  9 For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.

Jesus has borne your reproach and sin and guilt.  Jesus took your dishonor.  Jesus became alienated so that you would not be alienated.  Jesus had a zeal for God and His people when you didn’t.  Jesus took your guilt and sin for you.  So if you feel guilty or shameful of your sin, that feeling is not from God as all your guilt and shame were put on Christ.  If you feel alienated, that feeling is not from God as all your alienation was placed on Christ.  If you lack zeal for God, Jesus is your zeal for you.  So when you feel lost in loving and serving others.  When you feel that God is silent to your cries.   Cry out verse 13.

13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.  At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

Folks when we are bearing the failings of the week, serving others and taking on their burdens, it is easy to become fatigued and hopeless.  Our energy and our hope will not come in good health, rest, wealth, or the easing of our burdens.  God might do those things and they are graces no doubt but that is not where our hope will come.  Your hope will come from the continual reminder that Jesus has borne your sin and reproach and your great need of forgiveness and the removal of guilt has been met in Jesus Christ.

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March 10, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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