Docstoc

JESUS CHRIST

Document Sample
JESUS CHRIST Powered By Docstoc
					                           IN HIS PRESENCE
                             PSALM 15:1-5
                             PSALM 15:5b

        “A Sunday School teacher challenged her children to take some
time on Sunday afternoon to write a letter to God. They, then, had to
bring the letter back the following Sunday. One little boy wrote, „Dear
God, we had a good time at church today. Wish you could have been
there.‟”

        Well, we may find this amusing; but certainly, we know it to be
incorrect theology. God is always present with us in worship and praise to
His Name. This fifteenth Psalm is called a liturgical or worship Psalm, the
first of thirty such Psalms. One commentator calls it “a little gem of
devotion.” And specifically, it calls us unto holiness when we worship the
Lord. We are to deny our self-interests and concentrate upon His glorious
presence. Worshipping the Lord includes active service; God gives all of
us a special ministry to do for Him. Don‟t ever conclude that you are not
important to His Church; this is exactly what the adversary seeks to put in
our minds and hearts. Every person is important and should be actively
involved in the work of the Lord.

       When we worship the Lord, we are to have the right mind, attitude,
and heart. Our focus is upon Him, not ourselves. The person who abides
with God shows an inward and outward goodness, a dynamic of godliness.
We do not worship the Lord because of mere duty or responsibility, but
we put our whole being into our adoration and love for Him. Although
very brief, this Psalm leaves a definite impact of the positive and negative
characteristics of worship. And it concludes with strong words: “He that
does these things shall never be moved” (v. 5b). Be solid in Christ.

        Who is worthy? The upright are worthy (vv. 1-2). The Psalmist
David gives deep insight to those who are worthy. He cites five positives.
First, we must know God, that is, establish our lives in Him (v 1). This
demands a permanent abiding in the Lord. There is only one way to know
God: salvation. By the love and grace of God, we become His children.

       John Newton writes: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that
saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found; was blind but
now I see.” “While working as a tide surveyor, he studied for the
ministry, and for the last forty-three years of his life he preached the
Gospel. At eighty-two, he said, „My memory is nearly gone, but I
remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great
Savior.‟ No wonder he understood so well grace—the complete
undeserved mercy and favor of God.” He wrote hundreds of hymns with
perhaps the greatest „Amazing Grace.‟ The original version has twelve
verses. In the shorter one that we sing, the last verse was apparently added
by an American: „When we‟ve been there ten thousand years, bright
shining as the sun, we‟ve no less days to sing God‟s praise, than when we
first begun.” Grace brings us into the presence of God; disgrace keeps us
from his presence. Without Christ, we are not worthy.

        The second positive is dwelling (v. 1). This carries the idea of the
home, being a family member. The greatest joy in life is to be a faithful
member of God‟s family. Satan cannot tear us away. “A Christian may
leave home, but he never need fear that he will be kidnapped!” We can
ride the waves of life with full confidence and assurance in God. Without
Him, fears and doubts overtake us.

         Thirdly, we must walk uprightly (v. 2). Upright in the Hebrew
means “complete, perfect, sincere, and blameless.” The Gospel of Jesus
Christ changes the heart condition. When we become children of God, we
take on the godly character that becomes a habitual lifestyle. This
demands a whole-hearted devotion to God and translates into an honest
daily life before people.

       Fourth, we work righteousness in all that we do (v. 2). Literally,
we begin to do the right things in the external conduct. Righteousness is
according to the rule or being straight. No one can work righteousness
unless the heart is right. The non-Christian world can do many good
works, but they will not bring the fruits of righteousness into a life.
Righteousness never prevails unless God is the central reason.

        And fifth, we must speak the truth (v. 2). We must be absolutely
sincere in all that we say and do. “Truth on the lips is important. Truth in
the heart is all-important.” Read my lips: we see very little truth in this
world today because man has turned his back on God. If truth does not
reign in the heart, man will not speak it nor will he live it. God is truth; it
originates with Him. How, then, can we know the truth without knowing
God?

        Second, those who fear the Lord are worthy (vv. 3-5). The words
now turn to the negatives or the things we should not do if we are going to
be the true children of God. You cannot have the positive without the
negative or the negative without the positive. This Psalm gives us a
complete picture of how to be worthy before God and abide in His
presence. The winds of evil and corruption will not move us from the
eternal joy of knowing the Lord.



                                      2
        Let me give you the eight negatives quickly with little explanation.
First, we cannot be backbiting (v. 3). Backbiting is talking about someone
behind the back. It is passing on tales that are injurious to his or her
reputation. The rule of thumb is not to say anything about someone unless
it is good. If we abide in His presence, we will have no desire to hurt
others.

       Second, we cannot be involved in evildoing (v. 3). The Hebrew
term is a generic word that includes all forms of harm, evil and sin. As
brothers and sisters in Christ, the Word of God specifically tells us not to
harm one another. We are to love one another, not hate or destroy each
other. The modern church needs to heed this command.

        Third, we are not to be slanderers (v. 3). In no way should we
ridicule or heap reproach upon someone. How often are we guilty of this
by asking: “Do you know what I heard?” We can‟t wait to tell a tall tale
about someone. And too often, it is not true. We need to be very careful
what we say about others.

        Fourth, we can never condone sin (v. 4). Sin is the violation of the
laws of God. We should not be sinning, and we should never accept it.
We cannot whitewash it. Sin is sin. Sin is open and permissive in society,
but this gives us no right to engage in it. God condemns it, and we should
condemn it. And as believers, we need to confess our sins before the Lord
and one another. We bear the fruit of the Spirit only when we have no sin.

        Fifth, we cannot change our words (v. 4). When you make a
promise, keep it. Your word (verbal) should be as good as a written
contract (paper). The day has come when we cannot believe what people
say. They say one thing and do the opposite. This should never be the
Christian action. If we claim to know Christ, then our lives should be
lived on the highest principles of word and conduct.

       Sixth, we cannot be involved in usury (v. 5). Although the
meaning of this is not totally clear in the Old Testament context, the New
Testament gives us the explanation. We should never charge an exorbitant
or unreasonable interest when people borrow money from us. Although
the world does, the Christian should be fair. By doing so, we help those
who are in need.

        Seventh, we cannot practice bribery (v. 5). To bribe someone in
Oriental circles brought a curse and condemnation by the prophets. A
bribe should never be brought against a guiltless person. If God loves us



                                     3
and gives us positions as His children, should we not treat one another as
He treats us?

        And finally, we cannot vacillate (v. 5). In political circles, they say
“Don‟t waffle.” What does this mean? Basically, don‟t let the winds of
evil and destruction move you from your godly position. We need to be
steadfast and dependable. The Apostle Paul concludes his great
resurrection with these words: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you
steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1
Corinthians 15:58).

        Be solid in Christ. We are not to be up one day and down the next.
Be steady as a believer. Clearly, the upright are worthy and those who
truly fear the Lord are worthy. If you believe in God, worship Him from
the heart and live for Him daily, you need not fear. Nothing will be able
to move you from His presence.

       Are you solid in your faith? Fear comes into those who do not
know God. The contemporary world is full of fear. It has lost its security
by turning from God. Listen to this story, “My Father‟s Eyes,” the author
is unknown.

        “A skinny boy loved football with all his heart. Practice after
practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the
other boys, he got absolutely nowhere. At all the games, this hopeful
athlete sat on the bench and hardly every played.

        This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a
very special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench,
his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game.
This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high
school. But his father continued to encourage him but also made it very
clear that he did not have to play football if he didn‟t want to. But the
young man loved football and decided to hang in there. He was
determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he‟d get to play
when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a
practice or game, but remained a bench warmer all four years. His faithful
father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for
him.

       When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the
team as a „walk-on.‟ Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but
he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he



                                      4
always put his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time,
provided other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed. The
news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to
the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement
and was sent season tickets for all the college games. This persistent
young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he
never got to play in the game.

        It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto
the practice field shortly before the big play off game, the coach met him
with a telegram. The young man read the telegram and he became deathly
silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, „My father died this
morning is it all right if I miss practice today?‟ The coach put his arm
gently around his shoulder and said, „Take the rest of the week off, son.
And don‟t even plan to come back to the game on Saturday.‟

        Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third
quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly
slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran
onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their
faithful teammate back so soon. „Coach, please let me play. I‟ve got to
play today,‟ said the young man.

         The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he
wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young man
persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. „All
right,‟ he said. „You can go in.‟

        Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands
could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played
before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him.
He ran, he passed, blocked and tackled like a star. His team began to
triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game,
this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown.
The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders.
Such cheering you‟ve never heard! Finally, after the stands had emptied
and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that
the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came
to him and said, „Kid, I can‟t believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what
got into you? How did you do it?‟ He looked at the coach, with tears in
his eyes, and said, „Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that
my dad was blind?‟ The young man swallowed and forced a smile, „Dad
came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play,
and I wanted to show him I could do it!‟”



                                     5
        Does this not illustrate the Christian life and summarize this
Psalm? The upright are always in the presence of the Lord. The Lord is
not blind; He sees all that we do. And He desires us to do it right. The
key is never to be moved from His presence no matter what may come.
“He that does these things shall never be moved.” Is that your solid,
permanent commitment to Him today? If we keep in His presence, the
eternal rewards will come.




                                   6

				
DOCUMENT INFO