Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is there any hope for me?

This past Sunday we looked at 1 Samuel 11:1-3, where Nahash the Ammonite king intended to gouge out the right eye of every person in Jabesh.  We saw in this that there are four tactics that Satan uses:

#1 – Satan looks for an opportunity to attack us
#2 – Satan has to have our permission to work in our life
#3 – Satan will try to intimidate us into serving him
#4 – When we allow Satan a foothold in our life, he will work to humiliate us and exalt himself over us.

While it’s crucial to understand his tactics so that we can always be on guard and NOT fall victim to his attack, most of us have experienced a time where we dropped our guard, opened a door, allowed Satan to come in, and he then proceeded to wreak havoc in our lives.  At that point, when the consequences are overwhelming us, we ask “is there any hope for me?

To answer that, I think of the apostle Paul, who in his past life persecuted Christians, putting them in jail, splitting up families, even participating in the stoning of Stephen.  But Paul found something in the cross of Jesus Christ; GRACE.

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  – 1 Cor 15:9-10

Paul knew he had done terrible things to God’s people, yet by the grace of God through Jesus Christ, God restored him and gave him a ministry.

I think of David, who lusted after a woman, committed adultery with her, then had her husband killed.  When David looked in the mirror, he saw an adulterer, liar, and murderer.  It was at this time that he penned his heart thoughts, in Ps 38…

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! For Your arrows pierce me deeply, and Your hand presses me down. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness. – Ps 38:1-5

David is in a place that many of us can releate to: We have blown it big time, and we feel so overwhelmed by our sin that we just want to lie in a heap on the ground.  But David didn’t stay on the ground.  David experienced the grace of God when he brought his sin before the throne of forgiveness, and cried out to God. 

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. – Ps 40:1-3

See, there is hope when we fail.  There is grace when we blow it.  We can seek the Lord, receive forgiveness and restoration! Can will forgive us, cleanse us, and even restore us!  When a person experiences the grace, forgiveness, and restoration of God, our natural response can be “The LORD be magnified!”

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!  Ps 40:16

Church, spread the word, hope is here!

Pastor Clay

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