Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rejoicing Upon Sovereign Grace

As we are nearing a new season in the year, I thought it would be fitting to talk about what God has been teaching me throughout this past winter. From humbling me, showing me more of the glories of the cross, and giving me many new friends, I am extremely grateful.  As I continue on in the Christian life, one of the greatest acts of faith for me is to believe that in spite of all my sins, in spite of my foolishness, God still loves me as much as he says he does. The incredible news that because of the merits of Jesus Christ with his obedient life, sin atoning, guilt removing, wrath satisfying sacrifice, and His gracious Spirit applying that work to me, a rebel has been redeemed. This is such joy producing news that a sinner like me has been a recipient of sovereign grace!!

I was reading Psalm 5 the other day and just realized that this Psalm has been a great picture of what God has been showing me.

In this Psalm we have 4 realities of grace that penetrate in praise to our great God.

God’s grace propels us to pray to Him (verses 1-3). This past winter God has been revealing to me the great importance of prayer. But I am so prone to self-sovereignty that prayer is often a fight. In this Psalm we see David praying to God with great earnestness, with an example for us to follow, yet how often do we as Christians do this?! God has personally saved each one of us, so that he is now our God and he delights in hearing us. There are great enemies around us, as we see in this Psalm, and we have our own flesh to deal with inside of us, how much then do we need to daily refresh ourselves in prayer to our great King?!

God’s grace awakens us to see the evil of sin (verses 4-6).
I have been making it a priority in my life to daily read chapters from the Bible, and it has been simply amazing to see how much God hates sin. David says this in verses 4 and 5, “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.” How true about God that is! But we children of Adam, born in sin (Psalm 51:5), we delighted in sin (Rom. 5:10), and even boasted in our sin. And to help us our society and people around us encouraged us to sin! But God’s grace awakens us to see the futility of living life for our own glory, and God reveals to us how much he hates sin. This is grace! We should praise God for opening our eyes to see the evil of sin!

God’s grace covers us in the righteousness of Christ (verses 7-8).
“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward you holy temple in the fear of you.” This a great picture of what Christ has done for us. This reminds me about Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.” God has given us a great gift, the gift of His precious Son. Christ lived a perfect life to the very point of the cross, and his righteous life is credited to our account through faith. So Christians, clothed in the righteousness of Christ enter God’s house! We have a seat at the eternal banquet! This is life transforming, and life producing truth.

God’s grace produces everlasting joy (verses 11-12).
We see in verses 8-10 the futility of a life in rebellion against God, yet the Christian, because of the sovereign grace of God can ever sing for joy! Why? Because Christ has lived, died, and rose for them! Our position is now in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20). We need the great reminder of sovereign grace to help us to live for Christ. The last couple verses are awesome, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” Amen.

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