Proclaiming...the message about God
March 15, 2012
Proclaiming. What does our life say about Jesus Christ? What does our heart say about what it means to be saved? When the overflow of our heart emerges from our mouth, what is it that people hear?
For over a year now we have been reading through the Bible, and as many of you know, my seminary training emphasized biblical languages. While we have been journeying from cover to cover and back again, God has been escorting me on slow walks of translation and instruction in God’s word. Psalm 62 has become very significant to me in this journey. I had never really studied this Psalm before. And you must understand, translating Hebrew is a painstakingly slow exercise for me. But because it is slow, it is also beautiful in the details, like pausing long enough to really enjoy a sunset, or the ocean, or a haloed moon. And in translating Psalm 62, I see the beauty of God’s word, and the transformation that God performs in the heart of one who will trust him completely clearly portrayed. Let’s walk briefly through one of the stanzas of Psalm 62 together. It is a psalm of David:
5Only for God-“WAIT, My Soul!” Indeed-from him-my hope!
6Only he-my rock and my salvation-my fortress.
I shall NOT be shaken!
7On God-my salvation and my glory!
The rock of my strength!
My refuge-in God!
8Trust in him for all time!
“People, pour out to his face your heart!”
God-a refuge for us!
David speaks forcefully in the opening of this stanza, giving his soul a command, “WAIT on God exclusively!” We all need to take charge of our souls like that. In the context of this psalm, David has a lot of reasons to justify his own initiative or trying to protect himself. People are lying about him. People are hurting him when he is vulnerable. People are happy with the prospects of his demise. His life has been difficult by any measure. And his soul would not have a natural tendency to wait. But David knows that he needs to WAIT on the LORD. He is willing to do the hard things because he acknowledges in verses 5-6 several exclusive offers that God provides: HOPE. ROCK solid stability. SALVATION. PROTECTION. CERTAINTY.
In verses 5-7 the psalmist is worshiping in a very intimate and personal way. “My rock, My salvation, My fortress, My glory, My strength, My refuge!!” David knows God personally and possessively. He speaks of God as if God belongs to him. Three and four year old children adopt possessive language concerning their toys, “MINE!” As believers, we should speak possessively of God because he has given himself to us. We should speak personally and intimately of God because he relates personally and intimately with us.
Do not miss the transition from the first person to the second and third person. David moves from commanding his own soul, “WAIT!” to appealing to the people, “Pour out your heart before him.” David concludes verse 7 proclaiming God as his personal refuge. But he does not stop there. He invites others to join him in verse 8, “God is a refuge for us!” It is only when we have learned who God is in our own lives that we will effectively appeal to others to trust him and pour out their hearts to him. That is the reality of proclaiming the gospel as we go. We can only invite people to experience what we ourselves know.
We are called to proclaim the gospel as we go. And we do. Our lives invite others to live their life in much the same way as we do. And the way we live will always reflect the fundamentals of what we believe; especially in our most unintentional moments. So what does your life say about God? Does it say, “My way or the highway!” Or does it say, “God alone is my salvation and my glory! He alone is the rock of my strength! In the storms of temptation and conflict, Jesus Christ is my refuge!” If people see that in us, they will be drawn in by our invitation, “Come on people, pour out your heart to God! You can trust him! Together we can find refuge in him!”
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I was reading today in Hebrews chapter 3 . I found this very intriguing. The author in speaking to the Jews reminds them that all those that were delivered from Egypt (bondage) and crossed through the red sea (baptism) and led through the instruction in the wilderness( sanctification) still never entered the promised land (rest and trust in Jesus) due to unbelief (Hebrews 3). If they are our example could it be that we too can fall into the same trap even after experiencing the salvation of the Lord? I cried out, " LORD!! HELP MY UNBELIEF" Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it" Hebrews 4:1 Lord, I Pray, help us all to always remember your thumbprint on our lives so when we are in the wilderness times we will see your manna as a blessing and not a curse! Bess our church with your presence and help us see your kingdom when it comes upon us as you taught us in 1st Corinthians 2:14. Only the spiritual things can be seen by Your Spirit as the natural man will overlook it and miss You. Help us see in the Spirit all the work and blessings you arebringing to WBBC throuht the obedience of our leaders!! BLESS THEM JESUS!!