Cast me not away from your presence
We have been focusing in worship on what Christian history would call “saints of the Old Testament.” This would include Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, and Elisha. What is interesting to me in each of these stories is that these “saints” started out “sinners.” They, in their own way, had to become God’s people through the tough lessons they learned along their life journey.
As I have prepared for each sermon for this series, three reoccurring teaching points have jumped out at me. The first is that God has called us to significant work. All throughout the Bible story God called ordinary sinners to accomplish great and significant tasks for the Lord. A couple of sinners gave birth to us all, a sinner made a covenant with God to be his people, a sinner saved his family from starvation in Egypt, a sinner led God’s people out of slavery, the greatest king in the history of Israel was an adulterer and murderer, and two sinners worked as God’s prophets during the years when God’s people had completely abandoned Him. This suggests that God is not looking for perfect people to be his people, he is just looking for people who will enter into relationship with him – warts and all.
The next point that sticks out is that God forgives all sinners that come to him. We see this in the story of King David after he committed adultery and then killed the cuckolded husband to cover up his sin. Does it get much worse? How does someone like King David have the pleasure of being described as God’s beloved? I think the answer is found in Psalm 51 where David is confronted by his sin. This psalm is a song of repentance for what he knew was wrong. In this psalm David is broken by what he did and begs the Lord to “cast me not away from your presence.” And how does the Lord respond? He forgives David. This doesn’t mean there were not consequences for his actions, but I think the point here is that God can work with a broken and contrite heart. Rather than cast us all unto the trash heap, God forgives. This is good news, Amen?
The last point that jumps out in these stories is that God restores people. What does it mean that God restores us? The word restore comes from an old Latin verb that means “to rebuild.” God not only forgives us, he rebuilds us with the hope that what is being rebuilt is stronger than the original structure.
At Christ Community Church we are being called to significant work, we are forgiven sinners, and we are being rebuilt for the work to which God has called us. I can’t think of better news! Take courage this week that God cares very much for each of us and we are on what will prove to be a journey of a life time together.
For more, visit the audio sermon page on the website and keep up with the weekly sermons. Feel free to link these to friends and invite them to this journey with us!