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Friday, December 19, 2014

What Have YOU Done?

521 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 12:13 So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. (2 Sam 12:13) David has expressed godly sorrow over his sins committed with Uriah's wife Bathsheba. Something we shouldn't overlook here is that with his confession, David understands that he and Bathsheba deserve to die. Le 20:10 'The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. There is a moment in all our lives, that we must come to this same realization. Eze 18:20 "The soul who sins shall die.” It is an unseen realization of the soul of man that is prompted by God's graceful gift of faith. It is what is spoken of in 2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation,” David coveted his neighbors wife, committed adultery, and murdered her husband. What have you done? You may think it was horrific and maybe it was, or maybe it wasn't all that bad, but it doesn't matter! Big sin, little sin, you and I deserve God's death sentence. But listen to what He says to David and to you and I when we repent. “ The Lord has put away your sin!” Listen to Zec 3:4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." Listen to Mic 7:18, “ Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. Listen to Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Oh, beloved, no matter what you have done, God is willing to forgive you. Come to the cross in repentance and leave with great joy and peace as you cast yourself upon the merciful Son of God.! Father, thank You for the gift of repentance that leads to salvation.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Genuine Repentance

520 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 12:13a So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." (2 Sam 12:13a) This is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. Let's think about this whole scenario. David has coveted another man's wife, committed adultery, and then murdered Uriah in an attempt to cover up his sin. It looked like he was going to get away with it, but he got caught. How many times do we hear of similar circumstances involving sinful behaviors, where the parties involved are just sailing along and seemingly getting away with it, but then something happens and they get caught? What usually follows is a tearful display of apologies to family, friends, teammates, or whomever. Now don't get me wrong here, genuine apologies are in order, but many times the apologies are issued simply because we got caught and it's the proper thing to do. David, issues no such apologies. He doesn't say “I have sinned against Uriah's family. He says first and foremost, “I have sinned against the Lord!” It's where all apologies must start. It's called repentance, it is a gift from God, that can also be termed “godly sorrow” over sin. Once this confession is made, the other genuine apologies and attempts to reconcile will follow. In 2 Corinthians we read about this “godly sorrow,” in the case of a man involved with incest. Paul, like Nathan had confronted the man and the entire congregation with the sin, and it produced genuine godly sorrow. 2Co 7:10 says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” The sorrow of the world says, “Rats, I got caught!” Godly sorrow says, “thank You God for exposing this sin in my life. I do not regret being found out, but I deeply regret that I have sinned against You and done this evil in Your sight?” Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-These, O God, You will not despise.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

David Enters His Plea

519 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 12:13a So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." (2 Sam 12:13a) Imagine this scene as a courtroom, because that's what it is. David has been charged with coveting his neighbors wife, committing adultery, and committing murder. Because he has committed these sins, the judge (God) has told David that the sword and coveting of wives, and adultery will be be present in his own family. At this point David speaks to the judge (God) and says “I am guilty as charged.” But there's more as we read in Ps 51. Ps 51 was written by David after his sin with Bathsheba was exposed. Listen to the first 4 verses: Ps 51:1 <> Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight-That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. David acknowledges his guilt and pleads for mercy. He acknowledges that his temporal punishment is just. Please note that he does not plead for forgiveness because of any merit on his own. He doesn't say, “but I'm the one who slew Goliath,” or “I'm the one was obedient to Saul” His only plea is to God's mercy. This is where we all need to be. It's a place we all have to get to. A place where we have to realize that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isa 64:5b,6a says, “You are indeed angry, for we have sinned-In these ways we continue; And we need to be saved. 6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;” Our greatest need is salvation through the merciful pardon of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The tax collector in Lu 18:13, said, “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' and Jesus said, “ This man, I tell you, went home pardoned, “ This ought to be our daily prayer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

No Need To Apologize For God

518 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 12:11,12 "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 'For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'" The charges have been leveled against David and now the punishment: Because he used the sword against Uriah, the sword would never depart from David's house. Perfect justice. In addition, because he committed adultery secretly with his neighbor's wife, his wives will be violated openly by others. Perfect justice. The punishment was just. We often forget that our God is not only perfectly loving and merciful, but He is also perfectly just. De 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.” Sometimes I fall into the trap of apologizing for God. I read about these punishments exacted against sinners and I feel like I need to soften the blow a bit, lest I turn someone away from God. It's times like these that I need to put my big boy pants on and say, “This is God! He is perfectly just, perfectly loving, perfectly merciful. Instead of apologizing for God, I need to realize what He said in Eze 18:20, "The soul who sins shall die.” Why am I even thinking, “God You shouldn't be so harsh,” when the truth of the matter is I deserve to die. I deserve these same things that happened to David and more! But God satisfied His demand for perfect justice on my behalf by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins. Oh God, help me to not wring my hands when I read of the punishments exacted in the Bible. It's just You reminding all of us of the seriousness of our sins. Rather, let me fold my hands in prayer every morning, just thanking You for Your love and mercy in my life. Thank You that justice has been served for me through Your Son Jesus. I've got Your punishment coming but La 3:22, 23 says, “ Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Willfully Sinning

517 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 12:9,10, 'Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 'Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' ( 2 Sam 12:9,10) Nathan has confronted David regarding his sins with Bathsheba and today we hear the reading of the formal charges against David. In doing these things, David had despised, (shown contempt for the commandment of God.) If you've ever followed courtroom drama, eventually you will hear the term “contempt of court.” What does it mean? It is defined as “being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies authority, justice, and dignity of the court.” There is not only evident contempt for God's commands here on the part of David, but (and don't miss this) evident contempt for God Himself. That's something very important for you and I to remember. To show contempt for God's commands, is to show contempt for Him! This was all willful disobedience on David's part. His maneuverings in an attempt to cover and justify his sins shows that he knew God's Law well. He knew adultery was wrong and so he tried to cover it up by bringing Uriah home from the front. He knew murder was wrong but it's not like he pulled the trigger on Uriah...he was just a casualty of war, and the very fact that he had Uriah killed, then immediately married Bathsheba demonstrated that he knew that remarriage was permissible in the cases of the death of a spouse (See Rom 7:2,3) David knew God's commands, but sought to wriggle his way around them. No wonder he wrote in Ps 19:13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. David's cure is the same cure for all of us! Stop showing contempt for God by willfully sinning. Rather come to him with genuine sorrow over your sins: Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-These, O God, You will not despise. Father confront me in my willful sins, that I may confess them and receive Your forgiveness.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife

516 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 12:7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 'I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! God, through Nathan, has confronted David with his sin with Bathsheba. Then God reminds David of all that He had given to him. He had anointed him king. He had delivered him time after time after time, from the hand of Saul. All the property of Saul was handed over to David. All of the kings wives and concubines were placed in his lap for keeping. God had also handed over a united kingdom of Judah and Israel. And if all of that wasn't enough for David, God would've gladly given him more. It's disturbing to read that God had even allowed David to keep multiple wives and concubines, especially since this practice was strictly forbidden as we read in Dt 17:17a "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself,” God's view of marriage has never changed. From the beginning, as Jesus pointed out, it was always meant to be, one man one woman till death do us part. For whatever reason, God had allowed David to play the role of king, and kings in the days of David accumulated wives and concubines. It's not an excuse, it's what they did. But even as I am disturbed by this leniency on God's part, I am even further disturbed by His leniency with me. What if HE were to suddenly drop the shoe on me and all my sins that I continue to commit? No wonder David wrote in Ps 103:10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; The point that God was making here with David, is that he had no excuse to covet another mans wife. David had all that he needed. Adultery is bad enough and thou shalt not commit it, but there is still another commandment that we often forget, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife, (Dt 5:21) It's bad enough that we mess with our own marriages in committing adultery, but even worse when we mess with someone else's. Let us never forget that marriage is the institution that God loves! (Mal 2:11) Father guard our hearts from coveting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Judge Not! It's A Very Serious Matter

515 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 12:5-7a, “So David's anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! 6 "And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity." 7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man!” Nathan has brought this case to David. It's the case of a rich man who stole a pet lamb from a poor man in order to butcher it and feed it to a traveler. David is so angry at this injustice that he orders the man to be put to death and evidently his estate would be required to give four lambs to the poor man's family. When Jesus gave His discourse on “Judging not,” in Matthew 7, He might as well have said, “Don't be like David in 2 Samuel 12. He passed judgment on the rich man while remaining blind to his own sin.” Mt 7:1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. This “inappropriate” judging is a very serious matter! If you follow the rest of the story you know that David was spared the death penalty he wanted to pronounce on the rich man because he humbly admitted or confessed his sin, but the fourfold lambs he demanded for payment was exacted on him in the loss of four of his own children. (He lost the child that Bathsheba bore him. He lost Amnon who was slain by Absalom. He lost Absalom who was slain by Joab, and he lost Adonijah who was slain by the order of Solomon.) The measure of his judgment was measured back to him in spades. This penalty seems extreme to us, but this example and many others found in the Old Testament “happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”(1 Cor 10:11) This example then should serve as a stern warning for us to not judge others while we remain blind to our own sin. When someone tells you to “judge not,” you ought to thank the Lord that they reminded you of this fact. Then spend some time removing that log from your own eye through confession and absolution, having done that, you then have an obligation to help your brother remove the speck from his eye.