Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

The Distance Between You and God (Part 4)

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The past several posts have focused on how Christ-followers can overcome the relational distance created between us and God when we sin.  To illustrate, we’ve been looking at Psalm 51.  The first two things that stand out in the Psalm are that we need to admit that we have sinned and then put our trust in what God has done to overcome that relational distance.  There is one more thing we learn about this from Psalm 51.

This is probably the lesson I need most.  It seems to be the thing that most people leave out in the restoration process.

Worship!

Throughout the Psalm David worships God.  In confession he honors God’s justice in judging sin.  In his request for restoration he honor’s God’s mercy in restoring him.  The Psalm reaches its crescendo in the second half of verse 14, “Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.”  The Psalm closes in praise of God.

When Christ-followers sin, we create relational distance between ourselves and God.  We must acknowledge our sin in confession.  Then we can experience God’s work in restoring our relationship.  As we experience this restoration, the only appropriate response is to worship God.

How do you worship God when he restores you?

The Distance Between You and God (Part 3)

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

We’ve been talking about what Christ-followers should do when they sin.  In the first post of the series we established that sin does not cause us to lose our relationship with God.  It creates relational distance between Him and us.  We’re looking at Psalm 51, King David’s prayer when he was caught in sin, to discover how to overcome that relational distance.  In the last post we observed that the first step is confession.

At this point we have to understand that we cannot overcome this relational distance on our own.  It literally takes an act of God.  The only way for us to span the distance that we’ve created in our sin is for God to restore us to the place we were.  The cool thing is that God is all about restoration.  The entire Bible is the story of human sin which creates relational distance between humanity and God and God’s work to restore that relationship.

Look at what David says in Psalm 51:7-14a:

7  Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.

8  Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!
May the bones you crushed rejoice!

9  Hide your face from my sins!
Wipe away all my guilt!

10  Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!

11  Do not reject me!
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!

12  Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!

13  Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways,
and sinners will turn to you.

14  Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me! (NET)

When we first became Christ-followers, we trusted Jesus and his sacrifice to free us from sin and death and to restore our relationship with God.  This one time experience guarantees us salvation and eternity with Him.  But just as the disciples needed their feet washed to be clean the night of the last supper (John 13:1-17), we need to rest in God’s grace.  We need to trust that just as Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross saved us, his sacrifice restores our relationship with God.  It is not an act of will or obedience.  It is an act of faith; an act of trust; an act of love.

An then, we experience the closing of the distance that we created.

We experience the restoration of our relationship with God.

When have you experienced this kind of relational restoration?