June 12, 2016
Text: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10-15
Living for JesusSince Adam and Eve first sinned in the garden of Eden-mankind has been reluctant to takeresponsibility and ownership for their sins. Adam blamed Eve for his sin and Eve blamed theserpent for her sin. Human nature hasn’t changed. We are quick to see the speck in someoneelse’s eye while oblivious to the log in our own. The only way we can change is to die to self andlet Jesus live in and through us.The Apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians said this: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is nolonger I who live, but Christ in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son ofGod, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Pray.Both the Old Testament and gospel lessens this morning are examples of how easily it is for us tosee the sins and short comings of others while being blind to our own. King David had wealthand power more than anyone- yet his sinful nature wanted more- even what wasn’t his. He tookthe wife of Uriah- a faithful and trusted commander and friend- and then put him on the frontlines of battle to die and cover up his sin and marry Bathsheba.He thought his plan was successful, but one day, the prophet Nathan came to pay him a visit. Idoubt there was much small talk- as the prophet Nathan began telling David a story about a poorman who had but one lamb- a lamb he loved dearly. One day, a wealthy man came and took thepoor man’s lamb and had it killed and prepared for a stranger’s lunch- even though the wealthyman had large flocks of his own. King David responded in rage and demanded that the mandeserved to die. Nathan looked him in the eye and said: “you are that man.”The other story is found in the gospel reading this morning. Jesus had been invited to eat at thehouse of a prominent Pharisee when a woman- who everyone knew around town to be a sinner-came in – unannounced- and began to bathe Jesus’ feet with her tears and anoint his feet with acostly perfume and wipe his feet dry with her hair.As the Pharisee watched all this going on, he no doubt thanked God that he was not a sinner likethat woman- and then he thought how wrong it was that Jesus would let a sinner like that touchhim. Perceiving his thoughts, Jesus told him a story about two debtors. “One owed a huge debt-one that was impossible for him to pay, while the other owed a small sum- and yet both wereforgiven of their debts in full. Which one do you think was the most thankful? Which one do youthink loved him more? The Pharisee reluctantly replied- “I suppose the one who was forgivenmuch.”We aren’t told if that Pharisee was convicted of his sin and repented or not- but we are told thatKing David was convicted- and repented in sac cloth and ashes.
The bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All sin needs to berepented of no matter how wealthy or prominent you maybe in society. A sin is a sin no matterwhat we or society think about it.What if a prophet came to your house and told you a story of someone doing something soupsetting that you were beside yourself with righteous anger, only to hear the prophet look you inthe eye and say: “you are that man- you are that woman, you are that child.”That is what the Holy Spirit does-speaks truth to our hearts- convicts us of those sins we arealready aware of but don’t want to give it up- and those sins we may not even be aware of. TheHoly Spirit opens our eyes to the truth of our hearts- and we have a choice-try to ignore it, makeexcuses, or repent.Psalm 32 is a picture of a man who knew what it was like to be forgiven saying: “happy is theman whose sins are forgiven”.The truth is everyone of us here this morning have been forgiven an impossible debt for us topay. We have all been condemned to death by our sins. But while we were yet sinners- God senthis Son to die in our place- by his blood the debt of sin has been paid in full and we are offeredthe free gift of forgiveness to receive as our own.Repentance is not pausing for a moment only to go on with your life with no real change. Thekind of repentance God desires is much deeper than that. God desires a change of heart- fromserving self- to serving Christ and living for Him.The definition of sin is to serve self. But Jesus said: “you cannot serve two masters- either youwill hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other.”Repentance means dying to self and living for Christ. If we want to serve God and God alone,our needs and agendas have to die and then live for Christ in faith and trust. That means givingour futures, our hopes and dreams to God and dedicating them to him. He will direct our paths-when our desire is to give him our hearts.Let me read the verse from Galatians once more. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is nolonger I who live, but Christ who lives within me. And the life I live in the flesh I live by faith inthe Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”Did you catch the meaning of that? If I have been crucified with Christ, then all my agendas as well as my sin have died- and if it weren’t for the life of Jesus living in me by faith, I would be spiritually dead.In a small way, it reminds me of deep sea diving. Never done it- don’t want to. I think I wouldprobably have a panic attack and die. Think about it- you dive into deep water where you cannotbreathe and to stay alive, you have to breathe through a small hose connected to oxygen tanksstrapped to your back and held in your mouth with your teeth- and if for some reason, you aredisconnected to the source of oxygen, you will die.
To dedicate something is to set it apart for a purpose. In a few short minutes, we will dedicate apiano that was given to the church by Dick and Paula Worsley with the purpose of glorifyingGod.But what about other things- including our lives? All that we have is a gift that God has given tous- our talents, our interests, our passions, our time, our life. The question is, what will we dowith it? Use it for our own honor, or for God’s?Dedication is an everyday choice. In closing, I ask that you would quiet yourselves for a momentand ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin you are not aware of and then repent of it. I ask that wewould thank God for his forgiveness and new life. And lastly, would you take this time torededicate your live and all you have to living for Him.Time of quiet meditation- Prayer.