Thursday, May 23, 2019

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms #52

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


“Answering the Call”

          There is only one sin that God will not forgive.

          It’s blasphemy against the Holy Spirit or denying the Holy Spirit’s witness to Father God’s salvation for anyone by grace through faith in Jesus.

          Jesus said God forgives every sin but that one.

          Jesus spelled it out: “No one gets to the Father except through Me.”

          No one in history has been more invitational, inclusive, and welcoming as Jesus: “Come to Me, everybody, and I will take care of you.”

          Paul said Jesus wants everybody to be saved.

          Jesus shows no color, class, or culture favoritism.

          He is the proof perfect that God loves the world; and that means everybody, anybody, you, me, and them.

          No exceptions except for those who exclude themselves.

          He said He stands at the door of every heart and knocks for entrance to give the confident living and eternal life that He wants for everybody.

          The choice for everybody is to open or close that door.

          Those who open the door enter into an existential and eternally saving relationship with God by grace through faith in Jesus.

          Those who don’t don’t, won’t, and aren’t.

          Their exclusion is self-inflicted and self-destructive.

          God doesn’t do that to them.

          They do it to themselves.

          The April 10, 2019 meeting of the Boone County Ministerial Association comes to mind.

          Jim Bell, the faithful pastor of Belvidere, Illinois’ First United Methodist Church, brought the good news of a creative Matthew 25 ministry through public venues.

          He said the only challenge would be to maintain our confessional integrity in the midst of increasing inhibitions about Christianity in public schools, government, media, and so on.

          At that point, someone said, “Well, you don’t have to talk about Jesus all of time when you’re serving people.”

          Instantaneously and simultaneously, three pastors blurted out, “Yes, you do!”

          I could hear Paul in the background with the like-minded, “I am not ashamed of Jesus!  He is God’s power for salvation for everybody by grace through faith in Him!”

          I could also hear many Biblical warnings about those who are so willing to deny Jesus, deceive and seduce people from Jesus, and suffer the consequences for their apostasy.

          Here’s an abridged sampling.

          1 John: “Who is the liar?  It’s the one who denies Jesus is Lord and Savior…This is how you know the Spirit of God: Everyone who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God is in God…Everyone who believes Jesus is Lord and Savior is born of God…”

          2 John: “Many deceivers are in the world and they do not confess Jesus to be Lord and Savior…Anyone who does not remain in the teaching about Jesus does not have God…If anyone comes to you and says Jesus is not Lord and Savior, do not welcome him…”

          Jude: “Deceivers have slithered into the church to turn God’s grace into promiscuity by denying Jesus our Master as Lord and Savior.”

          Jesus Himself promised and warned at the same time, “Everyone who acknowledges Me will be acknowledged by Me before Father God in heaven.  But whoever denies Me will be denied by Me before Father God in heaven.”

          Our yes to Jesus assures His yes to us.

          Our no to Jesus…well, sigh…we don’t want to go there.

          Psalm 52 was David’s particular response to a betrayal and treachery that led to many deaths (see 1 Samuel 22); and it continues to provide a picture of a denying deceiver’s evil character, a believer’s response to a denying deceiver, and the praise evoked by a believer’s confidence in God to endure, overcome, and celebrate ultimate victory with the family of faith.

          Denying deceivers are all the same: “You deny God and brag about evil.  Your plan treachery and terror.  You love evil not good.  You say dark is light and light is dark and good is bad and bad is good.  You lie like your real father.”

          A believer’s response to a denying deceiver is irrepressibly positive, hopeful, and optimistic: “God will bring you down sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end…Awestruck by God, we will laugh at your ruin and scorn, ‘They tried to seduce us into salvation apart from God’s anointed.  They tried to join them apart from God as refuge.  They tried to trick us into denying God’s salvation and join them in their destructive behaviors.’”

          Believers respect God and express gratitude for enduring and overcoming in worship: “We are like flourishing olive trees in God’s house.  Our trust in God is evergreen.  God is good!  God is great!  God saves!”

          God calls us to live in/through/for Him.

          Anti-God agents of darkness orchestrated by satanos call us to death apart from God.

          Robocalls come to mind.

          Consumer Reports had a big article on robocalls (May 2019).

          They also had a big article on all of the bad stuff in ice cream.  I didn’t read it.

          CR says there were 48 billion robocalls in America last year or an average of 1500 calls a second!

          There are good robocalls reminding us of upcoming doctors’ appointments or reminders to vote.

          There are bad robocalls trying to scare, scam, and spam us with 15% of the defrauded Americans last year alone.

          How do you know the good calls from the bad ones?

          Good calls are recognizable.

          Bad calls are not recognizable and are usually pre-recorded and asking for private information like SS #s and credit card account #s that nobody in her/his right mind would give out over the phone to unrecognized people. 

          Before answering, you’ve got to know who’s calling.

          How do you know if your church, country, and all the rest are from God?



          Summarily as repeated so often throughout the Bible, “If anyone comes to you denying Jesus is Lord and Savior, that person is not to be trusted pero avoided, and contradicted.”

          It’s all about Jesus.

          His call is the only one worth answering.

          Let me put Him another way.

          I remember hearing about a man who fell into a pit.

          He cried for help.

          A legalist came by and said, “You should have known pits are dangerous.”

          A pessimist said, “You’re going to die in that pit.”

          An optimist said, “I’ve seen worse pits.”

          A realist said, “That’s a pit.  Deal with it!”

          An atheist declined to admit it was a pit.

          Jesus came by and called to the man, “Do you want Me to help you?  Will you trust Me to help you?”

          The man said, “Yes, Lord.”

          Then Jesus went down into the pit and lifted the man out of it.

          The moral of the story.

          When Jesus calls, answer.

          How do we say that on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois?

          Jesus is the answer to every question!

          When Jesus calls, answer.

          Jesus saves.

Blessings and Love!


Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!





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