Psalm 25 TALK: A Call for Love

(All bible quotes from The Holy Bible, New International Version)

PSALM 25 TALK

A CALL FOR LOVE

OR

FAITH IN THE FACE OF TRIALS

 INTRODUCTION

 “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul”.

These words were written in 1873 by Haratio Spafforf a wealthy Chicago lawyer who was on a boat to England. He had recently lost his young son to illness, his home in the great fire of Chicago and more recently his four daughters who drowned on a sinking ship. He had sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him to England.

What would you have done if you where in Spafforf’s place?

There are only two choices, the first would be to curse God and never believe in him again and the second is to turn to God and cast yourself upon his love and mercy. Spafforf did the second and recorded it in a poem that became a famous hymn.

In Psalm 25 David does the same thing when he faces enormous trials of life that lead him to remember his many sins that stretch back to his younger days. It seems this is a Psalm David penned when he was older and no doubt he is still suffering from the memory and consequences of his son, Absalom rebellion. His enemies within Israel and outside probably threw in his face his sin with Bathsheba that the prophet Nathan said would lead to rebellion and shame from a member of his own family.

What do we do when we feel God has deserted us and his guidance seems to be gone from our lives?

David’s answer is simple he “lifts up his soul” and “Trusts in his God” verse 1 of Psalm 25. I have entitled this, “A Call for Love”, a deep longing in the heart of David for forgiveness and a new sense of God’s guidance and blessing in his life. We to must learn to look to God at all times. “Prayer is the ascent of the soul to God”, Matthew Henry, and I hope through the study of this Psalm we to will be encouraged to learn how he is Guiding us no matter how difficult things might seem in our lives. We will learn how to have faith in the face of trials and in doing so experience the grace of God afresh in our daily lives.

Psalm 25 can be divided in three sections :

  1. A CALL FOR GOD’S LOVE AND GUIDANCE (1 – 7)
  1. REMEMBERING GOD’S LOVE AND PROMISES IN PAST  (8 – 14)
  1. A FURTHER CALL FOR GOD’S LOVE AND GUIDENCE IN THE FACE OF GREAT DIFFICULTY (15 – 22)

 Read Psalm 25

1.     A CALL FOR GOD’S LOVE AND GUIDANCE (1 – 7)

 Something serious has disturbed David, some kind of trial or difficulty, as he speaks of in verses 16 and 17,

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.”.

This distress of David has come upon him later in his life as he writes in verse 7,

“Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord”.

The Psalm gives no other clues to what has disturbed David so much but his response to his multiplying troubles of his heart is to call out to God in prayer,

“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul”

 David knew what to do when he got down in the dumps spiritually. Some might ask is there something wrong with David? Why does he so often get so down in the dumps in his life as a true believer in God?

The answer is David had a real and honest faith in God and as a man who stood for so much in God, Satan and his forces attacked David in so many ways, seeking to bring him down and in doing so bring down the name of God in the process.

However, we see particularly in the Psalms David looks to God in prayer and Satan is defeated and in doing so David rises up in praise and worship to his God.

David’s desperate and heart ranching prayer contains three elements. David brings three prayer requests to God in verses 1 to 7. They are:

 1.     Give me victories over my enemies who seek to bring me down

 2.     Give me a new sense of your direction in my life

 3.     Give me a new sense of your love and forgiveness

 

 1.     Give me victories over my enemies who seek to bring me down

 We are not sure what David’s enemies are accusing David of in this Psalm. But over and over again David asks that his enemies not be able to put him to shame. David says something like this in verse 2, 3 and in verse 20. In verse 2 David also asks that God will not let his enemies triumph over him. The next clue to what David is facing is the constant reference in the Psalm to his sins of the past. These come up in verse 7, 8, 11 and verse 18.

The final clue to what David is getting from his enemies is in verse 17, who he says, “free me from my anguish”. It would seem logical to conclude that David’s enemies are throwing at him his past failures and sins. They are taunting him with reminders of how he has failed God in the past and how this proves he just a big hypocrite.

Satan delights in getting us to remember past failure, this is something I often battle with myself. Like David I have my share of painful memories of past sins and failure. David had the sins of murder and adultery and even though these sins of his younger days have been confessed and forgiven David, like all of us, will still have the memory of them fixed in his mind. The fact is God forgives and forgets but sin will still play out its consequences in our lives today. A converted convicted murderer who is facing the death penalty is forgiven if he truly repents of his sins and turns to Christ but this will not save him from his execution. It will mean he will go to God in heaven when he dies.

For David his sins of adultery and murder led to the rebellion of his Son Absalom and his death which David suffered from greatly. Maybe now he has yet again the painful memories of these sins being thrown at him by some of his enemies. David is not concerned for his own personal reputation but the good name and reputation of his God. David knew a triumph over him by his enemies was a triumph over his God who he was so closely associated with.

The answer to this prayer request seems to get an immediate response in verse 3,

“No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse”.

2.     Give me a new sense of your direction in my life

 David’s second prayer request follows logically the first, he asks God to show him afresh is way or path. He asks God for guidance when he feels inside he has lost his way owing to the taunts of his enemies.

Our sins or the memory of them can do this to us. We can think God is no longer with us or at least blessing us. When we feel this way we need to go to God in prayer like David and ask for God to show us his way in our lives again. This is what Paul told the Philippians to do in Phil  4: 6 and 7,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.

Paul is teaching us to turn our anxieties into prayers and note what God will do for us, according to Paul, God will give us his peace which passes all understanding. David saw this as well as he says in Psalm 23 verse’s 2 and 3,

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake”.

David spells out even clearer he is seeking God’s guidance in verse 5, when he writes,

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long”.

In my study for this talk I came across an excellent sermon on the internet on this Psalm by an American Lutheran minster named Richard Burkey. He had a wonderful insight into how God Guides us in this life. He notes that the English word for Guidance contains the word, “Dance” and then he puts the word together with acromion that goes like this, G = God, U = you and I = I and put together we get, “God you and I dance”.

Burkey goes on to point out that in any true dance partnership there must be a lead or leader. In most traditional ball room dancing the man leads and his partner, the women follows his lead. If they work together they move across the floor together in harmony but if the partner of the leader fails to follow the often very subtle clues for changes and direction than the dance performance can become ugly or at least difficult.

Again in Philippians Paul has some great advice on finding God’s leading or guidance in our lives. In Philippians 2 : 12 and 13,

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose”.

As we look to God in prayer for guidance we should seek to understand what God is teaching us in his word and seek to follow his lead in our lives. Proverbs 3 : 5 and 6 teaches us,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”.

3. Give me a new sense of your love and forgiveness

 David’s final prayer request which, as we have seen lies at the heart of his reason for praying in the first place, is his sins or at least the memory of them. His enemies have probably frown in his face again some of his short comings as a younger man like his affair with Bathsheba or the murder of her husband to cover it up. It could have been many other short comings but whatever it was David knew his God not only knows about it but has and will forgive it.

Lets again read how David puts this request for love and forgiveness in verses 6 and 7,

“Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord”.

It seems David falls into the same trap we often fall into as well, which is we believe God forgives and forgets but we cannot forgive ourselves and forget our sins. Amazingly David knew God as a loving God even with only the first five books of the bible. There he sees God calling Abraham and giving him the promise of being the father of a great Nation and what did Abraham do to get this from God, Genesis 15 verse 6 tells us the answer;

“Abraham believed the Lord, and he credited him as righteousness”.

Even David knew God was a God of love and a relationship with God is based on faith. He knew that his people had been saved from slavery in Egypt and given a covenant or agreement from God through Moses in those first five books. David speaks of this covenant in verse 14 of this Psalm when he writes :

“The Lord confides in those who fear him;/ he makes his covenant known to them”

So David knew God was a saving God a God of Redemption and Love. We know this far better than David as we have the word and work of The Lord Jesus Christ. Through Christ we have God’s love and forgiveness when he died for our sins on the cross.

It is clear and we need constant reminder of it, that (as John teaches in 1 John 1: 7,

“The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin”

John goes on to teach us in verses 8 to 10,

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives”.

We need to start each day with a prayer like David prayed in verses 1 to 7 of this Psalm. We need to start each day praying to God and asking him for victories over his enemies who seek to bring us down. We need to ask God to give us a new sense of his direction in our lives and we especially we need to ask God each morning to give us a new sense of his love and forgiveness.

If we start the day this way and keep that prayer in the back of our minds throughout it we will have a better possibility to finishing the day with a greater sense of God’s love and guidance.

As David says in the second part of verse 5,

“For you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long”.

2.  REMEMBERING GOD’S LOVE AND PROMISES IN PAST  (8 – 14)

 As I said at the start, I believe David wrote this Psalm later in his life as he somehow remembered sins he had committed in his younger days. This led him to pray a deep and personal prayer to God asking God for victory over his enemies who seem to have taunted him with those sins of his youth. He then sought God’s guidance and forgiveness. He now looks back and remembers the great love and promises of God he has experienced and learnt in his long life.

David now gives us a short but very instructive description of the character of his God and the love and promises that flow to us from those characteristics.

I see five characteristic of God in these verses. They are :

1. God is Good and Upright (vs. 8)

2. God Guides the humble (vs. 9)

3. God is loving (vs’s 10/ 11)

4. God Instructs those who fear him (vs. 12/13)

5. God makes a covenant with his people (vs. 14)

 Lets take a quick look at each of the characteristics of God and the promises of God that flow from them.

1. God is Good and upright (vs. 8)

 As we have seen already David believed his God was a God of Love and forgiveness and in verse 8 he says that God is “Good and upright”. To be good and upright is to be a constant force for what is right and true. It is to be, as David often called God, to be a rock a constant force for good and love in heaven and on earth.

From this goodness and constant love flows the promise that God will “instruct sinners in his ways”. The law was not given to sinless people but people who had experienced God’s saving power out of Egypt and through the parted red sea. These people needed God’s law, because like us they to were sinners who needed to know the way of God.

In Mark 2: 17, Jesus says:

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”

Jesus is telling us what David is referring to hear that it is only those who realize their true state before God, sinners, who are able to be instructed by God in the way of life and Salvation.

2. God Guides the humble (vs.9)

 We have seen already that this Psalm has a lot to say about guidance and here David speaks of God as a Guide to the humble. In David’s famous and much loved Psalm 23, David calls God , “My Shepherd” , who leads him through good times and bad and is even guiding him through what he calls, “the valley of the shadow of death”, verse 4.

The promise of God here is that God guides those who are humble, those who truly turn to him and acknowledge that he is the Lord of their lives.

3.     God is loving  (vs’s 10 /11)

 David returns to the central theme of this Psalm, The love of God. After all this is a call or prayer for love. He earnestly wants to experience afresh the love and forgiveness of God in his life. He now states in verse 10 that his God is all love,

“All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful”

Towards the end of the Apostle Johns life he wrote three letters to churches he was involved in. In the first letter John has much to say about love and in 1 John 4 : 8 , John says:

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love”.

John became famous for his constant teaching on Go’s love and I came across this interesting quote about a church tradition about the later days of the Apostle Johns life.

“There is a church tradition, which says, that when John was evidently an old man in Ephesus, he had to be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples.  At these meetings, he was accustomed to say no more than, “Little children, love one another!”  After a time, the disciples wearied at always hearing the same words, asked, “Master, why do you always say this?” “It is the Lord’s command,” was his reply. “And if this alone be done, it is enough!” (Bible path.com, focusing on Jesus)

John goes on to teach in 1 John 4, that we know that God is love because of what Jesus taught and did for us.

1 John 4 : 9 – 12

 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us”.

The promise that flows from this great characteristic of God is that all our ways, if we follow this God of love will be like God himself, “Loving and faithful”. This reminds me of the words of Paul in Romans 8 : 28:

 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

In this context of the love of God David goes on to ask again for God’s forgiveness in verse 11,

“For the sake of your name. O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great”

The name of God really meant something to David and of course here the name of God involved the attribute or characteristic of God as a God of love.

4. God Instructs those who fear him (vs. 12)

 In verse 12 we do not have a direct reference to a characteristic of God but one is certainly implied. David is continuing to describe what a true believer in God is like and says in verse 12,

“Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him”

David has already said that “God instructs sinners in his ways” in verse 8 and we have just seen that “all the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant” in verse10. Now he implies that this loving God who forgives sinners is also a God to be feared.

It has been said that we cannot truly understand the love of God unless we first understand the mightiness and holiness of God. We cannot understand why it was necessary for God to send to earth his only son to be sacrificed for our sins if we first do not grasp that God hates sin and because he is a holy and just God, sin must be paid for. The wonder of this awesome God who demands payment for our sins is that he pays for them himself by offering a substitute for us in the person of his Son Jesus Christ. This substitute takes on himself our sins on the cross and in his bloody death on the cross pays for our sins once and for all.

This is what Paul is speaking about in Galatians 3: 13 – 14,

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit”.

So David is implying in verse 12 that his God is a God to be feared and as the writer of the proverbs puts it:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7)

So David says that if we fear or respect God, “he will instruct him (us) in the way chosen for him (us)”

He goes on to tell us what this way of God leads to in verse 13,

“He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land”

Which is Old testament language for spiritual blessings. I remember many years ago a Mormon missionary coming to my house and asking if he could come in and bless my home and life. I replied I did not need his blessing and quoted Ephesians 1 : 3, which reads:

“Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”.

5. God makes a covenant with his people (vs. 14)

 The final characteristic of God that has a promise is in verse 14 which reads,

“The Lord confides in those who fear him: he makes his covenant known to them”

This is telling us that our God is a Covenant God. As I said before David knew his God from the revelation of that God in the first five books of the bible. These books reveal that right from the beginning as far back as Noah and Abraham, the God of the bible is a covenant God. What does it mean that God is a covenant God?

One dictionary I looked up described the Old Testament covenant this way,

“The agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to

Protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him”.

This covenant became even clearer when Moses received the law of God on Mt Sinai and so David is saying again that if we fear or respect God for who he really is he will reveal his will and plan to us which for an Old Testament believer was found in the Covenant given to them through Moses.

We of course believe in a new covenant or new agreement given to us through the words and deeds of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the writer to the Hebrews puts it in Hebrews 9: 15:

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant”.

So as it was in David time, so it is today our God is a covenant God and through the Lord Jesus Christ he has made a way back to God for us.

As Jesus said in John 14: 6:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.

3. A FURTHER CALL FOR GOD’S LOVE AND GUIDANCE IN THE FACE OF GREAT DIFFICULTY (15 – 22)

 David has just reminded himself and us of some of the characteristics of the God he is praying to. Out of these characteristics he has also reminded himself of some of the promises of God. Now he returns to his call for love.

Building or standing on the promises of God (as a old hymn writer once put it) he now returns to his need of a fresh awareness of God’s love and guidance in his life. His cry becomes even more intense as he speaks of the troubles he currently faced intensified by the action and words of his enemies.

In verse 15 he admits his utter dependence on God for help in the disparate and dangerous situation he finds himself in. He writes:

“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare”

The reminder of his former sins is like being caught in a trap and sometimes our guilt and shame can seem to overwhelm us. Satan uses our past failures and sins to torment us and make our faith in God week. Like David when Satan attacks us like this we to need to shift our eyes upon the Lord. Interestingly when Peter speaks of the attack of Satan in our lives he gives us a simple plan of attack in 1 Peter 5 : 8 and 9:

“Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are under- going the same kind of sufferings”.

As I spoke about at the start verses 16 to 20 spell out something of the distress and difficulty David is facing. His problems include :

  • Loneliness
  • Affliction
  • Anguish
  • Distress caused by the reminder of his past sins
  • Hatred from his enemies
  • And shame.

All this leads David to call out to God in prayer for love and forgiveness. He brings his prayer for love and forgiveness to an end with one final request:

Vs. 21, “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you”

David’s integrity is not like God’s as he is far from righteous as the prophet Isaiah puts in in Isaiah 64 : 6,

“All our righteous acts are like filthy rags”

No David’s integrity is his sincere faith in the God of Love and forgiveness. The God of grace who saves us from sin even though we don’t deserve it, David’s hope is in that God and no other.

The final verse is an additional prayer for his people the nation of Israel. David knew they to fell short of the glory of God and had many sins. He knew that they to needed a redeemer to save them from the troubles sin brings into our lives not only individually but as a community as well.

I close with that verse with one change, Israel, for the Christian is the new Israel, the nation of true believers of the Lord Jesus Christ made up of people from every nation of this world and of every age.

Redeem your Church, O God, from all their troubles (based on Psalm 25 verse 22)

Read the poem or sing the song based on this Psalm

A CALL FOR LOVE (Based on Psalm 25)

Oh Lord I lift up my soul

For I now trust in you

Let me not be put to shame

May my enemies not bring down your name.

 

Show me your ways Oh Lord

Teach me your paths to trod

Guide me and teach me Oh Lord

As I read your saving word.

 

Refrain :

I remember your mercy and grace

How you died on the cross in my place.

My sins are great but you’ve forgiven them all

And now on your love I call.

 

Good and upright are you Lord

You instruct sinners by your word.

You show the humble your ways

And you bless them with love all their days.

 

I fear your wrath Oh Lord

But I know your love is great.

For the sake of your name

I call on your love again.

 

Refrain :

My eyes look to you Lord

For I feel bound by sins chord.

Turn to me for I’m lonely and tired

For my troubles have multiplied.

 

Look on my affliction Lord

And bring my sins to nought.

Guard my life and rescue me

As I call on your love to be free.

 

Refrain :

 

By : Jim Wenman

PART 2:   3 NEW TESTAMENT INSIGHT PASSAGES

1. ON WHAT BASIS DO WE CALL OUT TO GOD FOR LOVE AND FORGIVENESS (Ephesians 1 : 3 – 10)

 In Psalm 25 David calls out to God for love and forgiveness in Ephesians 1 : 3 – 10 Paul teaches us the basis for us to call out to God for love and forgiveness.

I have come up with four reasons why we can confidently call out to God for love and forgiveness.

1. ON THE BASIS THAT GOD HAS BLESSED US IN CHRIST JESUS WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING (VS. 3)

 As I said to the Mormon missionary many years ago who wanted to bless me and my house, I have all the blessing of could ever want in Christ as Paul says in Ephesians 1 : 3,

“Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”.

Christ died for our sins on the cross, then he rose from the dead and then he ascended back into heaven making access to the father possible for us. We can only call out to God in heaven for his love because we have a perfect and powerful mediator in heaven who can take any prayer request for us straight to the throne of Grace. As Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 2 : 5,

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.

2.     ON THE BASIS OF GOD’S GIFT OF GRACE TO US (VS’S  4 – 6)

 For many people the concept that God called us, we did not call him or God chose us we did not choose him is a very difficult thing to believe or at least grasp. I think the problem is that when people speak of free will they imagine or factor in that we have some kind of power or control in our lives to choose God. The fact is, sin has effected us so badly we have lost the power to choose God’s way.

Jesus is speaking of this in John 3 :  19, 20,

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil, Everyone who does evil hates the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed”

Paul makes it even clearer in Romans 2 : 10 – 12,

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one”.

So in passages like Ephesians 1 : 4 – 6, teach us clearly,

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves”.

In Ephesians 2 : 8 – 10, Paul spells out even more clearly that we are saved only because God chose to reach out to us in a act of unmerited love which Paul calls grace.

“8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.

God’s grace not only saves us but is the basis for us to confidently call out to him for love and forgiveness. This is why the writer to the Hebrews calls God’s throne in heaven, “the throne of grace”. In Hebrews 4 : 16 we read,

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.

3. ON THE BASIS OF THE BASIS OF WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US (Verses 7 – 8)

 This gift of God’s grace God chooses to give us is bound up in work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Paul speaks of this work of Christ in the next two verse,

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness  of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding”.

We can only approach God, even in prayer because Jesus has cleared a way for us to be acceptable before God by dying for our sins on the cross. It is called the throne of grace in Hebrews because we have no merit in ourselves and are only accepted by God because his son died for us and gives us his righteousness as a gift so that we can confidently come before our Judge and maker both in prayer and when our time comes to go to heaven.

4. ON THE BASIS OF OUR SURE AND FUTURE HOPE IN CHRIST  (Verses 9 – 10)

 Paul concludes this passage in Ephesians 1: 1 – 10 with these words,

“And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ”.

We can also approach God because of the future hope we have in Christ. Paul calls God plan for this worlds future as a mystery. It is a mystery because for those who reject Christ or who have not come to him in faith the return of Christ is either not known or properly understood. For all true believers Paul says this is a mystery made known to us. We are part of God’s plan to eventually bring everything under the total control of Jesus Christ.

2. JESUS PROMISE OF HELP AND GUDANCE FOR HIS FOLLOWERS  (John 16 : 12 – 15)

 In Psalm 25 David prays for Guidance, “show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths” (verse 4). Jesus promises to teach and guide us in John 16 : 12 – 15.

For three years or say, the disciples of Jesus had the earthly human presence of Jesus to teach and guide them. On the night before he would be taken from them and executed on the cross Jesus has many words of advice and assistance to prepare them for the big change that is coming.

In verse 12, Jesus says, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear”.

Jesus will, after this have no more words of teaching for the disciples coming from his earthly lips.

How then will Jesus teach and guide them once he is no longer able to speak to them as he has been for the past three years?

Jesus remarkable answer follows in verses 13 to 16,

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. 16 “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

Jesus promises the disciples The Holy Spirit, who will come into their lives for guidance and teaching. Some say the specific promises here are only for the disciples but, true we who follow the disciples will not write any new scripture but we do receive the Holy Spirit and he takes what has been written down by some of these inspired disciples and makes in known or clear to us. The same Holy Spirit that inspired the writing of the New Testament can and will inspire us to understand and properly apply that word of God to our daily lives.

When Jesus was on earth he was only able to walk around a limited piece of time and space. But once he paid for our sins on the cross he could come to people of all time and places through The Holy Spirit and help so many more people in our world of all ages to he come again.

When we pray “show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths”, according to this passage in John 16 we are praying for The Holy Spirit to inspire us from the words of Christ and his immediate followers recorded for us in what we call The New Testament.

3. PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR OF THE COMING JUDGEMENT  (1 John 4 : 16 – 18)

 In Psalm 25 David feared God’s Judgment because he realized he was a great sinner from the days of his youth. David realized the only answer to the fear of God’s coming judgment for the sins of his past was God’s love, he writes in Psalm 25 : 7,

“Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good. “Oh Lord”

In 1 John 4: 16 – 18, John sets out why we can cast out of us the fear of the coming Judgment.

 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”.

We have so much more assurance and knowledge of the love and forgiveness of God because of what we know Christ has done for us. However we all will experience a number of times in our life the painful memories of our own short comings but what John is teaching us in this passage is we must look afresh, in prayer to God and realize that God does love us and we have nothing to fear because of his love for us.

 

TWO APPLICATIONS

 1.     HOW GOD’S LOVE SHOULD SHOW ITSELF IN OUR DAYLY LIVES

 David called out to God for love and forgiveness in Psalm 25, he has taught us much about God’s love and forgiveness and in Christ we know so much more of the wonderful love of God. So when the evil attacks us by reminding us of our own short comings in the past we should not give up hope but rather exercise faith by calling out to God in prayer for a fresh reminder of his love and forgiveness for us.

Christians who are guilt ridden are of no earthly good for the witness of Christ in this world. However, equally Christians who are proud and self righteous are of no earthly good for the witness of Christ. Only Christians who realise their sins and find and proclaim the grace of God in the forgiveness of Christ won for them on the Cross are those who truly proclaim the life giving Gospel of Christ.

2.     HOW WE FIND GOD’S GUIDANCE IN THE FACE OF GREAT DIFFICULTY

 David sought and found God’s guidance in the face of great trials and difficulties in Psalm 25, we to can do the same. We to can call out to God for love and find it every time in the wonderful grace of God in Christ Jesus.

In close with those words of Paul in Ephesians 2 : 8 – 10,

“8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.

PRAYER:

 Lord I thank you for your love and forgiveness so freely given to us in what Christ did for us on the cross. Help us today to always show your love for us by the way we live our lives seeking to serve you and others. Lord we pray that we will call for your love and guidance when we face the trials and difficulties of life and like David we will discover afresh your love as you lead us in this life of service for you. In and through the name of Jesus our Lord and savoir we pray Amen.

 

 

Jim Wenman

 

 

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