Thought for the Week - 12th MayGareth Watkins
Revelation 21: 5
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
We all need a new start in God. It’s not just those who commit the outward and overt sins. Equally bad things can be committed by those who are silent, quiet, selfish or secret in the way they go about their business. There are other sins. The sins of the heart can be equally bad as the sins that are outward and visible to all.
In the verse above we read that God makes everything new. When we find Christ, we find that everything becomes new. We may not be a finished product, but there’s a newness there, and Christ will build in that in faith, as we read the Word and come to Church.
All of us need a new life. Where we can come out of the past traps of sin, and come into a new way of life with God in the centre of it. That’s the only hope we have. Without God, nothing becomes new and nothing becomes different.
I know of one man who came to Church. He was smelled and wasn’t in a great state. He was extremely skinny. He couldn’t look you in the eye. He hadn’t worked. But He started to coming to church and asked God for a new beginning. He had a little faith, and God gave Him more faith. He kept coming to Church and he grew in faith. He stopped smoking and came off the drugs. God straightened him out and he became a changed man. He could look you in the face. He put weight on. God gave him a job, and then God gave him a wife, home and children. God gave him a brand new life. What a wonderful thing! A new life in God. A new start.
I know of another man. He was a big and hard man. He was full of steroids and was nasty – the type who would hurt others for money. He came to my house and asked about a new start. He asked about faith. God offered him a chance of a new start at that time. He could have gone to any church in the area. But he didn’t – he came direct to my house. He was involved with gangsters across the country. One day, men put a metal bar in his head. His skull was broken out to the elements. They dragged him into the middle of the road to die. He didn’t choose wisely. He wouldn’t yield to God and wouldn’t ask God for new life. Now he lives as an invalid with mental illness. What a sad story.
These are two lives. Both from the rough and tumble of life. One took that opportunity for a new life in God. One didn’t take the opportunity to take that call from God, and now he simply exists – broken in the shadow of the drugs, the steroids, and the life he lived.
God calls us all: “Behold I make all things new”.
If we follow God, it produces results. Suddenly we can have the ability to overcome sins we didn’t have the ability to overcome before. We can find new influences coming into our life that wasn’t there before. We can find a desire that doesn’t naturally belong to us, because it comes from God. The bible talks of us becoming heirs of God, a son of God (Romans 8: 17).
These changes belong to God Himself. God gives them things to His son and daughters who belong. God is not a bully, and so doesn’t push them onto those who don’t belong. If you belong, you are welcome into that place. He gives you things to overcome, the power, the desire, the mentality, the circumstances. He does miracles that allow us to overcome. We are overcomers in Christ Jesus (1 John 5:4-5). These belong to us when we walk with Him. When we’re not Christians, we don’t have this. The sadness in the second man’s family still persists to this day.
All of us who are Christians know that we need a new start. We know where we would have been without God. We know what life is like without God, and we know what life is like without God. David in the bible talks about his own faith, his desire and his need for God. He was a sinner and did all sorts of thing, but he knew God and knew where he was before God. In Psalm 19: 14 we read:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
David knew those things had to be right in his life for him to be right before God. For example, he knew the words that came out of his mouth had to be right before God. He knew the things that occupied the centre of his heart – the meditations of his heart – had to be right before God. He wanted these things to be acceptable in God’s sight.
For us who’ve made that commitment and have that new life, have we lost sight of that sort of thing?
Sometimes it’s good to look inside to see what’s going on. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our heart be acceptable to God. We’ve come for this new life. We come to God and get this new beginning and new start, we get this ability to overcome, but there are further steps we need to start to make. These steps involve the way we speak. These steps involve the thinking about the effect of what comes out of our mouth. These further steps involve the meditation of our heart. David wanted these things to be acceptable to God Himself. Are we in that place where we can think along these lines? Is the way we speak acceptable to God? Are the things we meditate on, dream of and desire, acceptable to God? Are these things still acceptable to God?
The meditations of our heart can be afflicted by the wrong source. We can all sin and fall short. We can all say things that aren’t desirable before God. There’s no embarrassment, it’s just the way it is. We’ve spoke wrong, we’ve thought wrong, our desires have gone astray etc. But bring it before God and ask Him to give you the conviction of sin, and the heart that you should have.
If we go back a few verses, we read in Psalm 19: 12-13:
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
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.
We all have secret faults! What are our secret faults? Secret faults are things that we don’t want others to know about. But God knows. These things need to be acceptable in God’s sight. If we hold onto these secret faults – things God doesn’t want us to hold on to – where does it leave us? David asks God to cleanse him from his secret faults.
He goes on to ask God to keep him from his presumptuous sins. What are these? We read in Numbers 15:30-31 that if you had a presumptuous sin you were cast away from God! Thank God for Christ, because we are under grace and not judgement. Because of Christ we don’t need to be cast away from God because of a presumptuous sin. A presumptuous sin is a presuming upon God for His mercy. So it’s committing a deliberate sin presuming He will show His mercy. Or performing a deliberate sin against someone else, presuming they will forgive me.
What are our secret sins and faults? What are our presumptuous sins? Think on these things so you can get them dealt with. Bring these things before God. What damage will it do to you apart from just damaging your pride? Bring these things before God. The benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Bend your knee before God. The older we become in God, sometimes the less we come for prayer. Certain people will not have prayer. But we all need prayer. We must not be a stiff necked people. We need to be people who bend the knee before God and go for prayer. We need to come to God about these secret sins. We need to be acceptable in the sight of God. Is that too much to ask when God gives us so much? Why would we not want to change inward sins when we know they’re there? It’s taking a presumptuous position before God, which we know is not a good thing. It’s an important thing. It’s walking the walk.
This is dealing with the things that need to be acceptable in the sight of God.
In the verses above we read: “Let them not have dominion over me”. Do these things have dominion over you? Do these things overpower you? Yes these things do overpower us. It starts in our heads and our heart, and then the actions follow. These sins do have dominion over us, and it’s up to us to pull ourselves back. If we’re not able to, we can become helpless because it dominates us. David is saying to God “please don’t them have dominion over me”. Why? So he’ll be blameless and innocent of great sins. If we’ve walked in the world, we can be guilty of great sins. It starts with a thought. Meditating on it, and then out it comes.
Examine yourself. There is a place where you can be blameless before God. You can be innocent of great transgressions. Christ has given you a vehicle and a direction to come through all the troubles of life. Troubles will still come, but it’s better to go through the troubles that aren’t caused by you and aren’t causing you sins. It’s better to go through them with Christ than not. David – a man who knew he couldn’t build the temple because he had too much blood on his hands – knew this. When he prayed these prayers, he knew what sin was about.
For us to be rightly related to God, we need to be rightly related to the bible. And Christ is the Word of God. If we’re not rightly related to the written word of God, we’re not going to be rightly related to the spiritual, living son of God. Consider the words that are written. Consider your position before God in terms of presumptuous sins, the word of your mouth and the things on your heart. Consider the fact that God has called you for a new start, and has given you a new start. Consider the fact He has given you a new life to walk forward into, and this new life considers the words and the details that are inwards.
Step out in faith once more.