Saturday 8th August 2020

by Ps Soong Kok Kee

Psalms 19: 12-14 “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (NLT)

For the last two Saturday’s devotion, we first saw how God reveals Himself through nature (Psalms 19: 1-6) as we learned about His power and our finiteness. Then in Psalms 19: 7-11, He reveals Himself through His Word and we learned about His holiness and our sinfulness. Today we will see how God reveals Himself through our daily experiences as we learn about His gracious forgiveness that frees us from guilt.

We see in verse 12 how David really wants to know all the sins that were lurking in his heart. These are sins he did not know about. Sins that he may have unconsciously committed without knowing. Then he prayed that God would keep him from “deliberate” sins, sins that he knows and yet committed. Then he prayed that the guilt will not “control” him and make him useless in his own eyes.

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, many Christians are plagued by guilt. They worry they may have committed a sin unknowingly or have done some good deeds with selfish intentions. Or they worry they may not have put their whole heart into a task or neglected what they should have done.

The positive side of guilt may bring us closer to our Lord, help us all to do better and strive harder in all the things we do for our Lord. On the other side of the coin, it may cripple us or make us fearful that we have not done our best or done something wrong unknowingly. That is the devil’s scheme to make us think we are never good enough or holy enough for the Lord’s use.

King David, the writer of Psalms 19 prays something similar in Psalms 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (NLT). No wonder God says he is a man after God’s own heart. Always searching, always examining whether his heart and thoughts are right with God.

This is something we all should learn from David. Yes, none of us will ever be sinless or perfect in this side of eternity, David is the perfect example of that. The struggle to stay close to God will always be there as our great apostle Paul pens his experience in Romans 7: 15-19 “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway”. (NLT)

We all have gone through those struggles like David and Paul and so many other spiritual giants greatly used by God through the ages. Becoming a Christian takes a moment of faith, but becoming like Christ is a lifelong process and none of us will ever be exempted from that.
Like someone had said, sanctification is a lifelong process by which we sin less and less and slowly but surely becoming more and more like Christ. Let’s all travel that journey together hand in hand and may the last verse of Psalms 19 be our constant prayer “May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer”.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thanks again for reminding us to always be on the lookout for satan who will discourage us from serving you thinking we are never good enough or perfect enough for your use. Wretched as we are, sinful as we are, you are always there to cleanse us for your use. We lay our lives before you Lord, use us in whatever way you think fit so that many lives will be touched and blessed and may all glory and honour be to you and you alone. In Christ most precious name we pray. AMEN.

星期六, 2020年8月8日

诗篇 19:12-14
12 谁能知道自己的错失呢?愿你赦免我隐而未现的过错。
13 求你拦阻仆人,不犯任意妄为的罪,不容这罪辖制我,我便完全,免犯大罪。
14 耶和华我的磐石,我的救赎主啊,愿我口中的言语、心里的意念在你面前蒙悦纳。

在前两个星期六的灵修中,我们首先了解了上帝如何透过大自然显明自己(诗篇19:1-6)。同时,我们认识他的能力和我们的有限性。 然后在诗篇19:7-11中,他透过圣经显明自己,让我们了解有关他的圣洁和我们的罪性。今天,我们将看上帝如何以他仁慈宽恕使我们脱离内疚感,以此看他怎样透过日常经验显明自己。

我们在第十二节看到大卫真正想知道他内心深处的所有罪过。 这些是他不知道的罪过。 这些可能是他在不知不觉中,无意识犯下的罪过。 然后,他祈祷上帝会阻止他“任意妄为”的罪,那些他知道但仍然犯下的罪过。 之后,他祈祷罪恶感不会“辖制”他,使他自觉无用。

是的,亲爱的弟兄姐妹们,许多基督徒都被罪恶感所困扰。他们担心自己可能在不知不觉中犯了罪,或者做了一些有私心的好事。或者,他们担心他们没有全心投入到一项任务中。或者,忽视了他们应该做的事情。比较乐观的看法是内疚可以使我们更接近我们的主,帮助我们在为主做的所有事情上做得更好,更加努力。 另一方面,它可能会使我们瘫痪或使我们担心自己没有尽力或在不知不觉中做错了什么。 那是魔鬼的计划,让我们认为我们永远不够好或不够圣洁以被主用。

诗篇19的作者大卫王在诗篇139:23-24中祈祷类似的事:“神啊,求你鉴察我,知道我的心思;试炼我,知道我的意念。 看在我里面有什么恶行没有,引导我走永生的道路。”难怪上帝说他是一个讨上帝喜悦的人。 一直在寻找,一直在检查他自己的心意与上帝的是否相称。

这是我们所有人都应该向大卫学习的。 是的,在永恒的这一面,我们谁也不会无罪或完美无缺,大卫就是一个完美的例子。与上帝亲近的挣扎是永远存在的,就如我们伟大的使徒保罗讲述他在罗马书7:15-19中的经历:“因为我所做的,我自己不明白;我所愿意的,我并不做;我所恨恶的,我倒去做。若我所做的,是我所不愿意的,我就应承律法是善的。既是这样,就不是我做的,乃是住在我里头的罪做的。我也知道,在我里头,就是我肉体之中,没有良善。因为立志为善由得我,只是行出来由不得我。故此,我所愿意的善,我反不做;我所不愿意的恶,我倒去做。”

我们都经历过像大卫和保罗,以及许多其他千古以来上帝大大使用的属灵伟人那样的挣扎。 成为基督徒需要一次信心的片刻,但效法基督是一个终身的过程,我们都需要经历的。

正如有人曾说过,成圣是一个终身的过程。我们犯的罪会越来越少,我们会緩慢而穩當地变得越来越像基督。 让我们携手走这趟旅程,并愿诗篇19的最后一节成为我们不断的祷告,“耶和华我的磐石,我的救赎主啊,愿我口中的言语、心里的意念在你面前蒙悦纳。”