Saturday, May 3, 2008

Psalm 46 and An Open Invitation

This morning, I have been reading and reflecting on Psalm 46 . . .

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (v. 1).

God is our refuge and our strength. In Him we find rest and protection, in the midst of our trials and tribulations. In verse 2, the psalmist describes trembling mountains and troubled waters. In the midst of this instability, our God is stable,

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge (v. 7).

The Lord of heaven and earth is with us. Immanuel. God is with us. The writer of Hebrews (13:5b) put it this way: For He Himself said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (v. 10).

Our natural tendency, in the midst of difficult circumstances, is to panic. To be filled with fear and anxiety. To look for a quick way of escape. God commands us, instead, to be still. To recognize his sovereign control over the universe and our personal circumstances.

No matter what, God will be exalted. His glory will be revealed to all men and all nations.

So what does that mean for you and me?

It means that we can trust in the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth. God, through His written Word and through His Incarnate Word - Jesus Christ, invites us to be reconciled to Him and to be a part of His sovereign plan of redemption.

Throughout the pages of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, man is called to repentance from sin - to turn away from his own sinful rebellion against God and humbly submit himself to God's rightful authority. Salvation is found in Christ alone - by grace alone, through faith alone. Faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross at Calvary.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

This verse is the gospel in a nutshell. It describes how sinners (All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, according to Romans 3:23.) can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ died in our place for our sins. He took our punishment so that we could receive His righteousness. At Calvary, all of our sin was put upon Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God who was and is Himself without sin. On the cross, the wrath of God was poured out upon His Son so that His perfect justice could be satisfied. Jesus Christ was treated as a sinner, even though He is not. Sin must be punished, by death. Those who trust in Christ, are now seen by God as if they have the perfect righteousness of Christ. We are treated as if we were righteous, even though we are not.

The invitation is still open. Sinners can still call upon the gracious and merciful God of the universe to be saved from eternal separation from Him. God is still calling sinners to Himself, to receive not only freedom from sin and death, but freedom to live a purposeful and satisfying life for Him and in Him. God is still inviting men and women to enjoy an abundant life in Jesus Christ. Will you answer His call?

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