All have sinned. Everyone is against God.
Paul is summarizing the last 2 chapters with quotes from the Old Testament like Isaiah 53:6, and Psalms 12. It summaries the state of man who has tried to attain righteousness on his own. It is hopeless. The state of fallen man has no real desire for GOD. Their desires of fallen man have become twisted, deprived, violent and self-serving. This summary ends with the darkest but truest statement from Psalms 36:1. “There is no fear of GOD in their eyes.” This is abundantly true today.
Romans 3:21-31 is like a diamond
Romans 3:21-31 is like a diamond (Christ’s work on the cross) laying on a black cloth (man’s hopelessness and sinfulness). The first word is BUT… This is a hopeful word. It says in spite of all the evil, shameful, immoral, violent, and self-confidence we have in our lost state, THERE IS HOPE.
Righteous is available for us from Faith in Christ.
The completeness of verses 23 and 24 is PROFOUND. Romans 3:23-24 NIV for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. How great the gift of salvation for all mankind who were without any hope of salvation.
For GOD so loved the world (all) that He gave his only (all) begotten son that whosoever (all) believes on Him shall not perish, but (same “but” as in Romans 3:21) have everlasting life. This TRUTH has to ramp up the wattage of your lightnside! Right? All includes you. All mankind in all the past for all our mistakes and sins…are all erased for all time by Christ’s all sufficient love and sacrifice on the cross.
Remember this today. Through faith in Christ you have forgiveness of sins always!
Today we are bombarded with fake news and real news. It takes a serious mind and attention to weed them out and then it’s not cirtain we believe the right article.
What about false accusations, conspiracies and even threats? David had his enemies and many of the opposing forces spread lies as they sweet talked the people. They said “if I were king I would…”.
What do we do if we are in the cross hairs of accusations. How do we act when special interest groups target Christian groups because of our biblical stance?
The Holy Spirit inspired David to write this psalms to develop a plan to deal with the false accusers.
Hear me God…
V1 Hear me, my God as I voice my complaint. (We express our fear and frustrqation only to God. Not gossip or try to enter into a battle of wits with the enimies).
V2 Protect my life from the threat of the enemy. ( Ask God for His covering and protection).
Enemy described to God
Verse 3-6 David describes the false beliefs of the enemy and their verbal arrows.
Psalm 64:3-6 NIV
They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.  They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear.  They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it ?”  They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
They shoot and then God shoots
Psalm 64:7-8 NIV
But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down.  He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
Allow God to work his plan.
It will bring GLORY to His name and you will find comfort in His presence.
Be patient and ponder what He has done. It will place a lightnside your life and home.
V 9-10 All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done.
10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!
Let God shoot His arrows.
Our refuge and complaints belong with God. Let Him shoot back. Show love and kindness to enemies. Don’t shoot back on your own.
John 1:4-5 NIV ” In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
The word darkness has many meanings besides the absence of light. It can be described as depression, or a personality. Darkness can also describe violence in thought or action. Darkness can be the unwanted news of a medical condition. Darkness can also describe the character of a nation or a radical violent belief system. Darkness is also in the soul of man without Christ. Like a flashlight without batteries, the equipment is there but no “life” is in the batteries.
In HIM was Light and Life
Where can we find light for our minds, bodies, attitude, heart and future? The answer is in John 1:4. In Him (Jesus, Logos) is light and life. The Greek word for life is zoe (ζωή). There are different layers of life. One one level just waking up in the morning means you have life. You are living and breathing. But there is a mental and spiritual life that can be darkened even though physical life is present. However, one fact need to be understood. ALL LIFE (ZOE) AT ALL LEVELS COME FROM CHRIST. It is through Christ that the seven billion people on earth are breathing. He give physical life as Adam was given physical life when God breathed life into him (Genesis 2:7).
Sin brought darkness but Jesus brings light
Adam was alive both physically and spiritually with God. When Adam and Eve ate the apple in the garden of Eden a death or darkness came over their spirit and has been in this world since then. The source of darkness is both our fallen natures and your arch enemy Satan who is determined we will never again see connect with true light or life from Christ.
BUT JESUS HAS COME TO THE RESCUE – THE SOURCE OF LIGHT FOR ALL MANKIND. This life (zoe) is the light for everything.
It seems are nation is growing darker. Remember the light is still shining. The last part of verse five says the darkness does not comprehend the light. Some translations says overcome the light. Both are right. Darkness can never overcome or comprehend the light of Christ. The purpose of the darkness is to try and keep you from the light. [2 Corinthians 3:14 NIV] “14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is darkness taken away.”
Take a moment to listen to the song below. Feel the light of God in the song.
[Colossians 1:12-13 NIV] “12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
Today, you can find light in the darkness.
Christ is the source of your life and light. Pray to God right now and tell Him of your darkness. Then ask for forgiveness and guidance from Him. You will feel His light in your heart. It is important to develop this source of light, like keeping fresh batteries in a flashlight. Read the bible, pray find a church and get to know other people who are seeking life and light. This is how you live and grow with lightnside.
Matthew 5:9 NIV
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
David had his Mighty Men( 1 Chronicles 11:10 ) who kept peace in his kingdom. Deputy Jacob Pickett was one of Boone County’s Mighty Men who kept peace in our kingdom
We honor one of Boone County’s might warriors this week. Even in his death his organs are bringing hope and peace to others. We pray for his family, the Boone County Sheriff’s organization, all local police and emergency personnel, and the people of Boone County.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Yesterday I was told a very good friend killed himself.
I’m still in shock and grief for family and community. So I go to the place of healing and strength. God’s word and His presence.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
In Romans 3:1-8 some intellectual people want to show themselves to be smarter than God try to manipulate the gospel. I imagine they , with a tongue in cheek, argue if God shows His glory more when a sin is covered then more sin brings out more glory.
Show me a coin
It reminds me of the constant attempts to trap Jesus in his own words in Matthew 22:15-22. I love the example when Jesus is asked about taxes. Is it right to pay taxes. Thinking there is no way out Jesus takes a coin and asks who’s inscription is on it. Caesar’s they say. Then Jesus blows their trap away by saying “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.
The real goal is not to trap but to find a way to feel justified. If we can use theories and deep thinking to twist scripture so we can feel justified by scriptures we will remain unchanged. It is an attempt to turn the leading of the Holy Spirit on our hearts into a justified theory that our mind tells us we are ok with God. Tough areas for us to grow through is forgiveness, love, submission, selfishness and so forth.
manipulation of God’s word
Many people believe that once you say the words “I believe Jesus dies for me and is the son of God” then they are forever saved no matter their actions from then on. Again this is mental manipulation of God’s word. First, it is more than saying. It is active believing and repenting and following Christ. Allowing Him to change your life that saves you. Yes, you will continue to sin, but it will be slip ups and the Holy Spirit will convict you to repent and grow in Christ. Salvation is not a one time purchased life insurance policy for heaven. This is another example of Romans 3:7-8
Don’t try to manipulate Godly truths – be transformed instead.
Let us read God’s word and believe. Not try to manipulate God’s truths. But be transformed from Glory to Glory by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Allowing the lightnside to burn brighter as you mature in Christ.
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.
Ahithophel King David’s top counselor
Ahithophel was a counselor of King David and a man greatly renowned for his wisdom. 2 Samuel 16:23 says “Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. He was a very good friend of David and together they had a strong successful kingdom.
One day David was walking at night around roof of his palace and sees a beautiful woman bathing. You know the story of Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. He calls for her and sleeps with her. Bathsheba becomes pregnant. So David calls her husband in from war and gives him the night off hoping he will sleep with his wife to hide the sin. The husbands name is Uriah.
Uriah does not sleep with his wife and David decides to have Uriah killed in battle. David orders Uriah to the front lines in a very dangerous place and orders his army commander to back off. Uriah is killed and David takes Bathsheba as his wife.
You know this story but you may not know the back story that leads to Psalms 55:12-14. David has groups of soldiers called his mighty men. One is named Eliam son of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 23:34). Now Bathsheba is the daughter of Eliam (2 Samuel 11:3) So Ahithophel is the grandfather of Bathsheba. Uriah (Bathsheba’s murdered husband) is also one of the mighty men listed (2 Samuel 23:39).
So not only was Ahithophel the grandfather of Bathsheba but he also had a son in the mighty men of David’s army and was close to Uriah. Ahithophel knew what David had done. He could not accuse the King. So in his hatred he began to counsel against David.
Was a friend – now an enemy
Ahithophel joined forces with David’s son Absalom who was try to overthrow David’s kingdom. The wisdom of Ahithophel was well know and Absalom used his wisdom. David had already repented to God for his sins but now he was running for his life. While running for his life, David sent another counselor back to counter the wisdom of Ahithophel. God allowed this to work and it saved David. Defeated Ahithophel went home broken hearted and committed suicide.
As David was running from Absalom and Ahithophel when he wrote Psalms 55. The lesson is this. The effects of sin causes unintended consequences. Sin never hurts just you. Others will be effected as in David’s sin. You will find temptations but allow the lightnside to guide you away. You never know how the effects of sin grow.
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers. Psalm 55:12-14 NIV
The pain of intended harm from someone close.
This type of pain is too close to escape. It’s too close avoid. How do you deal with a family member or work relation that has lied about you. Maybe they have spoken hateful words to your face and a painful wedge is there daily to live with.
Below are my thoughts and steps to live with this pain.
- Look at your own life first for a reason. See if you can see if there is something they are reacting to. Even if they are wrong it is a starting point of conversation.
David was the original cause of this pain. There is a reason for their anger. It is an unintended consequence of David’s actions. I will publish this tomorrow in part 2.
- Pray for them and yourself. We fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power of darkness. Ephesians 6:12-17
- Show compassion. Love your enemy which may be in your family. Don’t give more ammunition for their rage. Check your pride and be humble.
- Seek wise advise not gossip or social media advise.
- Learn from David’s Psalms. Cry out to God in your quiet times and also praise Him for His goodness. It is His spirit that will be required to work in their hearts. Ask God to rescue you.
- Guard your heart. For out of it pours your life.
Whatever happens in your situation, follow these steps and keep your heart right with God and others. Remember the kindness and repentance is also their choice to make. Keep allowing God to challenge and grow you. Don’t let this situation take so much of your thought that other important relationships are neglected. Keep a strong lightnside and remember God see all and is in control.
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22
What is a sign of Christ in you?
One would be how you treat your enemies. They hate your religion, maybe your color, sexual orientation or other things. They just do not like you and they show it. This hate gives them energy to continue. Defuse hate with kindness.
DO the unexpected
This verse says to do the unexpected. To not reward evil with evil. But show kindness by helping them in some outward way. Take them to lunch! Help with gas. Treat them with kindness. The Bible says this action will “heap burning coals on their head.” In different version of the Bible it would call this “shame” or “unexpected kindness”. The idea is not to use kindness as a way to cause them pain. That would be mean. But maybe to offer peace. Maybe even receive a better understanding of your differences.
The King of Aram sent an army to surround Elisha and kill him. In the morning Elisha’s servant looked out a saw the hundreds of soldiers surrounding them. Elisa asked GOD to open their eyes to see God’s army. Suddenly the armies of GOD were seen overwhelming the size of the enemy. Elisa asked God to blind this army. Elisha could have taken advantage of the blindness and destroy his enemy. Instead, he had them fed and sent them back unharmed. They no longer harassed Israel.8-23
2 Kings 6:21-23 NIV
When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”  “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.”  So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.
GOD will reward you.
Let your enemy respond however they desire for your kindness. GOD will reward you. You may put burning coals on their heads but you will also have a bright lightnside.
A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Romans 2:28-29 NIV
You can ask people ‘are you a religious?’ They will say “I am a Christian, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, and so on.” A second question could be “Do you live by the standards of your religion each day?” (Gulp) This is the truth Paul is making to the Jews about Christianity. It is not the label and it is not the circumcision (specific rituals) that makes you right with God. It is the actions of the heart and your relationship with God that makes you a Christian.
Labels identify but can also hide.
This is not an easy truth to take in. Labels identify us and sometimes we can use them to falsely satisfy our inward fears that we are not right with God. “But I am a Methodist. I go to church. I am part of the worship team. I give my tithes.” All of these are good things but they are not the items that determine your right relationship with God.
Who are you in your heart?
Who are you in your mind and desires? Who are you in your spiritual relationships with God? It is these things that determine who we are in God’s eyes. Not the outward label. It is the inner actions and condition of the heart. What a terrible thought to be standing before God believing on a labeled. Or believing you are a Christian because of the outward things you have done. God looks at you and says “I never knew you”. Let’s make sure that day will never come. Seek God daily and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is the actions in our hearts that determine who we are in Christ.
We are Christians only if we are Christians in our hearts.
We can be called a great Christian and in our hearts hide a deep secrete sin. So let us make sure we have a lightnside that burns to follow Christ. That burns to live by the Holy Spirit. That burns to reflect God in our relationships and at work. A lightnside that repents when we sin but also have faith in the blood of Christ and receive the righteousness of God to cover our sin and wash our hearts.