From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.
Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word. Psalm 130, 1-5 (NLT)
The lectionary texts this week are not all familiar ones to me. I like that because it motivates me to read them several times during the week.
The 2 Samuel passage tells me that David has learned of Saul and Jonathan’s deaths. He writes from his heart a song about them. He proclaims that all the men of Judah will remember and sing this song. It is interesting that it is a song about the good of Saul. After all that David has endured at the hand of this jealous, vengeful king, David sings a song about the good that was in Saul’s life. David made a choice.
Psalm 130 is about the greatness of the LORD’s mercy to forgiveness my sins. I acknowledge that my sins are too great for me to “work off” and it is only through my LORD that I can live in any hope. I can’t imagine singing this song without many tears of gratitude.
Mark relates to me the story of the death of Jairus’ daughter and the woman who is dying from a hemorrhage. Jesus stops on the way to Jairus’ house to acknowledge that a miracle has happened. I believe that He did that to complete the woman’s healing. It wasn’t just about her physical need. She also needed to be restored to the community. There is attempt to stop Jesus again from getting to Jairus’ home when the people relate that the child is already dead – so there is no longer a need for Jesus. Jesus shows that His work is not complete. He restores the child to her family. Jesus made a choice.
2 Corinthians 8 is Paul rejoicing that the church promised to give their gifts. Now he wants them to carry through on that pledge of giving. But there is an important point to what Paul says. He tells them to not focus on the amount but to give as they have been instructed by the Holy Spirit, whether pennies or in great wealth.
Today God is speaking to me about carrying out the mission or ministry that He has placed in my heart. It is not about the numbers with which man assesses success or failure but it is my choice to cling to Jesus, counting on Him to supply me with all that I need. Will I do it without any mistakes? Probably not. Like Saul – I may REALLY mess it up! Like in the stories in Mark, there may be distractions that try to stop me or tell me I’m done or that it can’t be done!
In all ways, it is Jesus that sets my standard and teaches me how to accomplish God’s plan and determines its success or failure. It is Jesus who taught me that all glory goes to God. If I am never credited or given any applause by people around me, so much the better. It was God who made it all possible. His love is great for one and for all. God has separated me from my sins. He lives inside of me that I might be His hands and feet in this world, be it for the blessing of one – or many. May I choose to complete that which He has begun in me.
In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty (2001) sung by Adrienne Liesching & Geoff Moore