11 Dec 2022

Cultivating Our Reverence To God [Psalms 50:1-23]
  • Topic: Asaph, Burnt offerings, Church, Continue, Faithful, Gave, God, Gospel, Heart, JUDGEMENT, Life, Lord, Offer, People, Psalm, Sacrifices, Serving, Thinking, Verse, WORSHIP


According to recent survey, less than 50% of millennials and Gen Z in the US are attending Church weekly. Is this one of the signs that belief, even reverence, unto God has waned?  This trend might impact us here in Singapore sooner or later. How does this concern us? to you as a Christian parent? as a Christian teen or youth? How could we ensure that we would achieve the mission at GLCC? Is your desire to grow deeper in your reverence unto God? In what ways could we cultivate our reverence unto God. ? We ave no easy answers. But, the problem of lack of reverence isn’t new. The scriptures is replete with stories in the past, written for our instructions and to give us hope, like Psa 50:1-23. Asaph, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote this psalm to express God’s indictment to His covenant people the Jews for our learning. God revealed Himself in three ways. First, His Authority. God exerted His authority as the God[Elohim]. What’s the significance why Asaph expressed God as ‘Mighty One, God the Lord’ [vs. 1]?  How did Asaph picture God? Why did God exert His authority? Secondly, His Accusations. There were two, namely; their dead ritualism[v. 8-13] and double standard living[v16-21].  God commended their faithfulness in offering sacrifices[v. 8]. What was wrong? [see v9-13] In what ways that cause a person to think that God is indebted to him?  Among them, there is another group God called them wicked. [v16], Why they were wicked? [v. 16-17]. What were the sins exposed by God that they did? [v. 18-20]. What is the underlying reason? [v. 21,22] How would you describe a Christian  who knows a lot of scriptures and continues to live a sinful lifestyle because God is not disciplining him but even has been blessing his work and life with abundance of material blessings? Thirdly, His Appeal. God’s judgment was not final. Since God initiated to reach out to them, how could we describe God? [ see v 2] What did God want them to do? [see  v14-15 and 23]. Since God has no aversion with the offering of animal sacrifices, how are they going to do it continually that God would be pleased?  We should be thankful today because of Christ, the complete sacrifice for our sins [the gospel]. How are we going to express our awe and reverence to God because of the gospel today? What is the correlation between obeying God’s law and performing their vows unto God? [see v 14]  What is the implication about God’s appeal for them to call unto Him in times of trouble? [v. 15] What troubles you the most – lack of relationship with God or losing you wealth, even health? Why? We shouldn’t allow our hearts to loss our awe and wonder to the gospel. What God has done in Christ should cause us to offer our thanksgiving expressed in our involvement to the church ministries and faithfulness in doing our spiritual disciplines. Thus, we we’ll live to our slogan, that is, ‘drink in, live out and give out the gospel’   



Sermon Transcript


It's a great privilege indeed for me to be here. I had been away from the English services for quite a while, I see a lot of new faces. And I guess many of you don't know me, maybe you know more of my son than myself. And then, I met somebody who said, you look like really your son. I don't know whether that is a compliment to my son or not. And of course, that's a compliment to me. And I said to him, of course, he's my son, he should look like me. He's my only son. When Pastor Jason asked me to preach, I was thinking, what will I preach. And he said, just anything from your heart. I had a lot of thoughts and debate and you know, in my heart, what I'm going to say today. I could pull out my past sermons, and then just refresh it and preach to you. Anyway, you did not hear it. But, you know, God put a message in my heart. And I know this is from my heart. And I want to tell you that this is not a new message. It's the same message that is repeated over and over again. But we have to know that the word of God should be refreshing in our hearts, although we read it over and over again. We should not be tired of the word of God. We should not.

And well, I am the Pastor of Filipino congregation for the past 17 or 18 years here in Gospel Light. And I saw my children growing here in Singapore, and they are already married now. Actually, yesterday, was the second birthday of my grand daughter. My two daughters will be delivering also next year. So, we are already building up our family. And thank you for your prayers. I know most of you are praying for us. And I remember what Joshua said, in Joshua 24. He said, but as for me in my house, we will serve the Lord. I served the Lord for more than three decades already. And thinking about what would be the focus of my life, I read the account of the heroes of the faith in Hebrews chapter 11. I was fascinated with the life of Jacob, because he was described with a one liner there. By faith, Jacob when he was already old, blessed the sons of Joseph, you know, and he worshipped the Lord leaning upon his staff. Can you picture Jacob, very old, surrounded by grandchildren, he cannot stand anymore. That's why he was leaning on his staff. But what is he doing? He's worshipping the Lord.

I would be very happy today if I encourage, I incite in you. I will provoke you to really cultivate your passion, your reverence, unto the Lord. Because we are living in a generation or in our time where we know that the respect, the fear, the reverence of God, as we have seen in the past generations are now vanishing away in our region. I think you will agree with me, according to the statistics in the US just this March. Less than one half of millennials, 45% and Gen Z 40% say they attended church weekly, less than that. Now in the context of the US, that's really staggering because they used to be a Christian country, they claim to be. But whatever happens in the US, I believe, the impact also will be felt here in Singapore, and even outside Singapore. And that's concerning because we know that in the church, in our church at Gospel Light, our mission is to lead generations. That's our focus. We are not doing ministry for our generations. Now, we are doing ministry for the next generation, for them to have a life changing relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. We don't satisfy if we have a church that continues to go on into the future where they don't love the Lord anymore. That's my burden as a father for my children. And I hope that it's the burden of each one of our parents and grandparents here, that all of those who will be coming in the future in place of us at Gospel Light, will be loving the Lord even more. That their passion, their hunger and thirst for God will not dissipate, but continue to flourish. I told my kids, I will be happy if you're going to finish your universities. I will be very happy. But I will be very sad if I do not see you serving the Lord. So, this message has been a burden in my heart and I think this will reflect and resonate also with the rest of the shepherds of Gospel Light. Because this is our mission, to lead generations into a life changing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

And with that, we go to Psalm chapter 50 verse 1 to 23. And look into this chapter, long chapter. But I will try my best to finish before lunch so we can eat lunch together. Yeah. And just see here, who God is and what He was doing to the nation of Israel, at a certain period in history. It was written by Asaph. Asaph was one of the chief musician of David. He wrote 12 Psalms, and this is his first Psalm. And amazingly, most of the Psalms of Asaph includes judgement. Most of it. It's a judgement towards the wicked. And it's also commendation towards the righteous. So, Asaph was an insider in the nation of Israel. He saw what's going on. As a Levite, he was serving there, watching people coming in and out to the tabernacle. There was no temple yet. And then the offered sacrifices of animals. burnt offerings there, and he saw the problem. These people are just going into the motions. These people were just faithful in doing the routines of their weekly or daily sacrifices, but their hearts were not anymore there. And I'm afraid that my heart as a Pastor, and each of our hearts will grow cold. And we don't have any more of that passion. And that joy because we lost the awesomeness of God. We lost the reverence and respect of God. I'm not just talking about recognizing that God is God. But have we come to that realization that we are approaching an awesome, great God.

AW Tozer said that always the most revealing thing about the church is your idea of God. I think you will agree with this. Your idea, your concept of God will affect your attitude and manners of life. How you behave right now. And the reason behind that is because of your belief in God. If you believe that God is a God of love, that God can accept my lifestyle, even I live a sinful lifestyle. Your concept of God is a humanistic kind of God. But our God in the Bible is a holy God, a righteous God. And when we approach before God, we must cringe because he is a God, the lofty God. And this is what Asaph has been bringing into these people, as they sing this song, as they worship this song, because Psalm are poetry. And it has a melody, and they are going to sing this when they are going to sing in the temple, reminding them that this God is not just an ordinary God. So, this morning, let me share to you three things that you can see in this chapter of what God is doing.

1. His Authority [v1-7]

Number one, He exerted His authority as a God. You can see that in verses 1 to 7, but from verse 8 to 13, and even from verse 16, to 21, we can see also the expression of God's judgement or accusations to these people. But thankfully, God is a God of grace. He ended the Psalm. He concluded the Psalm with an appeal. So, we see the three things here, what God is doing. His authority, His accusation and His appeal. First, His authority. He said in verse 7, here are my people and I will speak O Israel. I will testify against you. I am God, your God. I am Elohim, your Elohim. Who is this God, according to Asaph, in verse one, the mighty one, God, the Lord is unique here in this Psalm because God is addressed in three particular addresses. He said He is the Mighty One, El in our Hebrew. God, which is Elohim the plural form, and Lord, which is Yahweh or Jehovah. Now we don't have time to explain, why is it that these three, three expressions of God or three declarations of God was made by Asaph here? But one thing that is certain, very apparent here is this. Asaph emphasized the authority of God? Asaph emphasized that this God is a lofty God. Actually, one author said, this is the plurality of the majesty of God declared. Our God is an awesome God, is it not? Our God is a Holy God. And from verse two down to verse six, we can see there, what he was doing. He was summoning the whole earth. Even he said, God, they're all the hosts from heaven, and earth. And gather all my children, I'm going to judge them, out of Zion. The perfection of beauty God send forth, with devouring fire and tempests. Now, this has allusion with what happened in Sinai in Exodus chapter 19. When God gave His law to Moses, there was this devouring fire, there was earthquake, there was a storm. And you have to respect this God. And he really truncated the address here from all the beings in this world, or in this universe, towards his own people. Gather all my people, that's what He said in verse seven. Hear oh my people, the covenant people of God. And I understand that not all Israel belongs to Israel, according to Paul, Romans. Although these people belonged to the covenant people of God, some of them, many of them, were not believers of the Jehovah God.

It's understandable that in churches like ours, as much as we would like that everyone believes in Jesus, but some are still not believers among us. Some are still seeking, some are still discovering who is this God? And every church has that kind of reality. But God said to His people, I will testify against you. I will speak and I will testify against you. That's what he said. Now, what is this kind of judgement? Now, somebody said that this judgement is not a finality. It diminishes, it is a judgement, diminish of its finality. Because there was an offer of appeal as He ended this chapter, but it does not diminish the seriousness of this judgement. Well, God is a gracious God. Whenever this Jews will gather into the temple, or tabernacle, or wherever they are going to worship. When they sing this song, they are going to express their love and passion to the Lord, you are reminded that this God is a God of authority. Awesome, and lofty and majestic, incomparable God. But there was something that was a problem among His people. And that is what he was addressing about here, according to Asaph here. You know, one thing unique about this chapter is this. Of the 23 verses that we read, only 5 chapters are directly set by Asaph, verse 1-4 and 6. All the rest is a direct discourse of God. That direct declaration of God towards his own people. I am God, listen to me and all those sorts. So, this is the picture of this Psalm that we are in a courtroom. How I wish that each one of us, all of us, every time we gather together in church, we do not only picture that our God is a loving father. Many people today almost think that God is like a Santa Claus. They go to church because they feel good in the church. They want to go to churches where they feel good about it. It's an entertaining thing. They want to go to church where they feel that they can do what you want to do. But we are not here, folks, because we want to do what we want to do. We are here because we want to worship God, don't we? So, let it be that we will always have that kind of mindset that we come into the court, in the court of the presence of God, and God is a lofty God. And that's why, we need to be watchful of our hearts. And this is what God has discovered.

2. His Accusations
a. Dead Ritualism [v.8-13]
b. Double Standard Living [v. 16-21]

The next thing that we can see is that He found two things that He accused these people of. The first is that they were doing the motion of going into the temple or tabernacle. Doing the sacrifices, day in and day out, but it was just a dead ritualism or a formalism. And secondly, they were accused by God also as hypocritical. You live a double standard kind of life, but you continued your religiosity, you continue your rituals. But at the underside of your lives, you live apart and doing a sinful lifestyle.

a. Dead Ritualism [v.8-13]

Verse 8 to 13 is about the dead ritualism. Now God is not against ritualism per se. He said in verse 8, not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, your burnt offerings are continually before me. God acknowledge, God commended that they were faithful. They were consistent. They were offering their animal sacrifices day in and day out into the temple. And there's nothing wrong with that. Now, when we look at ourselves at Gospel Light, we serve. You are faithful in your service, whatever kind of ministry you are involved with. Those are good by itself. There's nothing wrong with that. God has no aversion with animal sacrifices, when in fact, in the Book of Leviticus, he commanded it. That when you're going to worship you have to bring animals. God provided them laws. And one of these laws is to offer an animal sacrifice for the sin, we call that the burnt offering. And you know, what's your concept about the law of God? The law of God is for their good. It's not about contributing to the goodness of God, but because God is already good. But when you're going to fulfil this burnt sacrifices, burning it in the altar, it will be for their good. And what is that good? Because when they are going to offer to the altar, this animal sacrifices, they are going to put the right hand, at the head of this sacrifice. And then, that sacrifice, the blood of that animal, you know, will be sprinkled into the altar, and they will be an atonement for their sin. They will be covering of their sin.

So just imagine. Think of this. The first, maybe first moments or first years or months that they did this, they were doing it with the right attitude. Every time they put their hand at the head of the animal, they were thankful. Lord, thank you for the covering of my sin. Thank you for atoning for my sin. I should have been killed instead of this animal. But thank you, Lord, for forgiving me. But I can understand when they did this over and over and over again. Not only in months, but years. You see, their attitude change. Their attitude, mutated into something else. They thought that God requires this animal and that's the end of it. They thought that when they offered the sacrifice that's what God wants. You see, we are no different than them. Our hearts are deceitful above all things, according to Jeremiah. Who can know it? Only God. That's why Solomon said to us in Proverbs 4:23. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it, are the issues of life. Nobody planned, or nobody will plan that his heart will grow cold. Nobody plans that he will backslide tomorrow. Nobody plans to drift in his Christian life. But out of carelessness.

We are not watchful of our heart that our hearts are drifting away. That we are not any more as faithful as we use to. Yet we go into the motion. We attend church. But that's it. I pat my shoulder and say, I just I did what I should today. I just attended church and nothing less, nothing more. Is that enough? Does God require our service? Does God require our offerings more than our heart? They were wrong. That's why God continued to say to them, I will not accept a bull from your house. This is sarcastic. Because God said to them, yes, you have a bull in your house, you have a goat in your folds, but I will not accept it. For every beast in the forest is mine. The cattles on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. Okay, granting that you own all those bullocks or goats that you have in your fold. But I have mine as well. Actually. Everything is mine. All that moves in this world are mine. I own the cattles on a thousand hills, including the heels. I own it. It's ridiculous for them to claim that they own the bulls and the goats to offer into the altar. They believed and they descent down into the thinking that our God is indebted to me. I am faithful in doing this. And God is indebted to me, he should bless me.

I think this is a precursor to the health and wealth gospel, the prosperity gospel. I do God, this or this good. That's why God has to be good to me. He should bless me, Flattering, manipulating God, and up to the point of sinking into the lowest portion of their lives to say, God depends upon me. He said, if I were hungry, I will not tell you. For the world and its fullness are mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? You think that I am eating or am drinking. You think that I'm hungry? You think that I am like those pagan gods that you have to offer an offering because their gods cannot survive without the offering? I am the self-existent one. God is not indebted to our goodness. God has indebted to our services. God remains to be God. Without man. God does not depend on man. But these people were so proud to think that God is indebted to them. Unless they will forget to change their attitudes and their motives, they will go into the next level of the sinfulness, which was double standard living. But before that, there is nothing wrong with faithfulness in the things that we are doing. It was required by the law for them to offer the sacrifices. It might help people by the good deeds that they did. But the motive was wrong. A good deed done for the Lord Jesus Christ, with the wrong motive is not really good at all. All our righteousness are just filthy rags if we have wrong motives also. You see, it's not only that we are doing the will of God according to the law, according to the scriptures, but why are you doing what you are doing?

We always ask this in Gospel Light, why are you doing what you are doing? Why are you going to church? Why are you baptized? Why are you serving in this ministry? Why are you partaking the communion service? Is it because you want God will give you some merits? Is it because God just require this and that's the end of it? Is that the goal of your life? Is that the goal that God wants you to do? We miss the point if we are thinking that way. The Pharisees were overly legalistic in the way they were doing. But we should be warned. We might not be like the Pharisees, which are over. They were really open about their legalism. But let us be watchful of our hearts because our hearts are the same as they have heart, hardened sometimes. The bad thing about religious, it is this. Because we are doing something that is right before the eyes of people, we may think that it is okay, when we have a wrong heart. We feel good about it. We feel okay about it, when we should not feel good about it, because we have a wrong motive in doing so. If they are not going to repent, something will happen in their lives.

b. Double Standard Living [v. 16-21]

They will go into the next level of their sinfulness and that is living a double standard life. Hypocritical. God called them wicked in verse 16. But to the wicked, God says, you are evil, you're ungodly. When God says to a person, you are wicked, you have to pay attention because God cannot be mistaken. When somebody, when a person will say to me a fool, you're a fool pastor. They might be right, they might be wrong. But when God says to me, you're a fool. That is always right. His judgement is always right. You are wicked, in what way? Because they said, I have a right to recite your statutes. I have the right to claim your statutes, and that they have the right also to really claim that I am in a permanent relationship with you, but only on their lips. So, God said to them what right? You think that you have an entitlement, that's the problem. When a person used to do something good in their lives, when a person used to do a thing that is commended by people, sometimes it boils down into them that, oh, I have the right to think this way. Because I've been doing this for quite a while, I should be entitled to have this in my life.

That's why I am so burdened and concerned with children of pastors. Because they grew up with their parents, serving the Lord. I have seen and I have observed some pastors in the Philippines. I knew them. They're close to me. And I'm so sad that a few of their children are not serving the Lord. And they did not grow in their worship of the Lord, they did not grow in their relationship with the Lord. But they grew since young, they are in the Sunday school. They are in the young people's group, but didn't love the Lord, as expected. Why? Nobody has a simple answer. That's why you need to pray for the pastors and the families of the pastors. For the kids of the pastors. When people ask me, why is it that your children are serving the Lord? This time? My answer is just because of the grace of God, nothing else. It's all by the grace of God. I heard this message from a certain preacher in the US. And it has struck my heart and my mind that it lingered until now that the best way that parents could do to their kids is talk less, listen more, and pray the most. All the while I was talking more. All the while I was not listening, and I was praying less and that I had to change, Lord, I have to talk less. I have to listen more and I have to pray the most.

Why? Because nobody can dig into the hearts of our children. What are they thinking about? What are their values about? But when we pray, God will speak to them. I believe in prayer. I am an answer to prayer. Some people are praying for me. You are an answer to prayer. Let's remember that only God can change the heart of people. Parents, we're not going to drag our children to Sunday school and then force them, when they are not really changed in their hearts. Sometimes you are frustrated. Pastor we have been attending Sunday school for years. My children are faithful in attending the Sunday school, in the youth group. She should be baptized now. He should be partaking the Lord's supper now. And when the pastor interview this kid, he has no idea what the gospel is. He has no idea about the relationship with the Lord and you're frustrated and you're disappointed. The pastor also is disappointed. We don't want to disappoint people. We don't want to disappoint anyone in the church. But we want to honor God. Only God can do that miraculous work of changing lives and transforming lives. We are bringing your children to Sunday school or to any activity or platform in Gospel Light. But the guarantee of changing their hearts does not belong to us. It belongs only to the Lord That's why we must be faithful in committing our children, our kids in prayer. Only God can change.

This is what's happening in this in this people, the Jews. And they just were able to recite the law. But they hate discipline. They don't want to be under authority. They don't want to be under the God who can teach them how to live, what to do. Sometimes this is really the dilemma. Because, when people know so much about the Bible, we think sometimes that oh, he must be a mature person He must be a person who is already deep in his knowledge of God, because he knows a lot of verses. But you know what? The life will speak by itself? Do they love to be under the authority of God? They cast my words behind me. You know, this is evidenced by their lives according to verse 18 to 20. This is the evidence as if they are in court. This is evidence number one, you break the Eighth Commandment. You see a thief, you're pleased with him. Secondly, you break commandment number seven, and you keep company with adulterers. You gave your mouth free reign for evil and your tongue frameth deceit. You sit and speak against your brother, you slander your own mother's son. And you know, what's the problem? What's the root cause of this problem? It's in verse 21. This thing you have done and I have been silent. And you interpreted it that I approved it. You think that I was one like yourself.

When a person, a religious person thinks that what he's thinking is the thoughts of God, that's a scary thought, folks. That's a scary thought. Take for example, think of a person this way. A crook, a cheat, who is going to church, faithful in church. Week in and week out, he is faithful in church, but living a double life. And then on top of that God is silent. And then he interpreted it as God's approval. And he will say to himself, God has blessed me, even if I do this. My wife doesn’t know this. My children don't know what I'm doing. I'm doing it secretly. But God has been blessing my business. I am promoted in my job, I got this promotion, God should be good to me. God is really loving. It's a scary thought when a person is doing a sinful lifestyle and is not troubled with it. When you are doing some sinful lifestyle, and you are not in trouble with it before God, you are really in deep trouble, I will be in deep trouble. Now I'm saying this as a pastor, because I know you're aware that there are so many pastors, they are leaders and popular speakers in the past, who can explain the love of God, the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and we found them out that they are really false. What's happening, what happened in their life? Somehow, somewhere, there was this breakdown in the relationship with the Lord, so that we take this as an approval of God that nothing happens. God's silence is not God's approval.

For us, as men, sometimes this is our struggle, because we don't talk so much than our wives. If a wife will say, honey, I think we need to take a loan to buy this thing. And then the husband was just reading a newspaper, no words, no nothing. The next day, the thing was delivered. And the husband was furious, why is it delivered? I thought you agree with that because you did not say anything. God's silence is not to approve our sinful lifestyle. God's silence means he is patient. He is long suffering. God is long suffering. He's not willing that any should perish, but that all of us should come to repentance. One of my favorite verses to remind myself is Romans chapter 2 verse 4. And it goes this way. The forbearance the patience, the loving kindness of God, that God's kindness, God's goodness will lead us to repentance. So, these people, they were faithful in their rituals. They are articulate in the law, but they live a double life by being hypocritical. And God warned them. He said to them through Asaph, don't you recognize that I am this God. But before this, going back in verse 22, God said to them, mark this, then you will forget God. Wow. If a person is presumptuous, thinking that the way I think who God is, is the way God is, that is God. They are already forgetting God. They are already forgetting who this God is. And Asaph has to remind them in the first few verses that this God is the awesome God. He is the mighty one. He is the Yahweh, the covenant keeping God, the self-existent God. And he's almost all the heavens and the earth. And for them to recognize that he must be worshipped. He must be revered, he must be respected. But they didn't.

It came to a point where they say, I can live the way I want, I can do what I want. And I'm still okay. I'm still okay. Brethren, in the Lord. Of course, today, we are so thankful that we have these scriptures to read, we have this scripture to warn us. And as it is, always the case in every service, and every gathering of God's people, God's word will give comfort to the uncomfortable. But it will also give discomfort to those who are already comfortable, that they don't care about their lives. They don't care about how they are led before the Lord. I'm still an okay Christian, if I go and do the same thing over and over again. And it's nothing wrong with me in anyway. Everybody is doing this, everybody is doing that. This is acceptable. And that is the reason why they always maintained that they are always okay before the Lord. Maybe that we will have a new and a freshness of our look and our idea of God, that he is not the same as us. Otherwise, we think of God like a pagan god. God should be respected, because He is a lofty and majestic God. Mark this, consider this, lest I will tear you apart and there'll be none to deliver. Actually, this is not a judgement of God. But from God, is a rebuke for them to change, to change their lifestyle, to change their attitude, to change their motive. You see, God is a God of hope. And this is where the gospel is. This judgement is not a finality. It does not diminish its seriousness, because we have to think this and consider this not only today, but every day, whether corporately, when we are going to worship God or individually, when we worship our God in our private lives. Well, the Lord gives them a chance to repent and to change their ways.

3. His Appeal

The Lord appealed to them what they're going to do. He said in verse 14, for over to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High and call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you shall glorify me. In verse 23, the one who offers thanksgiving as a sacrifice glorifies me, the one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God. Actually, in verse 14, if you have your ESV Bible, there is a footnote there, that the statement. Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving should be rightly said, as offer a thanksgiving as your sacrifice. In other words, when they are going to offer this animal at the altar, there are not to think that God just need this animal. But I'm going to offer my heart, a thankful heart. And thank God that I can express this by offering this animal to God. That should be the right attitude that I should have. Who is our example in the Bible who had missed and failed God? No other than King David. Did you remember King David when he committed the sin of murder to Uriah and the wife? He committed adultery with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba. He was silent for almost two years. He continued offering, he continued to pretend that he was okay. He continued to pretend that he was right before the Lord. When Nathan confronted him, by that parable, by that story. You know that story, he said, by all means, that guy should be punished. Why is it that he abused by getting the little lamb when he has so much in his fold, in his flock? And then Nathan told him you are the man. And then he realized that he was wrong. And he wrote Psalm 32 and Psalm 51, in order to express his brokenness there. I want to read Psalm 51. When he wrote this Psalm, and he concluded the Psalm that will summaries what it means to offer God's thanksgiving.
He said in verse 15, oh, Lord open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it. You will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God or a broken spirit, are broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion, in your good pleasure, build up the walls of Jerusalem. Take note the last verse. Then, and only then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and hold burnt offerings, then bulls will be offered on your altar. In other words, David was saying, Lord, I could have offered a lot of offerings, but you don't need sacrifices. You don't need burnt offerings, but a broken and contrite heart, you will not despise. And if I have that kind of heart, Lord, then you will accept, then you will delight in the bird sacrifices and in the animal sacrifices that I will bring. In other words, unless we have a thankful heart, unless we have a grateful heart, broken and contract before God, our offerings, our services, whatever we do good before God is not acceptable.

Today, I hope and I pray that God will steer our hearts, to really consider that everything that we do for the Lord must be done because of correct motive of our hearts. Well, these people have to continue doing their sacrifices. God has no aversion with animal sacrifices, continue to do it. But do it now, as a thanksgiving, not as an end in itself. David has realized that. Today, I pray that we will go back to the gospel, we go back to the cross, why we are doing what we're doing is because of the cross. Because what Christ has done. Instead of going to the church and bringing all our animals today, we are going to remember what happened at the cross 2000 years ago. And always remember what Jesus has done. And that's the reason why we are doing what we are doing. And there's no other reason other than that. Because the gospel or the cross should be the foundation of our motivation in serving God, and nothing else. There was this Sunday school boy who came out from Sunday school and they were riding on a bus. And the teacher of the Sunday school, gave him a note and he was sitting just you know, at the window, and the window was open. When the bus was running faster, he was reading this note, 'have faith in God.' And because the wind was so strong, it blew the paper away from his hand and then he stood up and said to the driver, Mr. Driver, Mr. Driver, please stop. I lost my faith of God, I lost my faith of God.

Now, brethren, my friends, if we lost our money, if we lost our business, we lost our jobs. We lost our health, it concerns us. But are you concerned if you lost your faith in the Lord? Are you concerned if you lost your passion before the Lord? Which is more pressing to you, you lost your material things and blessing in this world, or you lost your passion and worship before the Lord? Oh, I dare that we should be concerned so much of our relationship with the Lord because that's what matters. Everything in this world is just passing away. Everything in this world are just temporary, but our relationship with the Lord is what matters, isn't it? And I pray that we will be that people. People who continue to develop and cultivate our passion and our devotion to our God. Yes, we should continue to be faithful in what we are doing. If you're doing and serving in a certain ministry of Gospel Light, by all means continue to be faithful. But remember, it's your motive. It's your attitude that matters before God, not your service itself. I pray that we will go back to the Gospel, it's all about God. Yes, it's all about God. God initiated it all. God, by His grace, gave his only begotten Son. And that's the reason why we are grateful, and why we do good work, why we serve the Lord, isn't it? And we continue to maintain this slogan that Gospel Light, yes, at Gospel Light, we're drinking in the gospel. We're living out the gospel, and we're giving out the gospel. It's all about the gospel. We are not tired of talking about the gospel. We are not tired talking about the cross, because we love the cross. We love what Jesus had done at the cross. That's the only reason why we can move on, why we can continue, why there is a reason for us to exist as a church. It's because of the gospel.


Let's pray. Father, thank you so much for Your word today. Thank you that you have reminded us through the Psalm, of the deceitfulness of our hearts, that we need to be careful. We need to be watchful, because we are just a moment away from drifting away from you, Lord, especially on our passion and our love for you, Lord. Lord, even if we serve you, giving our body to be burned according to First Corinthians 13. And we don't have that love and passion for you, we are nothing. Father, rekindle that love again to us. Rekindle that devotion again, in our lives, in our hearts, Lord. We pray that we be a people growing to be passionate for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, Amen.