Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Restore Me to the Joy of My Salvation

Psalm 51:12

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

IMG_0301Last night we preached about being rescued – how God rescued us from sin and death.  I asked folks to remember times when they had been rescued – like how I was rescued by the stranger at the beach.  I asked people to remember their salvation – the moment God rescued them from sin and death.  Do you remember the day you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Some of us experienced a sudden conversion.  Some of us a more subtle conversation.  Yet however we came to Christ there must be a change and that change – the moment of our salvation – brings a great deal of joy.  The joy of being rescued.  It should compel us to live with such joy that others see the joy of Christ in us and want it for themselves.

I remember a man who was caught in all sorts of sin in his life.  He came to the church almost out of desperation – trying to find something that would give him a reason to live.  When the moment of his salvation came – months after he arrived at the church – and God loved him into His arms – there was a dramatic shift in his behavior.  Sin no longer had a strangle hold on his life – oh he still fell from time to time – but sin didn’t reign any longer.  He would stand before the church – often – and celebrate his new found freedom – the freedom he had found in Christ.  He had a new purpose in his life.  He was free from sin and had great joy.  He had been rescued and was rejoicing and glad and others could see it.

I remember another person who had a more gradual conversion.  This person grew up in the church.  This person went to Sunday School and other ministries as they grew up.  Taking a bit of wording from John Wesley – one night at a revival service the church held – their heart was strangely warmed.  It wasn’t as dramatic a change in their life as the previous person I mentioned.  They were basically a good person to begin with – they were only 12 – and although sin was present in their life – it didn’t have a strangle hold yet.  Yet even though they felt like they grew into their salvation – there was that moment when their faith became theirs and not their parent’s faith.  They were filled with joy and excitement as they felt this change in their life.

I’d like to say that both of these persons lived happily ever after and sinned no more but I can’t.  They still battled with sin in their lives.  The older man had to continue to battle the memory of sin – either it’s temptations – or the residue of the evil that he lived before his conversion.  The young child had to go through the trying times known to us all as the teenage years and beyond.

Salvation doesn’t mean we will not sin anymore.  Salvation means that our sins are forgiven – that the full payment for our sins has been made by Christ on the Cross of Calvary.  Salvation means that we have turned from sin and turned to God – and even when our turning fails us – God is ever present to help pick us up and place us back on the right path.  His grace is sufficient to cover our sins.  Salvation is our relationship with God – a deep abiding relationship that is perfect on God’s part and a work in progress from our point of view.

But knowing that we are not perfect – simply forgiven – brings great joy – great peace.  At least it should!

So when we are down – beaten on by sin in our life – circumstances in our life – remember our salvation and be joyous.  We were rescued by Christ from our sin and death – from hell.  Because we are a child of God – forgiven and blessed – we should live with joy.  We should let our light so shine before others that they see Jesus in us – through us – and at times – in spite of us.

Psalm 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

And if we have yet to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior – do so today.  Confess that we are a sinner – lost without hope.  Ask Christ for the free gift of His grace – the forgiveness of our sins.  Ask Christ to enter our life – our heart – and to become our Lord and Savior – the Master of our life – the Savior of our eternity.  See if our heart is not strangely warmed – or maybe even a dramatic shift in our life – as we come to Christ’s loving arms.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.



August 17, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , ,

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