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Forgiveness in Guilt

Forgiveness in Guilt | May 9-10, 2020
Series: Forget Not
Introduction: Eric & Kaye Geiger – 0:00-2:27
Video Guest: Bethany Hamilton – 11:22-16:35
Sermon: Eric Geiger – 23:35-1:00:00
Closing Comments:  Kyle Costello – 1:04:54-11:06:56
Benediction: Eric Geiger – 1:05:58-1:09:06

 

Welcome to Mariners Church! We are so glad that you were with us this weekend. And because this is Mother’s Day weekend, we want to open our service expressing gratitude to the Moms in our lives. And this is my wife, Kaye, and everything is fine with your screen, it really is as bright of a dress as you think it is. And I want to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to you!

You’re an incredible mom. So grateful for the impact you’re having on our kids. And I want to give a shout out to my mom who is probably watching all of the services this weekend. Shout out to my mom who’s in Tennessee! Thank you so much for the impact you’ve had on my life and are still having on my life.

Kaye Geiger: I have a pretty great mom too. She’s the reason that I have so many fun memories of my childhood.

Eric Geiger: She also posts on Mariners’ Facebook page four or five times every post.

Kaye Geiger: She’s very supportive. But Moms, this is going to be a Mother’s Day we’ll never forget, that’s for sure. But this is still your day! I just want to say your presence in the lives of your children is making a huge difference. I know that is true for me and I know it’s true for you, even on days when we don’t feel like it. Happy Mother’s Day!

And also some of you may be sad today because you thought this would be the first Mother’s Day that you would get to celebrate but that still hasn’t happened and we get that. Or maybe you’ve lost your mom and this is a sad day for you. We are so sorry and we want you to know that we remember you on this day as well.

Before we begin worshiping together and singing alongside one another, I want to pray for our Moms. I’m going to pray that God would bless you and if this is a moment that is filled with pain, that the Lord would fill you with peace in the midst of the pain.

Lord, I thank You for our Moms. I thank You for the impact that they’ve had on our lives and I pray for the Moms that are watching today that You would bless them. That this would be a special day for them. That they would sense Your pleasure over them. And for those that are hurting today from a painful situation with their mother or the longing to be a mom has not yet happened, I pray that You would bless them and fill them with Your peace in the midst of the pain. It’s in Your name I pray, Amen.

Izzi, one of our worship leaders, her mom, Crystal Lewis, is with us this weekend and so we’re going to have a great time worshiping alongside one another. Let’s sing together.

Such good news that He’s never going to let us down.

Mariners, we have a special video from Bethany Hamilton for Moms. And so if you’re a mom, you’re going to love this! If you’re a surfer, you’re going to love this! Bethany, thanks for being with us today.

Bethany Hamilton: Thank you, Pastor Eric and Happy Mother’s Day, Mariners!

I can remember when my firstborn first came into the world and that beautiful, overwhelming joy that I shared with my husband as we welcomed this little guy into our life and how it completely changed and altered our thought process. All my fears and doubts of becoming a mom melted away.

And jump ahead to now, we are mom and dad of two boys and spend a lot of time tripping over Legos, wiping up pee from my two year old who’s potty training. I’m often breaking up fights, all the while running a business and coping with the crazy world events happening around us right now. How many of you can relate to that? It can be a really overwhelming feeling right now.

And don’t get me wrong, I love all that we’re doing. I love sharing life with my family. It brings me so much joy and sense of purpose but at times it also leaves me craving those moments of peace. Not just a moment of quiet but deep peace in the Lord. And over the course of my life, I can think of many times when this peace carried me through.

When I lost my arm, I had this deep sense of peace that God was in control and life was going to be okay. As I’ve gone through marriage and all the different challenges that we’ve faced together as husband and wife…all these hard times, it’s the peace of God that brings us back. And you, too, can have that peace on a daily basis and joy in the midst of chaos.

Let me share with you a few things I’ve learned over the past few years and how we can find comfort amongst the chaos.

Let’s start with Philippians 4:5-7 (ESV), “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I think it’s safe to say we’re all facing some really heavy obstacles right now. Things causing us to feel overwhelmed but God desires peace for our lives so that we can rest in His promises and to not fear but trust in Him in all things. I wanted to break it down for you guys. There are five things that help remind me and bring me comfort to my life in all situations but even so much in motherhood and it spells PEACE.

Pray. Pray for your situation. Pray if you’re overwhelmed. Pray for the problems around you. Ask God for forgiveness and be reminded of His truth.

Enjoy. Be present and enjoy the blessings God has given you. Be present with your family. Look your kids in the eye and love them well.

Attitude. Mamas, we all need an attitude check at times. We set the tone for our family and our attitude is contagious. Proverbs 14:1 (ESV), “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.”  So carry yourself in a loving manner that will flow into all areas of your life and spread it to those around you.

Contentment. Knowing that if we can’t change the situation, we can change how we react to it.

And finally, Enrich. God’s Word enriches our lives. So dive into His Word and enrich yourself in His truth. His Word is a sword to face all life’s challenges. Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV), “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock.”

It’s God’s Word that can bring us peace. And when our mind is fixed on that rather than the world news, rather than an angry child or kids fighting. We have God’s Word to keep us level and grounded. So when chaos and stress and hard times come your way, be joyful knowing that the peace that surpasses all understanding is for you. Take joy in the Lord and His gifts for you. Let’s be unstoppable in Christ. Happy Mother’s Day, Mariners!

Amen. That song is so beautiful. He is the One who never leaves the one behind. He pursues you on a hill He created. He was left abandoned to die because He wanted to set His love and His affection on you. Before we study the scripture, let’s pray together and thank Him for what He’s done for us.

Jesus, we are overwhelmed when we think of all that You’ve done for us. That You, the Creator, would place Yourself on the cross on a hill You created to chase us down and make us Your sons and daughters. Lord, we are filled with joy as we think about all You did for us. For our shame to be removed from us. For our guilt to be taken away. You are so good to us. Lord, as we study Your scripture, I pray You’d use it Lord to make a difference in our lives this brand new week that You’ve given us. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

Wow. What an amazing time to be able to gather together today for worship. 

If you are a sports fan, you have heard of Steve Bartman, likely. Steve Bartman, you probably remember the story. He went to his favorite team’s game, the Chicago Cubs game one day and he had no idea that when he showed up at the game that within a few hours he would be escorted out of the game by security for his own safety and protection. And that within a day, Chicago Cubs fans would track down where he lived and where he worked to haunt him and spew hatred at him for what he did. And you may be wondering, “Okay, I think I’ve heard the name. What happened with Steve Bartman?” 

Well here’s the backstory. It was 2003 and it was October and the Chicago Cubs were playing the Florida Marlins in the National League Championship. It’s a best of seven series. The Cubs are up three games to two, it is the 8th inning and they are up 3-0 in the game. They are five outs away from going to the World Series which is a huge deal for Cubs fans because the Cubs had not won the World Series since 1906. And this is it, they have a shot to go to the World Series and finally end the drought, and the unthinkable happened.

Bartman is in the stands and a foul ball is hit and like many fans, he reaches up for the foul ball which takes the ball from the Cubs player who is trying to get the out. And the Cubs failed to get the out. Bartman is then escorted out of the stadium because all of the fans spewing hate at him, and the unthinkable did take place. The Florida Marlins scored eight runs in that inning, went on to win that game and then won the entire series. And all the frustration and all of the anger and all of the angst and all of the wrath was poured out on Steve Bartman. It’s really just a sad story to read.

The Governor of Illinois actually suggested that Bartman go into the Witness Protection Program. The Governor of Florida, Florida Marlins were the team who won, the Governor of Florida said, “Hey, we will give you asylum. You’re welcome to come to our state.” And people just ridiculed Bartman so much. As the years passed, people started to realize that they had been too critical of Steve Bartman, that, come on, I mean, he was doing like most fans. He was simply reaching for a ball in the air and he’s not the one that scored eight runs against the Chicago Cubs. And so people started to apologize to Steve Bartman.

And then it finally came to a resolution in 2016 when the Cubs did win the World Series. And when they won the World Series, the Chicago Cubs gave Steve Bartman a World Series ring to try to make amends and make things right. And Cubs fans even said, “We finally forgive him. Everything now is right because they won the World Series.”

What a tragic story, that for 13 years, he lived with such feelings of regret and guilt. And guilt is really a huge part of the human experience. In fact, psychologists and counselors have helped us try to understand guilt by saying guilt is essentially divided into two categories. There is “real guilt”. Real guilt is being guilty for things that you have done, things that you should feel guilty for. If I’m not the husband I should be to Kaye, or if I lose my temper with my kids, I should have real guilt because real guilt can be healthy and actually help me to change.

There is real guilt and then there is “false guilt”. Now, false guilt is different from real guilt. The problem with false guilt is we actually have the same emotions that we have with real guilt, but it’s for no reason. We have this false guilt, this sense of guilt because we’re not reaching some standard that we’ve set for ourselves in our mind or that we’ve allowed other people to give to us or we compare ourselves to other people and we live with this sense of false guilt. We have the same emotions of real guilt, but it’s a mirage. We shouldn’t feel guilty for these things.

Because this is Mother’s Day weekend, I asked Kaye if I could share this, and she has said to me and to friends and people in our life group that her biggest struggle is feeling guilty with “mom guilt”.

It’s actually a term that even psychologists use, “mom guilt”. And she wrestles at times with, “Am I disciplining the kids too much, or am I not disciplining them enough? Am I spending too much time with them and not helping them be independent, or am I not spending enough time with them?” And she constantly will have these feelings of guilt. And I’ve said to her, and I want to say to you Moms as well, “Baby…” I’m not saying “baby” to you, I’m saying “baby” to Kaye. To you, I just say “Mom”.

“Mom, oftentimes, that guilt is not true. It is false guilt. You’re allowing a standard that you’ve set for yourself or someone else has given you and you are not guilty. If you are shepherding your children and loving your children and leading your children the best way you can, well done, Mom.”

Mom guilt is often false guilt. Now, sometimes there could be some true guilt from mom guilt. If you had a mom who neglected you as a child or abused you as a child, that is true guilt. But for many of you watching the mom guilt that you will face is actually false guilt. It’s a mirage. It’s not based on reality. But I have good news for us today.

No matter what level of guilt that you’ve struggled with, the Christian faith actually gives us a beautiful solution for our guilt. The Christian faith is so good about this. The Christian faith does not say, “Fix your own guilt.” The Christian faith is the news, the story that Christ comes here to take our guilt from us. He doesn’t come here and command us to handle our own guilt. He doesn’t give us seven steps to deal with our own shame and our own guilt. The news of the Christian faith is so much better. Christ actually removes our guilt. He removes our shame and remembers it no more.

If you will believe that your guilt is removed, your true guilt, it will actually even help you with your false guilt. God not only helps us with our false guilt, but He actually removes our true guilt from us. And all of us have fallen short. All of us have not been the people we should be. But Christ removes the true guilt from us, and the more we believe that, the more we internalize that, the more we’re in all of that, the more we’ll also remember that this false guilt I’m carrying is a mirage because Christ has forgiven me for everything.

To help us understand that today, we’re going to look at this incredible psalm, Psalm 32, which is beautiful and I want you to see it. I want you to see the words that we’re going to study in this psalm over the next couple of moments because I believe by God’s grace, this psalm is going to help you remember the joy you have for the forgiveness of your guilt.

And if you’re a Christian, that’s what I hope happens for you in these couple of moments that you’ll be filled with joy as you remember what God’s done. And if you’ve not yet become a Christian, if you’ve not yet received His forgiveness, this is a weekend, this is a day where God’s going to offer His forgiveness to you. And I pray that you’ll receive His forgiveness today and we’ll give you an opportunity at the end of our service to receive His forgiveness.

Psalm 32, it’s many people’s favorite psalm. The early church Father Augustine, he loved this psalm so much that he had it inscribed on his wall. And so when he would go to sleep at night, he would lay on his side and he would read Psalm 32 and remember, “How joyful is the one whose sin is forgiven!”

So let’s read it together. Now, I normally don’t do this. I normally don’t teach with the TV as the Bible, usually I’m holding my Bible. But I’m doing this because I want to point out a couple of the words. I know it’s kind of crazy. It’s like “Inception”. You’re watching me on TV and I’m preaching from a TV. What is going on? So just hang with me. Here we are. Psalm 32.

(Psalm 32:1-5) How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is a person whom the LORD does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit! When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me, my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

I want to go back to the first two verses and if you have your Bible open and a pen, you may want to see this. We’re going to see…and you have to feel the sting of the first two verses before you see the beauty in the first two verses. We’re going to see that there’s three different words that shows the comprehensive nature of our guilt and our shame. Three different words that shows the depth of our struggle, and we’ve actually circled these for you on the screen. This shows the comprehensive nature of our struggle. We have transgression, we have sin, and we have iniquity. In the original Hebrew, they are different words, which is why in the English there are different words.

Transgression, it means “rebellion”. Rebellion against the One we owe our allegiance to. An example of transgression would be if you ask your child to go get on the Zoom call for school at home and he goes to his room and instead of being on the Zoom call for school, he watches YouTube videos. He says “no” to the one he owes his allegiance, that’s transgression.

Then there’s sin, which is a different word and it means to “miss the mark”. So here’s the mark of God’s perfection, of God’s holiness, and sin is we just can’t get to the mark. We fall short. An example of this would be a dad asks the son to take the trash out on the eve of trash day and the son is like, “Come on, I can’t believe you’re asking me to spend two minutes of my life to take out the trash.” And he skips the other trash cans and only takes out the trash can in the kitchen, and drags on the floor and leaves a mess, and he throws it in the trash can outside and doesn’t take it to the street. Here’s the mark of an acceptable taking out the trash, and here’s where he falls. That’s missing the mark, right?

And then the last word, iniquity, it means that “your heart is shifting”, that your heart is twisted out of shape. And an example of that would be a son who obeys perfectly during quarantine, does all of his schoolwork on time but only does it so mom and dad will give him extra video game time. And parents, in this time, we’ll take it. We’ll take whatever it takes to get through, right? But God actually cares not only what we do but He cares why we do it.

And all of us, me, Pastor Eric, I have all of these things. I have said “no” to God, I’ve rebelled against God, I’ve gone my own way. Sin, I’ve missed the mark. And iniquity, I’ve done things for the wrong reasons. I’ve chased things other than God. My heart is twisted out of shape. All of us have done this.

This is David. He wrote psalms in the Bible, and David is saying, “I’ve got all of this in my life. I’ve got transgression, sin and iniquity.” But I want you to see this is beautiful. It’s actually poetic. It’s one reason so many people love Psalm 32. It’s incredible! I want you to see this. There’s three words for sin, but there are also three words that shows the magnitude of our forgiveness. Three different words.

Charles Spurgeon, he was a Pastor in London years ago, he said of this psalm, he said, “The Trinity of sin…” so there’s three words for sin, the Trinity of Sin, “Is overcome and conquered by the Trinity of grace.” I love that. It’s like, “Hey, yes, we’re messed up, we’re broken, all of us have fallen short. But God’s grace is bigger. God’s grace eliminates all of our struggle.” So these three words are really going to be where I spend the rest of our time together today.

We have forgiven, covered, and not charged. Our shame, our guilt is forgiven. Our shame and our guilt is covered and not charged against us. Three points that we’re going to see. Three things that the Lord does to our guilt as we are joyful in the forgiveness that He provides. Number one, He carries our sin away. That’s the word forgiven. Two, He covers our sin. And three, He doesn’t charge our sin against us. Carried away, covered, not charged.

Number one, I want us to see this. Our guilt, those of us who have received His forgiveness, our guilt is 

  1. Carried away

Let’s look back at verse 1 here (Psalm 32:1). “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven.” The word there in the original language for “forgiven”, it actually means to be “carried away”. This is so good. How joyful is the one who God has looked at? And God doesn’t ask you to carry your struggle and carry your shame that God actually takes it from you. He lifts it up from you and He carries it away. How joyful we should be those of us who are not carrying our own shame and our own guilt because God has absolutely carried it away.

David wrote this psalm. David, the King, wrote Psalm 32. And Bible scholars and theologians believe that he wrote this psalm after the lowest, darkest moment in his life. And if you want to read the backstory to that moment, you can look at 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12. This was the lowest place in his life.

This is when he neglected his integrity and his credibility as King, and he was supposed to be at war, but he stayed home. And he goes to the roof of the palace one night and he looks out of the roof and he sees a beautiful woman who’s married and she’s bathing and he brings her to his palace and he sleeps with her and she gets pregnant. And now he tries to devise this elaborate plan and he ends up killing her husband. Just despicable, ruthless, horrible behavior that David does. And he is saying, “I carried that, but how joyful is the one whom the Lord has carried away all of the guilt and all of the shame.”

And when we read a story in the Bible like David, as Christians, we should not read it this way. We should not read it and say, “Oh, I’m so much better than David. I didn’t carry all the stuff David carried.” That’s not how we should read it. We should read it this way.

We should realize that all of us struggle and we should say, “Wow, how awesome and how big and how great is the forgiveness of God because He carried away all of David’s struggle and all of David’s shame, He can carry all of mine away too.” God did not want David to carry all of the burden and all of the regret and all of the shame and all of his sin. God carried it away. And God wants to carry your’s away, too.

But many of us live a different way. We live with the backpack. Let me show you “Life in the Backpack”. Life in the backpack is we are filled with regrets. We think about mistakes we’ve made in the past, choices that we made that we regret, decisions we didn’t make that we wish we had made, and it is heavy. It is heavy to carry around the brick of regret.

And then there’s shame. We not only feel guilty for things that we’ve done but we ask ourselves, “Am I really this kind of person?” And we feel as if I’ve fallen so short and I’m this person, and we feel constant shame for things that we’ve done in our past. And so, there’s regret and there’s shame.

Then there’s sin. And all of us, we just looked at those three words, all of us have fallen short of God’s glory. None of us have lived perfectly, and so this can go into the backpack.

And then if you’re here and you’re not a Christian or maybe you’re curious about the Christian faith, so honored that you’re here and you may say, “I don’t like even thinking about sin. I don’t know, maybe that’s a made-up thing.” You would have to admit that all of us fall short of even our own standards. I fall short of my own standards, and you have too. And because we break our own standards we carry that around and this is how life often feels.

We have this backpack and we don’t leave the backpack, it’s not like it stays in our closet. We live life with the backpack on. Oh, it’s heavy. We live with it on.

And we take the backpack with us wherever we go. We start a new relationship and the backpack comes with us. We make a change in a career and the backpack comes with us. We start over with some aspect of our life. We enter a new friendship group and the backpack comes with us. We show up at church and we have a hard time singing and worshiping because the backpack comes with us. And it feels like we limp through life as we are carrying this backpack of all of the things in our past. This is how many people feel, and if you feel this way, you’re not alone.

David, a man after God’s own heart—this is what he carried and he says it crushed him. In fact, I want you to see what he wrote in verse 4. Notice what he said about the backpack. He said (Psalm 32:4), For day and night your hand was heavy on me, my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat.”

Life in the backpack is not filled with joy. And one of the reasons that things were so heavy for David isn’t only because of all he was carrying but notice what the verse says, that the Lord’s hand was actually heavy upon him. And why was God’s hand heavy on David? Well, God loved David and God wanted David to grow exhausted so that David would say, “God, I don’t want to carry this anymore. God, I’m sick and tired of carrying this.” And God will carry it away.

God allows us to feel the weight of our past, so we’ll come to Him for Him to remove it. And so if you today feel like you have this backpack on, understand that God is actually being really gracious to you and good to you in this moment for you to feel that, because He wants you to come to Him.

And the message of the Christian faith is not, “Hey, carry your own backpack.” The message of the Christian faith is the glorious news that Christ carries our sin away for us. He carries your sin away because He carried it to the cross and He placed it on Himself. The glorious message of the Christian faith is not “Carry your own struggle.” It is “Christ came here to carry it away.” How joyful is the one whose shame has been carried away. Number one.

  1. Covered

Let’s go back and look at the first verse of (Psalm 32:1). “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven…” Notice this, “…whose sin is covered!” Whose sin is covered.

My daughters, when we make waffles for them, they love to cover the waffles in syrup, tons of syrup. So much syrup that Kaye will have mom guilt over the amount of syrup that the kids are having on the waffles. You know the waffles that have all those little compartments? Well, it’s like each compartment gets filled with some syrup and the whole waffle is covered. It’s sugar-free, okay? Don’t judge. The whole waffle gets covered in syrup.

And you would look at that waffle and you would say it’s completely covered but you could still tell it’s a waffle. You would look at it and it’s covered with syrup but you would say, “Hey, do you want some waffle with your syrup?” It is completely drenched in syrup but you can still tell it’s a waffle.

Which is why I worry that we don’t understand the magnitude of this verse because the word for “covered”, it doesn’t just mean that God kind of sprinkles His grace over your struggle and over your shame. The word for “covered” there means that your shame and sin is actually buried into oblivion and there’s no way that it can be found again. There’s no way that your sin and shame can be found again. That’s how much He covers us. That’s how much He forgives us.

Though, oftentimes, we try to cover our own shame. And that’s what David did at first. He developed this elaborate plan to cover his own shame and it did not work. And we do the same thing. I’ve done the same thing. We try to fix things. We try to solve our own guilt, solve our own sin.

Well, we’re like a dog that tries to cover up his own mess. Have you seen this? I know we have some kids watching. Kids, you’ve seen this? A dog’s in your neighborhood or at the park and it does some mess on the ground and kicks back twice thinking like kicking back is actually going to cover the mess on the ground. And you’re like, “Yo, dog, that’s not going to fix it. That’s not going to fix it.”

And that’s how we are. We try to kick back and cover our own shame, but there’s no way that we can. And we can’t cover ourselves before our Holy God because He sees everything. He even sees the wrong motivations I have beneath the good behavior. We can’t cover our own sin and shame.

So, what do we do? How do we actually get covered with His forgiveness?

Well, look at verse 5 this is how David got his sin, his shame, his guilt covered. He said (Psalm 32:5), “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity.” He said, “I stopped covering it. I stopped covering it. I stopped being like a dog, kicking back. I stopped.” “I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

This is beautiful. I want you to hear this. When we uncover our sin, when we uncover our shame, God covers it. When we attempt to cover it ourselves, it is not covered. But when we, with humility, come to our good and gracious God and say, “God, I have fallen short. Yes, I have missed the mark. Yes, my heart has been shifted out of place and here I am, here I am completely broken.” Understand He receives you and when you uncover your sin before Him, He completely covers it. He is a good and gracious God. How joyful is the one whose sin and shame has been completely covered?

Our shame is carried away. Our shame is covered. And then our shame is not charged against us. 

  1. Not charged

Notice this. (Psalm 32:2) How joyful is a person whom the LORD does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit!

How joyful for you to not be charged. And in the original language this verse is super powerful. It means that because of God’s grace that any counting of sin against you is done. It’s done. Your shame and your guilt and your sin because of God’s grace is no longer on the books. There’s a complete cessation of charges. There is nothing against you any longer. There is no charge against you.

If you’ve been pulled over by a police officer for speeding, you have felt the sting when those lights flare up behind you and you feel the weight of that conversation as the police officer walks to the window. And perhaps you’ve felt the relief when the police officer says, “I’m going to let you off with a warning this time and not going to give you a ticket.” Oh, the relief.

Most of the time I don’t get let off. I’ve gotten way more tickets in my married life than my wife, Kaye. Kaye is a master at figuring out how to hear the words, “I’m going to let you off with a warning.”

A couple of examples. One time she was coming back from working out at the YMCA when we lived in Nashville. It was super early in the morning, she’s coming back to the house and she was speeding. A police officer comes up behind her and she wasn’t lying, this was true, but as he walked up towards the car, she reached her head out the window and said, “I have to go potty really bad. My house is right over there. You can follow me if you want.” And he was like, “See you! Just go! Just go!”

A couple of months after that, she was going to visit her mother and she had my daughters with her in the car and they were getting close to where my mother-in-law lives in North Louisiana and she was pulled over by a police officer for speeding. The police officer came to the side of the car, and Kaye convinced this guy that she had student taught him when he was in fourth grade. And so he was like, “Oh wow, this is amazing.” And not only did he not charge her with a ticket, he went back to his police car and came back with two DARE stuffed animals for my kids which is exactly what happens in Psalm 32.

Because God doesn’t charge us with what we should be charged with instead He gives us grace and mercy. We are not charged with the things that we’ve done. In fact, we receive all the good things He’s done. We are not charged with our sin, instead, we are given all of His grace. We’re not charged with our struggle, instead, we receive all of His forgiveness. We are not charged. It is absolutely incredible.

This verse is so important. This Psalm 32 verse is so critical that the Apostle Paul actually referenced it in the book of Romans, and I want you to see what he said. And this is really how you can have your shame covered and your sin forgiven. The Apostle Paul writing after Jesus came, goes all the way back to Psalm 32 that we read today and uses this Psalm 32 to explain how we can be forgiven. This is what he writes (Romans 4:4-5), Now to the one who works, pay is not credited as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.”

Let’s stop here for a moment. Here’s what the Apostle Paul is saying, “If you want to try and work your way to God, you’re going to get what you deserve. You’re going to get wages for your work.”

Now, the problem with that is all of us, we’ve already established this, me included, all of us have fallen short of God, and I don’t want to get what I deserve. I don’t want that at all. And the Apostle Paul says, if you actually try to work your way to God and earn your way to God, you’re going to get what your deeds deserve. But if you stop working, if you stop working, if you just say, “God, I surrender and I’m not going to try and work my way to you. Instead, I’m just going to believe on you.” Then we actually receive His righteousness. Our faith is credited for righteousness. What does this mean?

This means that when Jesus died on the cross for you all of our sin was charged to Jesus and all of Jesus’ forgiveness and perfection was charged to us. That all of our shame was put on Jesus and all of His forgiveness and righteousness is put on us.

The way you receive forgiveness is simply to believe on Him. And then how joyful is the one who is forgiven? And so that’s when the Apostle Paul then quotes David. Let’s keep reading.

(Romans 4:6-8) “Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the person the Lord will never charge with sin.”

Never charge with sin. I am never going to be charged with sin because all of Jesus’ perfection is charged to me. And all of my sin was charged to Him.

A couple of weeks ago, The Last Dance, the epic tale of Chicago Bulls last season together when they won their sixth Championship has been on television. So many people are sharing their favorite Michael Jordan stories, and this is my favorite Jordan story. I’ve shared this before, but I just think it’s incredible.

It was 1990 and the Bulls were playing the Cavaliers, and Jordan had what many people believe was the best game of his career—69 points in an overtime win against the Cavaliers. After they won, Jordan took off to the locker room and the reporters were trying to catch him, but they couldn’t. He was in the locker room, so they found Stacey King.

Stacey King was a rookie playing with Jordan and the Bulls and Stacey King struggled that night. He did not have a great game. He missed some critical free throws down the stretch and he ended the game with one point. Jordan had 69 points, Stacey King had 1 point. And so the reporters asked Stacey King, “How does it feel to watch this epic performance by Michael Jordan?”

I love what Stacey King said in response. He said, “I will never forget tonight. I’ll never forget the night that Michael Jordan and I combined to score 70 points.” He was really smart to get in on all of the goodness of Michael Jordan, to get in on the performance of Michael Jordan.

And when we trust Jesus and believe on Jesus, that’s exactly what happens to us. We get in on the performance of Jesus. His perfection actually is given to us and that covers all of our sin. Our sin is carried away. Our sin is covered and it’s not charged against us. Big difference though…Stacey King brought one point to the table. We don’t bring any points to the table, and He’s not asking us to bring any points to the table. All He asks is that we believe on Him, and when we believe on Him, we receive all of His forgiveness.

How joyful is the one the Lord does not charge with sin because it was charged on Jesus, for you.

Today, I want to give you an opportunity to simply receive all of the forgiveness of Jesus. To receive His grace and to become a Christian. To have your shame carried away, to have your sin covered, to have your sin not charged on you because Jesus paid for it all on the cross.

And so, to become His, you simply tell Him right now. You can even pray this aloud right where you are. Even with your eyes open, you say, “Jesus, I believe in You. I don’t work my way to get to You. I believe in You, Jesus. I believe that You came to this earth to die for me and I don’t want to carry my shame. And I don’t want to carry my sin. And I’m thankful that You carried it on the cross.”

If you will tell Him that, the scripture says, and you really believe it, that He makes you His son. He makes you His daughter.

And this is such a huge moment for you. I’ve been praying all week for you for this very moment. This is the moment where God makes you His son. He makes you His daughter. If you believe in Him, and because it’s so important, I want someone in our church to be able to pray with you. And I want to send you a Bible. I want to send you a little booklet that will help you on your new walk with God. If you will just text the phrase, “I Believe”. If you will text that to the number on the screen, “I believe in You, Jesus. I believe and I receive Your forgiveness.” We’re going to send you some information and someone from our team is going to call you and pray with you.

If you will text that, we want to reach out to you and care for you because this is a huge, huge moment in your life. So right now, you just text, “I Believe”, to this number. And this is the moment where you’re saying, “I’m not carrying my sin. Jesus carried it for me. I’m not going to cover it anymore. I’m uncovering it, and Jesus covers it. I don’t want my sin charged against me. I want it charged against Jesus on the cross.” That’s why He came to die. He came here to pay it all. Jesus paid it all.

Let’s sing and celebrate the reality that Jesus paid it all. And if you are trusting Him and believing in Him, you text “I Believe”, to the number on the screen.

Text “I Believe” to 949-267-3131

In a moment, Eric is going to be up to conclude our service. But before he does that, I want to take a moment to talk about a ministry that has been at the heart of our church for years. You see, this moment in time where we have moved into the home, essentially, for many of us that has been a picture of safety but for others it has not been.

There are families that are vulnerable right now. And there are children that are at risk right now. They’ve been cut off from the resources and from the support that they had prior to this moment and they are at risk for abuse and neglect. We have a ministry that we partner with called “Safe Families” that steps into this moment and provides a place of safety for those children. And folks, many of you are Safe Families but today we are inviting anyone who would like to be a Safe Family to text “Connect” to this number.

Want to help with Safe Families?
Text “Connect” to 949-267-3131

And maybe you’re saying, “Kyle, I want to support but I don’t know that I’m ready to be a Safe Family.” Text “Connect” to this number and you can be in a network of support as well. These folks provide a space for children to be safe. And also, it is an intermediary step that allows families, specifically the parents, to be able to get help for what is causing the situation at home. Folks, I want to invite anyone and everyone, if you feel God leading you into this space, to text “Connect” to the number on the screen. Will you pray with me? 

God, thank You. Thank You for this ministry and thank You for the people already who have been Safe Families. God, for those who You are stirring in their heart right now in this moment, would You give them the courage to step out? Would they know, God, that there’s staff and volunteers here at our church that will be with them every step of the way? I thank You for this ministry and how it just reflects Your heart to love and serve children. Protect them. God, thank You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Amen. Thank you so much, Kyle. We have, for Moms, and really for anybody, who would like to have a reminder of Psalm 32. We have a download for you on our website (marinerschurch.org/forgetnot) and this will just help you remember the joy of the forgiveness that you had.

Steve Bartman had to wait thirteen years. With Jesus, we don’t have to wait at all. And Steve Bartman had to wait for the human performance of the Chicago Cubs. We don’t wait on anybody else’s human performance, even our own human performance. We rely fully on what Christ did for us. That’s the glory of Psalm 32.

Before I dismiss us and pray a prayer of blessing over you, I want to let you know a couple of things that are coming up that I hope you’ll be excited about. In a couple of weeks we’re going to start a new teaching series from the psalms called “Tough Questions”. And tough questions are in the psalms. Basically, where people go to God, “Why is this happening? Why is this taking place? Why is this taking place?” And we’re going to see that God does not push us away when we have tough questions. He actually welcomes our tough questions.

If you are not yet in a group, we’re going to be launching a whole bunch of groups with Tough Questions. They’re going to be online groups, initially, and hopefully, be able to gather together soon, but I want to encourage you to get into a group.

To join an Online Group
Text “Connect” to 949-267-3131

I’m actually starting a Deep Dive Theology Group this week, and all signups are done by Monday. If you’ve ever thought, “I want to study theology in the middle of a global pandemic”, then I invite you to come and join the Deep Dive Group. I’d love to have you. It’s going to be eight weeks together and I’m looking forward to it.

To join Deep Dive
Text “Connect” to 949-267-3131

Why don’t you extend your hands and let me pray a prayer of blessing over you as we go?

Father, I pray for Your sons and daughters. I pray this new week in their life that You would fill them with joy and remind them of the glory of Your forgiveness. I pray that they would be overwhelmed with how much You love them and how good Your grace is for them. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Go in peace. Have a great week, Mariners.

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