The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. – Psalm 19:1-14 NIV
Why do we sin? When we boil it down to its most basic level the reason why we sin is because, at least at the moment of sinning, we think that sinning will bring us greater happiness and benefits than not sinning. It really is that simple. Here is the rub: Even though knowing, loving, and reflecting God is infinitely more to be desired than anything the world can offer – merely affirming a lot of true things about God will not keep us from committing presumptuous sins. Only actually rejoicing in the goodness and greatness of the LORD will do that. We need to taste and see that the LORD is good. We need to continually mediate about who He is and what He has done. Nobody rejoices in the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ displayed on the cross while committing presumptuous sins. Nobody simultaneously delights in the wonder of knowing God as the Creator and Judge of all things while committing presumptuous sins. Finding our greatest joy in God is mutually exclusive with sin. This means that one of the most powerful tools the Holy Spirit uses for our sanctification is showing us that knowing and loving Jesus is infinitely better than anything the world, the flesh or the Devil could offer. Imagine being offered one of two vacations. The first is in crime ridden Camden New Jersey. The second is Hawaii. The FBI says that Camden is one of the most dangerous cities in America. Camden is a burned-out area plagued by drugs, homelessness, violent crime, and poverty. If you have to drive through Camden, you do so with your doors locked and your windows rolled up. This is not the kind of place where you would stop to get a bite to eat. So why would someone choose to vacation in Camden rather than in Hawaii? Nobody would do this if they were actually bringing to mind what Hawaii is like. That’s the way that presumptuous sin is in our lives as well. The only reason why we engage in presumptuous sins is because we aren’t bringing to mind how much better it is to know, love, and reflect Jesus Christ. Knowing, loving, and reflecting God is not just better than Camden. It’s better than Hawaii too. Let us take time to make God our greatest treasure this week.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 102
Q. 102. What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, which is, Thy kingdom come, we pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.