The Cost of the Cross, part 1

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. 20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:16–20 (NIV)

In the days before Easter let us consider that Christ paid for our sin to set us free from sin. The Apostle Peter put it this way, quoting from Isaiah 53: “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ 25 For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25, NIV).

Sometimes seasons of God’s silence are a spiritual test. Will we be faithful to seek him and trust him even when all is not well? Other times, we may feel distant from God because of sin that is trying to exert its influence over us. Cherishing sin is a deadend. That’s what this Psalm addresses, and it does so with great encouragement: an awareness of forgiveness goes hand in hand with repentance. This is the victory that Christ won for us on the cross. I’m remind of song of praise that goes:
   “In Christ alone my hope is found
      He is my light my strength my song…
   No guilt in life no fear in death
      This is the power of Christ in me.”  *

Even as children of God, sin hinders our prayer life and relationships with others. A good example of this is 1 Peter 3:7 where Peter instructs husbands to be considerate toward their wives and to treat them with respect “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” All of us have sin in our lives. If we harden our hearts to disregard God’s Word on a particular matter, if we cherish or treasure sin even in a secret place, it will hinder our spiritual health and directly affect our relationship with God and others. “For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him” (2 Timothy 2:11, NKJV).

In Christ Alone.
Keith Getty, Stuart Townend.
© 2001 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing).
CCLI Song # 3350395.
CCLI License # 2600897