“The Way Of The Lord Is Perfect
Psalm 19

salm 19 is a fantastic challenge for us to expand our horizons into God’s perfect laws, ways, and creation. It’s amazing really, in a pre-scientific age, how clearly Old Testament writers understood the nature of the universe. They saw the firmament as a kind of giant salad bowl over the earth which held in the clouds and let in the rain. Today we call it an ozone layer. Twenty -five years from now we might know it in even a better way. As the old song says, "We’ll Understand it Better By and By."

Robert Frost captured poetically God’s perfect knowledge contrasted by
our shallowness:

"We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows."

You see, "The way of the Lord is perfect..." and any awareness of it that we might gain will indeed, "revive our soul." (Ps. 19:7).

Scott Peck’s trilogy of The Road Less Traveled books have been a effort to encourage higher thinking. We need to study and learn and push back the darkness of ignorance as much as possible; but still, in the final analysis we are limited. Peck says it’s O.K. to say simple things if you have tried to learn, but simple things from simple minds drive him mad.

The most revived and happy folks I know are those who have traversed the ocean of higher education, but who have also been vulnerable to the Holy Spirit, and who have a desire to bow down and worship the "Secret" in the center of all life and knowledge, "who knows." It is only in knowing God through his Son and his Word that we can really do anything but, "dance round in a ring and suppose."

"The Law (torah) of God is perfect, converting the soul."
"His decrees (facts of nature) are sure making wise the simple."
"The precepts (statutes/ working principles of life) are right, rejoicing the heart."
"His commandments (laws, not suggestions) are clear, enlightening the eyes."
"Fear (holy respect) of the Lord is pure, enduring (allowing us to live) forever."
"The ordinances (judgements/decisions) of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

In other words, we have no excuses. We have enough knowledge and wisdom to know better. Our problem is sin that wants to continually cut us off at the knees. Sin, once allowed entry, will grow and destroy our lives and often drive us to what we call insanity.

Look no further than today’s headline news: A 180 I.Q., a Ph.D. in mathematics., but he holed up in a mountain cabin and mailed bombs that maimed and killed. This worming mystery of evil can twist any of us into a distorted image of the person that we could have been, if we let It gain the upper hand. None of us know what causes such evil, but it is a fact of life. Perhaps in the isolation of life in prison Dr. Ted Kaczynski can find the Lord’s wisdom.

Hopefully we’ll know by the end of another anxious week whether the President of the United States is guilty of leading a shadow life of sin. We need to hold out the hope that it is not true, but it sure is looking bad for him. His university diploma, Rhodes Scholarship, and his Yale Law degree, means that he should know better; not to mention his many years of singing in the choir of his church. So, we pray for Chelsea, Hillary, and him who needs our fervent prayers. And we pray for the people of our nation, and the world, who can’t seem to understand how things like this can happen. We pray that out of this will come a renewed sense of knowing the real power that evil can have over us if we do not stay close to Him.

The Good News of the Gospel of Christ is that through his redeeming and sanctifying power we can be forgiven of our sin and set free to live an Abundant Life. Our ministry as a church should be to enable folks to experience salvation and be "revived in their souls." The greatest people on this planet are those who have been captured by the mystery of God’s perfect way and have begun to walk therein. People need the Lord. We all need the Lord!

Sam Jones was known as the meanest man in Cartersville. Sin ruled his life. But through the help of friends, he was able to hear the Gospel and he responded. He soon felt called to be a Methodist minister, and as he started preaching it was obvious that God had his hand on him. He became the most famous minister of his day and was known all over the world. The story is told of how he was back in his hometown one sunny Saturday walking down a city street with an old friend. Coming toward them came a staggering and filthy drunk. Sam Jones’ friend said something like, "The Police need to lock up that drunk." And then came Sam Jones’ famous retort, "But for the grace of God, there go I."

This is our attitude as redeemed sinners telling other sinners how to find the new life in Christ. "The Way of the Lord is Perfect." Don’t we all want to follow him?

Chuck Colson, one of the convicted Watergate conspirators, was in Brazil a few years ago ministering through his International Prison Fellowship. He visited a experimental prison without fences. Prisoners there are assigned another man for whom they are mutually accountable. There are only two full time staff for over 700 inmates. Inmates do the work, and are encouraged to take classes on character development and spiritual growth. Many have come to experience salvation through Church Colson’s preaching. However, in the center of the prison remains the old solitary confinement cell into which Mr. Colson was invited to look. There locked in that torture chamber was a statue of a man; Jesus, who symbolically was doing hard time for everybody else. That’s the Gospel that will save us. He took our punishment, He bore our sin in his body on a tree, and through being grabbed by that truthful imagery, we can be set free from the enslavement of sin." The God who flung the stars into space can give us victory as we daily walk with him!

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor