From: Rich Carlson
Date: September 11, 2020
Subject: It's September 11; Good Morning Union

“If I had cherished sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened;”         Psalm 66:18

This was the text my quiet-time-walk focused on this morning. My first reaction was almost hopelessness. I thought, I’m not perfect in my heart; everyone struggles with sin and sinfulness at times at least. And that sinfulness will be there until Jesus comes and takes away my corruptible nature and give me a new and clean life, which happens at His second coming (1 Corinthians 15). So, does that mean that God will not hear me?

If it’s important to God it’s clear in His word! So one of the first things I do when something is not as clear as I wish is to read around it. “Come and listen, all you who fear (or are in awe of) God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; his praise was upon my tongue.” Then my text for today (see above). Then it continues, “but God HAS surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me.” He cried out to God… and God listened to him! IF he would have cherished sin in his heart that clear and simple promise would have been compromised and confused.

I think the operative word is “cherished.” And it’s not so much that He WON’T hear me because I find plenty of evidence in God’s word that He is more eager to hear and answer me that I am to speak. (See yesterday’s GMU!) I keep coming back to the confusion that comes in close correlation to my choices when I consciously decide to not follow Him. I may always be a sinner but I don’t have to sin! And when I DO choose to “cherish” sin into my life then I have to expect that my communication will be affected. I’m not worried about my nature; I’m concerned with the effect of my behavior. My nature will be with me until He appears; it is then that I will be changed to be like Him because it is THEN that I will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2) and according to the next verse if my hope is in that I am “purified” just like He is pure (1 John 3:3). In the mean time I need to understand that my choices will affect my ability to communicate with Him, not because that’s what He wants but because that’s just the nature of sin. Sin separates.

But God DID listen and He DID respond to the Psalmist’s prayer and He’s eager to do the same for me. I choose not to “cherish” sin in my heart because I don’t want to make it hard to hear Him or for Him to hear me.


Have a great day clarifying your connection with Christ by the choices you “cherish” in your life,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “Look higher. Look so high that all you can see is Jesus. Then He will show you how to serve.” Jose Rojas


PS        Family Worship tonight in the church with Coco Osario, our Athletic Director. Join us at 7:30 as we begin the Sabbath together.

PPS      Afterglo is a time of fellowship, food and focusing on Jesus, right after Family Worship in the Atrium.