Psalm 16:2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
This Psalm, and especially verse 6, was a favorite of my father and grandfather before me. On top of that, Peter quoted verses 8-11 at Pentecost (Acts 2:25-28). Accordingly, all but two verses of this Psalm are underlined in my Bible. However, right now it’s this verse that strikes me. This verse is a confession of faith, and a good one. It’s extremely simple, but it has the most important element of Lordship. Sadly, there are people who recite the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Westminster Creed, or some other grand confession of faith who have never made Jesus Lord of their lives, and by New Testament standards, that excludes them from the family of God. (Romans 10:9-10) The Lordship of Christ isn’t some trivial thing, or even something to be aspired to by “super Christians,” it’s at the very foundation of salvation. David didn’t know directly of Jesus or the cross, but he was committed to follow God, even though he did so imperfectly, as we all do. The other half of this confession of faith is likewise important, even if not quite as essential. Even if we count God as our greatest good, we tend to hold a lot of other things in our hearts as “good” as well. If we aren’t careful, those “goods” can become “gods,” and we’re in deep trouble. That’s not to say that family and the like aren’t good, it’s to say that we need to recognize that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) As came out a couple of days ago, priorities determine our lives. If this confession of David is at the foundation, we will have good lives indeed.
I was incredibly blessed to be raised in a home where this confession was true. That protected me to a large extent from materialism and a number of other traps of the devil, though I stubbornly managed to get into some of them anyway. I didn’t come around personally to a full commitment to Christ’s Lordship until I was an adult, though I was baptized at seven. Spiritual pride blinded me to how I was making choices without seeking God and considering Him first. As a pastor I see so many people who get into all sorts of needless problems by making exactly the same mistake. If Jesus is Lord, then we will seek His will at every turn. If we recognize that He is the source of all good in our lives, then we will live in grateful obedience to Him. So many of the vital issues in life are simply expressed, but not so simply carried out! I am not to look down on people who struggle, but speak the truth to them in love, so that they may receive the faith and strength God offers them so freely (Isaiah 40:31) and come into His full salvation.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I feel like You keep calling me back to basics, and that’s a good thing. I listen to various teachers expounding on various issues, and some of them are very good. Help me, and them, not be distracted by peripherals, but stay true to Your core truth, without adding to it, so that as many people as possible may be liberated from the traps of the enemy to come into Your kingdom indeed, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!