Summary: Are you feeling like a loser? Are you feeling in over your head? Maybe God has something to say to you in Psalm 130
Reading of the Word: Psalm 130
130 From the depths of my despair I call to you, LORD.
2 Hear my cry, O Lord; listen to my call for help!
3 If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned?
4 But you forgive us, so that we should stand in awe of you.
5 I wait eagerly for the LORD's help, and in his word I trust.
6 I wait for the Lord more eagerly than sentries wait for the dawn— than sentries wait for the dawn.
7 Israel, trust in the LORD, because his love is constant and he is always willing to save.
8 He will save his people Israel from all their sins.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Hymn of Preparation: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
A Sermon for Losers
I remember watching the movie Top Gun, when the guys were talking about the trophy for the first place person. Someone else asked about where the second place trophy was – someone else commented – downstairs in the Ladies room.
That is right, we adore first place, and we do NOT respect losers. And yet, in this world, we can guarantee that even if we are first this time, there will come a day when someone passes us up. Every single one of us is a loser, now or sometime. We cannot always be the best, be perfect.
This psalm was written for us, because it addresses exactly that fact. In God’s world of perfection, we will never be perfect. We will always fall short.
I’d like to use three words to guide us through this psalm – using the acronym ACT. We need to ADMIT we are in over our head. We need to CONFESS our problems. We need to TRUST that God will save us.
The first word I want us to consider is the A of Act. We need to ADMIT we are in over our heads.
I know that all of you think of me as a native Californian. I’m not. I didn’t even show up in California until I was 15 years old. My Dad is retired Air Force, and I was a lot of other places, but I had never even been to the ocean until that summer, the summer after my freshman year in high school.
This is a time when teens like to look cool and act cool. And so when our Youth Group had a swim party at the beach, I was jazzed. I mean, I’d been in pools, how hard could it be? We went to Big Corona and this has an interesting configuration where you swim out to the reef, then body surf back to the shore. In between, the water is deep. I swam out and hung out on the reef for awhile, enjoying the lift of the waves.
What I didn’t realize was how exhausting the waves and motion were. And when I went to swim back to shore, I realized I was in over my head. Every time I tried to come up for air, another wave broke over my head. I couldn’t sort out this whole ocean thing.
But until I was willing to ADMIT I was in trouble, there wasn’t any way I could get help. At one point I remember looking up and realizing that if I didn’t do something, I probably would never make it to shore.
So the second word here in this Psalm is CONFESS. At this point I finally confessed to all of my brand new California friends that I was a wimp. I called for help. Strangely enough, my brother, also a newbie to the ocean was nearby, and I remember him calling out, “Somebody help my sister!”
The point is that we as Christians sometimes think that we can do things on our own. We think we are strong enough to make it. AND when we fail, instead of confessing it, we still think we can make it on our own.
The truth of the matter is that sin, like the waves I was in, is very entrapping. You get in over your head, and you can’t find your way out. Every time you come up for air, sin tries to bring you down. You slip down, again and again, each time more tired from fighting.
There is something else in the ocean that causes problems called seaweed or kelp. If you sink down far enough, you can get entangled in the seaweed, and it will pull you down.
There are many sins that cause us to become entrapped.
Even if we avoid the ones that others condemn us for we become entangled in our pride, thinking that we don’t need God. We look down on people who we should love. We fail to hear what Jesus said about giving up our position, just as He did, in order to serve others.