Summary: Do you long to reflect a life that doesn’t feel dirty and make you feel like a tramp? Do you want to approach God every day and offer him your life, pouring it out every day like fresh, pure water for God to enjoy? Our King deserves the best!
Let’s go back in time. Back to the days when a chip was something you ate, not a computer component. The days when spam was luncheon meat. We’re going back to the days you wished you could have the newest gadget. It was the cell phone Construction crews used which weighted 10 pounds and you couldn’t hold it to your ear longer than 30 seconds because you’re arm got tired holding it! I’m talking about the days when I was in Bible College. Fridays were not fun. Those were the nights we had ‘work sections”. You heard me -- “work sections”. We changed out of our holy threads to work-clothes and started cleaning the College, from scrubbing potatoes to scrubbing floors. And none of this mop in a commercial bucket with the hand-pressed mop wringer. It was on-your-hands-and-knees-floor-cleaning routines. The “inspectors” walked through with their white gloves to “inspect” our work and when you finally met their standard you enjoyed an hour and a half of free time because the College locked down at midnight on Fridays. You dare not be late getting in. Somehow we saw the value of these rigorous routines, drawing on the words of the musical “cleanliness is next to godliness, soap and water is divine.”
My story reflects the tough work of cleaning what becomes stained and soiled. No matter how hard we scrub or how often we clean, life spills gunk all over everything and leaves stains everywhere.
While this sermon speaks to all of us it is particularly an invitation to the young people, you who will be Prime Ministers and Politicians shaping the social, spiritual and economic structures of our Country in the next forty five years. I’m appealing to the future teachers, pastors, and members of community who will decide the fate of Canada when we’re old (some of you think we’re old now…you ‘ain’t seen nothin’ yet). When the fifteen-year-olds are 50, I’ll be 82! I wonder what the world will look like (if the Lord hasn’t returned already) by the year 2044 when I’m tearing up the golf green and you young men and women are only in the prime of wisdom and experience, making all the important decisions for the people around you? Just don’t touch my retirement pension!
If you’re 15 to 25 I am speaking especially to you but in the same breathe I appeal to everyone who says they love the Lord Jesus.
The reason I appeal directly to the younger generations is because of what the writer of Psalm 119:9-16 says. He appeals to the young men which translated in today’s reading is an appeal to young people. Sources say King David wrote Psalm 119. At this time he was not a young man so we see a King looking back and doing two things. First, wondering how he could have lived a clean life and second, seeking to pass some wisdom along to young people so they can avoid the same mistakes he made.
Do you long to reflect a life that doesn’t feel dirty and make you feel like a tramp? Do you want to approach God every day and offer him your life, pouring it out every day like fresh, pure water for God to enjoy? Our King deserves the best!
As desperate as many of us are for this reality we are too aware of the reality. The minute our feet touches the floor in the morning life happens. It starts grinding on us and it stains and spills gunk all over everything. We seek God and sometimes, just sometimes when we’re really screaming to be clean we feel it and there’s an amazing wave of cleansing that happens. Then, over time, life dirties us again and we’re back where we started.
The writer of this passage asks a question and says in verse 9, “How can a young person live a clean life?” That’s a loaded question because King David is saying, “How can a young person not only have moments of living clean but actually live a clean life every day through every moment? How can anyone live a clean life, never mind the challenge it presents for young men and women. You face strong peer pressure to behave in ways that make you very uncomfortable. The weight of image and influence is powerful. The truth is you have good days and bad days; most of you really want to please God but are frustrated because too often you just can’t “get it together”. Many of us know how you feel because we go through many times just like you because life is messy and it spills all over us.
It’s hard but you can have an amazing relationship with God that’ll blow your mind and win your heart completely for God! King David draws from his life experience and God-given wisdom and offers some answers for your desire to live a clean life so you will be unexploited and unsullied by this world, so you can be a man or woman of God.