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TEXT: Psalm 51
SUBJECT: Kids' Sermon #51: Fellowship
Listen up, kids! Today, with the Lord's help, we carry on in our study of Psalm 51. Before we get to the new stuff, let me ask you about some old things, things we've already looked at in this part of God's Word.
MERCY AND MERCIES
Blankets and quilts are alike in many ways: they're the same size, they're both made of cloth, and they serve the same purpose-to keep you warm in bed. But, there's one way in which they're very different-the ones I have are, at least.
My blankets are all solid color: I've got a blue one, a yellow one, and a pink one, if I remember correctly. My quilts, on the other hand, are multi-colored: the oldest one has a green background, with some red and yellow patterns on it. My favorite one is mostly white, but it's also got blue, red, orange, green, and lavender in it.
The reason I bring this up is because the mercy of God is not like a blanket, but like a quilt. His mercy is one, but it's made up of a million parts, all precious and beautiful. When I was a boy, I used to lie in bed with my dad sometimes, and we'd look at the quilt and he'd say something like, "Find a green square with a red dot in the middle". I'd look and look and look until I found it.
That's what we ought to do with the mercy of God-look for every shape and color in it. The mercy of forgiveness, of washing, of a good conscience, of a hope for heaven, of happiness in this life, and so on.
So, forgiveness is one thing, washing is another, but they're both part of God's mercy.
WHAT FELLOWSHIP IS
There's another part of God's mercy and we'll talk about it today. Let me read the verse to you and then tell you what it's getting at; it's v.11,
"Do not cast me away from Your Presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me".
Earlier, David wanted forgiveness and washing. Now, he wants something more. He wants fellowship with God.
Fellowship is something like "friendship". You're in fellowship with somebody when-you hate his guts, right? No, that's not it. You're in fellowship or friends with him when (1) you like to be with him and (2) he likes to be with you. That's fellowship-enjoying each other's company.
DAVID ONCE HAD FELLOWSHIP
At one time, David had fellowship with God. In I Samuel 13:14, the Lord called him, "A man after my own heart". In Psalm 17:8, David prayed, "Keep me as the apple of Your eye". The Lord very much enjoyed David's company. He was with David all the time-in the field with his father's sheep, standing before Goliath, on the Throne of Israel, in the Tabernacle, everywhere David was, the Lord was there too. There was no one God loved more than David.
David felt the same way about the Lord. In Psalm 27:4, he said,
"One thing have I desired of the Lord,
that will I seek: that I may dwell
in the house of the Lord all the days
of my life, to behold the beauty of
the Lord and to inquire in His temple".
What do you want most? More money, a room to yourself, a new Gamboy, one less brother or sister, maybe? Better grades in school, popularity, to be good-looking or to get your braces off? I don't know what you want most, but David? The thing he wanted more than anything in the world was God's company!
He was a married man, he had kids, friends, servants, and a special friend, too: Jonathan. He loved all these people and liked being with them, but he loved God's fellowship far more than theirs-more than anything.
David wasn't called "the friend of God" (as Abraham was), but he was a dear friend of the Lord's and the Lord was His best Friend,
"A friend who sticks closer
than a brother".
DAVID LOST HIS FELLOWSHIP
David not only had fellowship with God, but he also lost it. Or, it's better to say: he threw it away. Some friendships end through no one's fault. One of my best friends in the fifth and sixth grades was Brian Gaylord. But after sixth grade, he moved away. I visited him a few times after that, but it wasn't the same as when he lived next door to me. I don't know what's become of him since we grew up. The point is: nobody was to blame for losing that friendship.
But that's not how David lost his fellowship with God. No, he threw it away by committing three very great sins:
You cannot commit sins-and not confess them and try to do better-and have fellowship with God. First of all, God doesn't want it. He is a dear friend of sinners-but not sinners who won't repent. No one is more tender and forgiving to sorry sinners than God is-but I said sorry sinners, not stubborn sinners.
David was afraid God would "Cast him away from His presence"-that is, kick him out. He also worried that God would "Take His Holy Spirit from him"-that is pull away from him.
Would you blame God if He did? Do you like the company of someone who has hurt you very badly and won't admit it? Or apologize? Or try to make things right with you? I don't! And neither does God. Our sins make Him mad, they grieve Him, they vex (or frustrate) Him, and they weigh Him down.
David did not lose his salvation, but he lost the warm, loving fellowship he had with God.
And not only David: Every Christian does when he or she won't say "Sorry" to the Lord and try to do better. God does not hold a grudge: He's eager to forgive Christians who say they're sorry, but He's not so eager to forgive us when we hold on to our sins and pretend everything is all right between us.
DAVID WANTED TO GET BACK IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
Losing fellowship with God made David very unhappy. In v.8, he compares it to a broken bone. Have you ever broken your arm or leg or some other bone? Does it feel good? Was it so much fun that you can't wait till you break the next one?
I bet it didn't feel too good. You don't ever want to do that again, do you?
In the same way, David doesn't ever want to lose fellowship with God again.
If you read David's life in the Bible, you'll see he never again lost the friendship of God. He wasn't perfect, of course, he still did bad things and left good things undone, but he was never stubborn again. When he sinned, he felt guilty, he confessed his sins to the Lord, and he tried to do better. He was never perfect, but he stayed in fellowship with God by keeping a good conscience-admitting his sins, asking for forgiveness, and trying to change for the better.
Now, kids, I'm being serious. If you're a Christian you have fellowship with God and you've got to be careful to keep it up. You do that by reading the Bible, praying, and trying to obey the Lord. When you fail to obey you, you confess your sins and try again.
Is there something breaking up your friendship with the Lord? Maybe a sin you won't admit to? Maybe a command you refuse to obey-even though you know you ought to?
Fellowship with God is the best thing in the world. It's both wrong and stupid to throw it away with pride or stubbornness or laziness. Keep up your fellowship with God. If you've got it, thank the Lord for it. If you used to have it, get it back. Don't worry, God is more eager to have your friendship than you are to have His!
ONE LAST THING
One last thing. Some kids have never had fellowship with God. Do you know why? Because they're unsaved. You're not born saved, you're born lost. You're not born into God's fellowship, but-the Bible says-you're born, "Without God".
You come into fellowship with God-not by obeying your parents or reading the Bible or coming to church (though you ought to do these things), but by repenting of your sins and believing in Jesus Christ.
Some of you don't need to get back into fellowship with God, you need to get into fellowship with Him. You do that by becoming a Christian-believing the Gospel and turning from your old ways to serve your Dearest Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ.
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