July 29: Create in Me a Clean Heart. Psalm 51
In Psalm 51 we are privy to the cries, the outpouring of a heart that has been brought to repentance by the Spirit of God. This was penned by King David after Nathan the prophet confronted him on his adulterous and murderous acts. In it we see the humility, the sorrow, the understanding of the heinousness of sin, and acknowledgment of God’s character that accompanies true repentance. For God’s people, true repentance is followed by the promise of God’s forgiveness. And at the end of the psalm, David’s sorrow was replaced by a joy, not from a removal of the consequences of his sin, but from a restored fellowship with his Creator. Consider the times when you have come before God to confess your sins: are the marks of David’s repentance present in your spirit to some degree as you cry out to God? Do you feel a flood of joy overwhelm you as you trust God for His promise of forgiveness? Let us ask God for His Spirit to bring us to true repentance, even an awareness of sin that we would otherwise not realize.
Consider a time when you remember God convicting you of a sin. How evident were the following marks of true repentance? True repentance does not allow any room for pride or attempts of rationalization of one’s sin.
True repentance causes a person to come to grips with the reality of his sin, i.e. “My sin is always before me.”
True repentance recognizes that even as other people feel the effects of one’s sin, sin is ultimately against God.
True repentance acknowledges that whatever consequence the Lord allows in a sinner’s life, He remains true and just in His Decision.
True repentance sees his heart as the source of sin, not external circumstances.
Did you experience the realization and joy of God’s forgiveness? What was the fruit of that joy?
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