Intro: The practice of sin in our lives—failure to do what is righteous—is destructive and damaging. Sin rises from the heart and has three aspects: 1) disobedience to the law of God [transgress God’s Word]; 2) violation of relationships with people [transgress neighbor]; and 3) rebellion against God [transgress God’s rule]. Our sin grieves the heart of God, because he does not want his children to suffer the consequences of sin. God wants to share his goodness and blessings with his family.
In Scripture, sin is referred to as a “fall” from our original status as God’s creation. Sin cannot exist unless it has a host; it is a parasite of godly good. Sin causes us to mar or injure ourselves. It cuts us away from the Vine—life of God—and alienates us from God’s presence. For this reason, God sent his Son to redeem us and the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin.
In our passage today, David sings a song of repentance to the Lord; he has sinned against God. David experiences so many emotions; the consequences of his sin overwhelms him with guilt and sorrow. Yet, the hardest part for David is the suffering of not being able to enjoy the presence of the Lord with him. Therefore, David invites God to cleanse and restore him, so he can once again know the joy of the Lord’s presence.
Psalm 51:1-12 NLT
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
Prayer: Lord, as we prepare our hearts through this season of reflection, please help us to clearly see any sin that lingers in our hearts. Please help us to be real and honest with you and ourselves, so we may repent and go forward enjoying your presence and finding our greatest delight in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today is Ash Wednesday and this evening we will be gathering at Connect2Christ Church at 7PM for a time of praise, reflection, prayer, and Communion. For those who desire it, I will offer the imposition of ashes—symbolic of the dust from which God created us, as well as our repentance from sin.
“Repent and believe in the Gospel of our Lord!”