Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 3-28-19

March 28, 2019

Psalm 32:1-5 Contemporary English Version

Today is the twentieth day of our 40-Day Lenten Series, “Praying for a Kingdom Heart.”  Lent should be a time of prayerful reflection, repentance, and restoration as we draw closer to the heart of God.  This is a time to deeply reflect upon our spiritual lives and how we tend to wander as God’s children.  To enjoy God is to be real and focused in our quest for him through heartfelt prayer.  Prayer flows from the meditations of the heart.  In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus sets out an example of a prayer for us that touches on the very issues or things for which God knows we need his help (Mat 6:9-13).  Within that prayer, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray about forgiveness.  “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us” (Mat 6:12).  Many times we struggle with forgiving those who have sinned against us, but we fail to realize how essential that very act of forgiveness is to our relationship with God.  Remember, God’s ways are not our ways.  Forgiveness is God’s way of restoring us, taking away the unhealthy remnants of sin, and filling us with Kingdom joy. Do you know the joy of forgiveness in the holy hand of the Restorer?

Love keeps no record of having been wronged (1 Cor 13:5).  Forgiveness means we choose to forfeit our right to hold onto feelings that are not from God; it is a decision that forbids an attitude of resentment or bitterness to take root in our lives.  We cannot serve two masters by trying to say we love God and at the same time refuse to forgive others.  When we refuse to forgive others, we are not serving God we are serving Self.  God is the Great Forgiver who is also the Restorer.  We need God to restore our souls when we sin against him; to obey the conviction of the Spirit and humble ourselves in order for the Lord to restore our fellowship and communion in his love. He wants to take us to a vibrant place of Joy.  We also need God to restore our souls when others sin against us; to allow the Spirit to draw us into extending forgiveness to others in order for him to take the burden off our hearts that is constricting our Joy.  When we forgive others, we are allowing God to deal with that sinner.  David knew about forgiveness; asking God to forgive his sins, as well as forgiving those who sinned against him.  Either way, the topic is sin and forgiveness is the answer.  Let the passage this morning rest in your hearts.

During Lent, we will be using the acronym P.R.A.Y. as we pray for a Kingdom Heart.  P=praise, R=repent, A=ask, and Y=yield.  May God bless you as you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer today.

Psalm 32:1-5 The Joy of Forgiveness


Our God, you bless everyone

    whose sins you forgive

    and wipe away.

You bless them by saying,

    “You told me your sins,

without trying to hide them,

    and now I forgive you.”

Before I confessed my sins,

my bones felt limp,

    and I groaned all day long.

Night and day your hand

    weighed heavily on me,

    and my strength was gone

    as in the summer heat.

So I confessed my sins

    and told them all to you.

    I said, “I’ll tell the Lord

    each one of my sins.”

Then you forgave me

    and took away my guilt.

Prayer:  Lord, I praise you for teaching me your holy ways and helping me to better understand them.  I repent of harboring even the smallest remnants of unforgiveness.  I realize bitterness is always trying to plant itself in my soul; I can give no heart soil to it.  I have gained a greater awareness of your heart and mine through this teaching. I ask for you to bring light to the work of the enemy who wants to use my sin or the sins of others to constrict my joy; make me aware of each scheme and give me the necessary help to walk in obedience to your way.  I serve you, alone.  Help me to protect the pure Joy you bring me as I yield to live in your love.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

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