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Monday: Create in Me a Clean Heart — 17 Comments

  1. Divine forgiveness liberates us from guilt and judgement but it does not erase the natural consequences of our actions. In David's case he asked for forgiveness from God for adultery and murder, yet he had to live with what he had done.

    God forgave David as a gracious act. It was unmerited. David still had to ask for forgiveness for those whom he had wronged. That was something that was going to take the rest of his life.

    In our modern society, forgiveness and repentance are complex actions. It needs to be remembered that the interaction is not the work of a moment, but rather a journey and sometimes requires professional help.

    There are parables in the New Testament that contrast God's willingness to forgive with our own. And, the Lord's prayer reminds us to:

    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matt 6:12 KJV

    • Not always does God leave us to suffer the consequences of our sins. The consequence of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. There is no way God would give us eternal life and allow us to suffer the consequences of sin. If the consequences are things that can be restored, God will surely restore them, but if they are those that cannot be restored, God will step in and offer us hope and courage. For example a drunk driver who lost his limb, that cannot be restored, etc.

  2. God who is absolutely supreme is the only one who can cleanse our sinful hearts. To achieve this, we have to be impressionable (allow Him to have His way), available (allow Him to use us), pliable (potter's clay), and accountable (obedient). Only then will our hearts be aligned with His.

  3. I love how God knows our hearts and answers us before we even pray (Is. 65:24). That is very merciful and comforting. Two examples in this story of David's:

    (1) When Nathan reproved David for his sin, David's response was "I have sinned against the Lord." And God's immediate response through Nathan was, "The Lord has put away thy sin; thou shalt not die" (2 Sam. 12:13). David fasted and cried for 7 days after that. Maybe that is when he wrote Psalm 51. But God knew David's heart already and needed no proof of the sincerity of his repentance. He knew David cared more about his friendship with God than anything. "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight." (Ps. 51:4).

    In contrast to David, when King Saul sinned he made excuses and blamed "fear of the people" for his behavior. The prophet Samuel told him that God had judged and rejected his as king, and Saul's only response was to beg Samuel to return with him before the other leaders so that he would not lose face with them....he even called God, Samuel's God, not his own (1 Sam. 15:23-30). Again, God knew Saul's heart before Saul spoke and knew that Saul cared about his relationship with men more than his relationship with God.

    (2) Another way we see God answer David's prayer before he prays it....David asks, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me" (Ps. 51:11). The fact that David is begging to keep the Holy Spirit and pleading to be restored to a right relationship with God is proof that the Holy Spirit was with him. Conviction of sin is definite proof of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings "conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way about. The bedrock of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a man cannot repent when he chooses; repentance is a gift of God" (Oswald Chambers).

    We can't hide anything from God...not our sin, not our true heart, not the motives of our words. This is His mercy that we can't hide ourselves from Him. Sin crushes us. Sin dampens our witness. David recognizes this when he says, "I want to tell other sinners about how wonderful You are, Lord, but first you have to wash me clean so I have a true, pure, joyful witness (Ps. 51:10-15).

    I'm still praying this too. I want the old false self to die and the newborn transformed self to take over (2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:30). I don't want any hidden bits of anger, or jealousy, or greed, or insecurity tucked away. I want Christ's mind, and not the mind which grasps at an identity based upon people's reactions towards me (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:5-8 KJV). I want to hand over all the defenses I have because the reality of my condition is that before God I am always naked, vulnerable, weak, and broken...and He already has His answer tailored just for me about this ...through His mercy, I'll hear Him (Luke 5:32).....humming me a love song as He remodels me in His image.

  4. As I read Psalms 51:1, I could see, or was impressed, on how God's kind of mercy, which blots out all transgressions, forms in our hearts as we grow in the likeness of Jesus.

    I see how lovely and peaceful my life has become when I experience this same kind of mercy in my heart toward others. I also have seen God's peace fill the heart of those who receive this mercy through me and in Christ, Jesus.

    When someone asks me for forgiveness, I inform them that forgiveness was already there even before they did this terrible thing.

    This is one of the benefits of the new life we share when we are born again into the Spirit of God. It secures the peace that surpasses all understanding.

    This is the Way of the Lord that we can share in.

    • If God can forgive David for adultery, deception, and murder, what hope exists for you?

      And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matt 6:12 KJV

      The circle of mercy requires us to give mercy to others as well. HOW DO WE GIVE MERCY TO OTHERS? The circle of mercy is actually forgiving others as God forgive us.

      The problem with us is that we only perceive mercy as an internal experience - only between ourselves and God and it become a myth because we only keep it between ourselves and God.

      We must create a culture of mercy but we create it by releasing mercy to every person. Just like the law of sowing and ripping - mercy works the same way. Mercy is not comfortable but we don't have a choice.

      We have a responsibility to show mercy to someone else.

      Mercy is a special kind of love
      Mercy is a ministry
      Mercy is Christianity
      Mercy balances the Human ego.

      After the dead and resurrection of Christ, mercy is supposed to be in us as Christians. We become the agent of God's for mercy. We become the agent of God by carrying and displaying mercy.

      Let mercy have its place. That means let our mouth have a seat. Let our flesh have a seat. Let mercy stand up in us.

  5. Let me capitalize on verse 4 of Psalm 51. I was in a Sabbath School class many years ago, and there were 10 of us. We filed in presumably not knowing, that we were being counted. The teacher began the class and assigned verses 1-10 of Psalm 51 according to how we filed in. I filed in randomly, not knowing what the teacher had in mind that day. Yes, I was 4th. I looked at the text with my Bible and quickly humbled myself and read the text. I realized it is good for our souls to confess to the Lord our sins.
    I was rebaptized later. By the grace of God and knowing that He gives us the will to do His will, which is His pleasure, I am continually incentivised to sustain till He comes in the air to call us home. Colossians 1:23.

    Another incentive was a doctor that held the church service for Sabbath. He instructed the church elders to turn off the broadcasting camera's, then told his story of his wife and his trials with multiple slides depicting the trials and also picture illustrations of there incentive to remain faithful, and with multiple incentives other than trials for us. I have never forgotten that. Morris Vendon many years ago reminded us of the mountains in our way of being lost. I have many mountains, most not trials compared to that doctor. As some may remember, some of the mountains that stand in the way of us being lost are our God loving parents and brothers and sisters, Christian education, and Christian fellowship. Many of you, I know, have even different mountains that have sustained you, inspiring you to remain faithful too.

  6. 1 John 1:9 is very clear: As soon as we "Confess," God "Forgives," and He then sees His Son Jesus' Flawless, Sinless, Perfect, Holy, and Righteous Character standing in place of our flawed, Polluted, and Filthy one. This is "Justification," for us From God because of what His Son did for all Humanity 2,000 + or - years ago at Calvary and paying for all the worlds' "wages of sin." Then comes the work for us that will take our entire life here, "The Work of becoming Sanctified day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute," the work of becoming "Sanctified." And we are Sanctified the same way that we are also justified: By doing what it says to do in 1 John 1:9 as soon as The Holy Spirit reveals to us where we need to do that with our sin, or sins.

  7. Hope lives on as long as Christ forgives us, but we are to exercise our faith in our actions of Repentance in Christ's commands to "Go and sin no more!

  8. I am very appreciative about how thoroughly the lesson writer addressed today’s topic. The Psalms give much food for intellectual reflection, especially when addressing God’s forgiveness extended to man, and therefor man’s ability to forgive his fellow man.
    I consider forgiveness by God to man as well as between man to be paramount in God's Plan of the salvation of man. May I please share some thoughts about the ability, the rational aspect of ‘accepting and extending forgiveness', which I believe is essential in 'rebuilding/healing the spiritual living soul.

    Should man not accept that he can ‘transgress’, reason would establish that there is no need for forgiveness of ‘sin’. If man with his conscience accepts the presence of ‘transgression’, the question becomes: “who or what established that ‘something is a ‘transgression/sin’, and why - how or what-for - should this transgression/sin be forgiven?"

    Two schools of thought address this topic with their philosophical points of view as they explain the ‘origin of man’. The atheist turns to nature to explain/reason his position, the believer turns to the God of Creation for answers. Interestingly, though, the atheist, though not believing in a God, also accepts the premise that there are circumstances where one ‘needs to forgive or be forgiven’.

    To the Christian believer it is obvious to seek forgiveness from the God he/she believes in; the One who established ‘right and wrong’. His God has full authority to judge His creation which includes extending His Forgiveness for ‘lifting up/establishing’ the rebirth of fallen man.

    Can the atheist, a person not believing in a God who can ‘create in man a clean heart’ do so – no! How does the atheist not believing in a Creator God rationalizes extending grace – forgiveness – mercy to his fellow man? How does he intellectually process this spiritual aspect of man; does he go to nature for answers?

    To what will he intellectually attribute the capacity to accept that something can be ‘sinful/wrong’? Or, should he accept that ‘forgiving’ is part of evolving human nature, that doing so would help the human evolve? Does he consider ‘conditioning of the species over millennia’ can establish man's conscience?

    When accepting 'forgiveness' in their lives, atheists honestly seeking after Truth, might be willing to consider a change of heart when answering the fundamental question: 'was it nature or its Creator', and which of the two should be worshiped as God”? In our conversations with atheists, addressing the origin of 'forgiveness' might proof fruitful toward their starting to question their conviction.

    The lesson writer expressed it succinctly: 'Divine forgiveness produces a profound change because it reaches the most inner parts of human ‘self’, bringing about a ‘new creation’. Nature, in and off itself, cannot do this; it does not have a plan for the salvation of man because it is created as well! Forgiveness is an essential part of the new nature!

  9. The very fact that "The Wages of Sin is Death," should have ended "Eves," life as soon as she ate of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of "Good and Evil." But it was because of God's "Grace," that He had already had planned for this very occasion, God set His "Plan of Redemption," in motion to eventually have His Son become a Human and pay the panelty of "The Wages of Sin of Humanity," right then and there, as soon as Eve transgressed God's Command to stay away from that Tree and not touch much less eat the fruit of that Tree. And this is also why God did not cause King David to also suffer death from his sins of Thievery, Murder, and Adultery either. And that is why we also do not suffer death right away because of our sin and sins either. Because of what Jesus did at Calvary and God started His plan of redemption as soon as Eve ate of the "Forbidden Fruit," God's Grace came into effect just as real as the Atmosphere of air that we breathe moment by moment to stay alive in this Earth even now as we "Eagerly await His Son's Soon Coming," to finish His Final Work of Redeeming Humanity for Eternity.

  10. Our God is a diplomatic master. He gives us options, tells us that this is the most appropriate of them all.
    We are therefore supposed to understand that God has shown us a right way to go as well He gave us other options.
    We're thereafter supposed to act in accordance to our own discretion, bearing in mind that only one way out of many at our disposal, is the right way. Our God has ever since his creative activity been quite elaborate on the appropriate way.
    We should choose wisely, act according to God's statutes. We will thus be in understanding with our creator and Master. Be blessed.


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