Saturday, December 27, 2014

God Can Help Us Want to Obey Him

Photo by Maaar ツ  Maria Marganingsih (Flickr) 
Can you recall a time (or two!) when you couldn’t stop asking God for His forgiveness and mercy? Do you remember when you were finally able to smile again as hope began to replace despair?

Then as time went on, you found yourself able resist temptation more consistently (by leaning and trusting in God’s power in you); thus, ultimately experiencing profound joy?

Let’s dig back into Psalm 51. This is our twelfth week of exploring King David’s marvelous prayer of repentance as he sought to be restored. Notice that even the great king needed God’s help to obey, and he willingly asked for help in doing so.

Psalm 51:12 (NIV)
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:12 (CEV) / For meditation purposes:
Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; 
    make me want to obey!

"I have always found this verse to be such a great comfort in the Christian life because it acknowledges God loves us so much that He’s even willing to supply our “want to” in regard to obedience. Praise Him for that!" (Lee Warren, freelance writer/editor. Comment he made while critiquing this post.)

What about you? Let’s pray:

Thank You, Father, for saving me from the consequences of my sin! I rejoice at the thought of one day being with You in heaven. And if that wasn’t enough, You not only offer me redemption from my past (a chance to begin again), but You also offer me the strength, power to do so.

Please don’t stop Lord! Continue to give me the desire to please You every minute of every day, for the rest of 2014 and throughout the New Year.

Amen. So be it!!

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

An Unimaginable Thought!

Have you ever felt like you’ve been tossed aside because you were despicable? This week’s verse may be one of the most distressing verses in Psalm 51, if read with an old covenant mindset.

Psalm 51:11 (NIV) 
Photo by Michael Gil (Flickr)
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Psalm 51:11 (New Century Version NCV) / for meditation purposes
Do not send me away from you
or take your Holy Spirit away from me.

Thank you for joining us as we continue making our way through Psalm 51, one verse per week.

Old covenant saints had a limited understanding of the Holy Spirit and sometimes feared losing His presence. I can’t think of anything more despairing or unimaginable than the thought of being cast from God’s presence, can you?

Thankfully, that is the furthest thing from God’s heart – even when we’ve sinned against Him. On the contrary, what God desires most is for us to go to Him, confess our faults and receive His mercy! Today, under the new covenant, Jesus promises to never leave or forsake us.

Rather than believing (and therefore, reacting as if) God is withdrawing from you, draw near to Him by reading and meditating on His Word. The more time you spend with God, the more His nearness becomes evident. And the more you get to know Him, the more you become convinced He will never ever cast you away from His presence. Not ever.

Emotions lie. God’s mercy, faithfulness, and compassion are real – for you … today … right now!

Let’s pray:

Father, I come before You asking You to give us, during this Christmas season, and every season following, a knowledge of Your true nature – the reality of Your unconditional love. Please, Lord, help us open our hearts to receive that love. And also, Father, enable us to go to You when we need You most – during our times of failure. 
Amen! So be it!!

As always, I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

How Would a Steadfast Spirit Affect Your Choices?

Photo by 19 Upstream (Flickr)
Finally, David reaches the point in which he is not satisfied with just repenting and regretting his sin. In this week’s verse, David petitions God for a different heart and spirit.

We are a little over half-way through memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week.

Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10 (AMP) / for meditation purposes:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, 
persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.

David realizes the only way to get right with God is for God, Himself, to replace his sinful heart with a new, clean heart. However, David is fully aware how much he needs God’s constant help to keep him from giving into any temptation.

And so do I!


What about you?

  • What does a steadfast spirit look like to you? How would it change your choices?


Father, I need You to create in me a new heart. Please help me make choices that reflect loyalty to Your love and faithfulness to me. I want to be resolute in this decision! But , once again, I am aware that I cannot achieve this without Your help. Please help me to finish this year honoring You and Your purposes for me.


Feel free to leave a comment (using a pseudonym, if you want) letting me know how you’re doing, or how I can pray for you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tormented by Shame and Guilt

Photo by Andy Morales (Flickr)
When I read Psalm 51:9, I experience a profound and familiar sadness, layered with deep shame, regret and guilt—the kind of shame that causes you to hide; the kind of regret that makes you want to curl up in a ball and try to forget what you did; and the kind of tormenting guilt that forces you to scream out to God, over and over again, to please erase the entire incident from your record!

We are in our ninth week of memorizing and/or meditating on Psalm 51, one verse per week.

Psalm 51:9 (NIV)
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

Psalm 51:9 (VOICE) / For Meditation Purposes 
Cover Your face so You will not see my sins,
    and erase my guilt from the record.

Once again, David pleads, asking God to blot out his sin and to take away his guilt. Have you noticed how many times in Psalm 51 David repeats these requests? Do you think if he could have rewound time and gone back before his sin, he would have made different choices?

What about you?

  • Have the consequences of your choices been worth the emotional torture you’ve experienced?


Please remember, God is full of mercy! He will not forsake you or turn away from you when you go to Him.

Feel free to leave a comment (using a pseudonym, if you want) letting me know how you’re doing, or how I can pray for you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

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