Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Broken and Repentant Heart

Chuckle: "Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"
Quote:  “The repentance of man is accepted by God as a virtue.” –Voltaire
"The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise" (Psalm 51:17 NLT).
This is our last lesson from Psalm 51 that records King David's repentant prayer for mercy, forgiveness, and restoration of his joy following his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. Our passage for today summarizes what God desires from us, his people.
In David's repentant state, he came to realize that no offerings he could make could bring him back into fellowship with God. David knew God is not interested in our offerings unless these offerings are accompanied by a broken and repentant heart. "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings" (vs. 16). Now see our basic passage again. We cannot give our money or other possessions to God and His work as a substitute for an unrepentant heart and expect God to grant us His favor. We cannot bribe God into overlooking our sin.
Notice that what God wants is "a penitence-broken spirit" and a "shattered and crushed heart." Such a heart condition is called a "sacrifice." For something to be a sacrifice, it must be of value and cost us something. When we are truly repentant, we sacrifice by surrendering our will, our desires, our plans, our goals, and our treasures to God. In other words, our love relationship with Him becomes more valuable to us than anything else. An old hymn goes like this: "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I'd rather have Him than riches untold. I'd rather have Jesus than any thing this world affords today."
We can never please God by offerings alone. No, God is concerned about the condition and attitude of our hearts. When our sacrifice leads to a broken spirit and a repentant heart, our bodies will follow with acceptable offerings and actions. "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1 NIV).
You can determine the attitude of your heart by answering these questions. Are you genuinely sorry for your sin? Do you intend to stop indulging in that sin? Do you intend to turn your heart toward God and rejoice once again in His presence? God is pleased by this kind of repentance, and he will respond to you with mercy, forgiveness, and inexplicable joy.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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