Psalm 51

There’s a new book coming out this weekend called A Living Psalter: Creative Reflections on the Book of Psalms. This is one of the “reflections” that I contributed. I encourage everyone to “paraphrase” Scripture when you read it. That means putting it into your own words. God is not going to judge you for using a different word than what is in your Bible. BLESSINGS on your time with God this weekend.
Psalm 51
1-2 Forgive me, God, not because I deserve it but because You have given me Your extravagant love.

Wash me with Your soap of Your spirit; cleanse me of the muck and crud of my sins.

3-6 I may try to ignore my sins but I do know them. I see them every time I look in the mirror. It is You that I offend with my sins. People may think I have it all together but You know. You know. From birth, I was stained with sin. Adam’s sin was there inside of me even then. And it got worse as I grew older and decided I knew everything and could do as I pleased. You tried to teach me and guide me to come closer to a right and truthful relationship with You – but I didn’t listen.

7-9 So wash me with Your fragrant soap, LORD. It will be the Blood of Your Son, Jesus, that cleans me and then I will be truly clean. I will leap for joy! My spirit that was once crushed will be whole! My sins will be obliterated from Your sight and never be seen by You again!

10-15 Take my heart of stone and give me a new heart that is flesh and devoted to You, LORD. My heart will be a place for Your Spirit to live. I will be Your Temple and live forever with You, teaching others what You have taught me. Those who were sinners like me will turn to You. I will sing and praise You all my days, rejoicing that the guilt that was once in me has been washed away.

16-17 How can I please You, LORD? I would write great books, pray hours of prayers, give up all that I own – but that isn’t the sacrifice You want. It is a humble and repentant heart that pleases You. It isn’t about me being perfect but my desire to stay close to You and hear Your corrections.

18-19 LORD, when I am living in You, that is where I will prosper. Where the wall of my faith in You will enclose the Temple and my life will be a Living Sacrifice for You. (my paraphrase)

Have you ever made a mistake? Ever made a decision to do “this” when you should have done “that”?

It is sometimes easier to think of sin as a mistake. And it is a mistake but I believe we must not allow ourselves to be deceived about sin. Sin is disobedience and only God can “fix” sin. Only God can restore our relationship.

The psalmist walks me through restoration. It begins with repentance. “God, I have messed up. I am sorry. I do not want to do this again. I want to be close to You. Please forgive me, Lord.”

Then I listen to Jesus teach me His truths. Jesus came to save me but He also spent the time here on earth to teach me. After asking forgiveness, it is an important time for me as I listen to Jesus speak to me about where and how I stepped off His path and the joy that can characterize walking with Him as He restores our relationship.

Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again.

Don’t chase me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me.

Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey! Psalm 51:10-12 (CEV)

All that I want, God can do. Am I teachable? Am I willing to admit that my way does not work as well as His way? The joy and blessings that I desire are there but too often it is my own independence and stubbornness that keeps that relationship from being all that it could be.

It can be difficult to see all the “ripple effects” of what happens when I make my relationship with God the #1 priority in my life. In my life, I have found a joyous marriage and relationships with my children and grandchildren that I could bore you for hours talking about! But it is that “peace past my understanding” in times of painful, difficult seasons that has encouraged me to faithfully seek Jesus every day. Time with God is time well spent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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