One-a-Day Thursday, 7/2/15

number 1We have spent the last two and a half weeks meandering through Psalm 51.  You have been good enough to put up with my random and perhaps off-kilter observations on this man David and his restoration before God.  Today, just take a few minutes to read the entire Psalm in one sitting.  The words are from David’s pen, but they resonate in all our hearts.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

One-a-Day Wednesday, 7/1/15

number 1You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Psalm 51:16-17).

He doesn’t want your stuff.

He doesn’t want your show.

He wants you.

Chew on that for a bit, Beloved.

One-a-Day Tuesday, 6/30/15

number 1Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise (Psalm 51:13-15).

What, we got a little quid pro quo going on here?  Is David trying to make a deal with God, sort of you-help-me-out-here-and-I’ll-do-you-a-solid-down-the-line?

Yeah, no, I don’t think so.

David knows better than to bargain with God.  He has already thrown himself on God’s mercy and acknowledged that he can do nothing without God’s strength.

But David is making a promise.  He promises that he will give God full credit for restoring David.  He will help others to learn from his mistakes.  David will spread the word of God’s righteousness at the top of his lungs, and he will do everything in his power to bring God glory.

Have you ever done that, Beloved?  Have you ever been so carried away by God’s goodness that you vowed to declare his praises to the world?

Um…this is a bit awkward…but…did you follow through?

Follow through, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday.

One-a-DayMonday 6/29/15

number 1Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12).

Boy, that David.  It’s all gimme, gimme, gimme with him, isn’t it?

Forgive my sins!

Cleanse me with hyssop!

Create in me a pure heart!

Stay close to me!

Restore my joy!

Renew my spirit!

Yep, David asks and asks and asks…

And God gives and gives and gives.

Remember that, Beloved.

One-a-Day Friday, 6/26/15

number 1Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11). 

Priorities

After all that he has done, after all the grief he has caused, in the face of all the consequences of his most heinous crimes, David has one thing going for him.

He has finally gotten his priorities straightened out.

I mean, I think I’m on safe theological ground if I say that David’s priorities were a little out of whack going into this.  Adultery, conspiracy, murder—not exactly in line with God’s truth.  David was no longer content for the Lord to be his shepherd.  He wanted to be Captain of his own fate, master of his own soul.

And look where it got him.

But

By the grace of God, David gets his head and his heart straight.  He realizes his true danger—and it’s not the danger of embarrassment, or losing his kingdom, or even being executed for his crimes.

The true danger is losing God’s presence in his life.

David realizes that there is nothing, nothing, as valuable as knowing and being known by his Lord.  It is the one thing he is most terrified of losing.

Hmm…

Beloved, do you realize that, post-resurrection, we have the opportunity for a closer relationship with God than even David knew?

You know, I started to close with the admonition not to take that opportunity for granted, but I don’t think you need that.  Rather, let me suggest this: take a few moments today to simply be with Him.  Enjoy his presence.  Fellowship with the Lord of the Universe.  Such is your right, your privilege, and your joy.

Because you are his Beloved.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

One-a-Day Thursday, 6/25/15

number 1Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

David gets it.

He doesn’t make any excuses before God, and he doesn’t make any promises he knows he can’t keep.  I mean, some of us—and by us, I mean me—would be tempted to tell God all about how we’re going to do better, try harder, be more.  We would try to convince God that, if he would just give us a second chance—or third, or eighty-seventh—we wouldn’t disappoint him.  David knows that’s bunk. He will never be clean unless God cleans him.  He will never be reliable unless God builds that in him.  He will never be of any use to God unless God does the work through him.

Yep, David gets it.

Do you, Beloved?

Happy Thursday.

One-a-Day Wednesday, 6/24/15

number 1Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity (Psalm 51:9).

“Wow, I hope nobody saw that.”

How many times have you thought those words?

Oh, come on—it’s more than that and you know it.

When you do something embarrassing, you simply don’t want people looking at you.  Whether it’s missing the easy shot, tripping over your own feet, or walking into the only tetherball pole in an entire acre of middle school asphalt—all of which I have done—you don’t want an audience.  You kinda want the ground to open up and swallow you, just so that no one can look at you.

When you do something truly wrong—when you intentionally sin—that feeling goes way past embarrassment.

It becomes shame.

And you would do anything, just anything, to turn back the clock, to undo what you did, or at least to dissolve into the ground, just so that no one can look at you.

David gets you.  He’s been there, only bigger.  He cried out to God to look away from him, to act as if he hadn’t seen David’s sin.  He begged his Lord to take the sin away, to make it as though it had never occurred.

And God did.

Consequences?  Oh, yes, there were consequences.

There always are.

But David’s relationship with God was restored.

God did that because David was his Beloved.

Oh, yeah—you and I are Beloved, too.

Wow.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

One-a-Day Tuesday, 6/23/15

number 1Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  (Psalm 51:8).

Sin hurts.

See, that’s why you come here—the deep theological truths.

When you belong to Christ, you can’t live in sin.  OK, I mean you can, but it takes a serious toll.  That new heart of yours is designed to live in faithfulness; sin puts it under serious structural stress.

David is in sin as he writes these words.  That sin is weighing him down.  It’s crushing him.  It has taken the joy and gladness from his life.  David is crying out to God, asking God to forgive him and lift him out of this depression.

Whaddaya say, Beloved?  Are you in danger of violating the warranty on that new heart of yours?  Are you living in a way that you weren’t designed to live, and is sin robbing you of the joy and gladness of your life?  If so, I know how you can get free of the pain and reclaim your right relationship with God.

But then…so do you.

One-a-DayMonday 6/22/15

number 1Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7).

Lady Macbeth knew.

Most of us can recall little of our high school Shakespeare, but we remember the murdering queen who walked and talked in her sleep.  Night after night she got out of bed, still asleep, and tried to scrub the blood of her crimes from her hands.  There was nothing visible on her skin, but she knew the blood—the sin—was there.

“Out, out, damn spot!” she cried, but she could not make herself clean.  When the doctor saw her somnambulistic scrubbing, he commented that she did not need a doctor—she needed the Divine.  This doctor knew his stuff—most would have gone with leeches.

Bad news—no one can cleanse your heart except God himself.  Few would be willing, and none would be able.

Good news—God is more than willing, and he is more than able.  Whiter than snow, Baby.  Whiter than snow.

Put down the Boraxo, Beloved.  Lift your heart to Him.

One-a-Day Friday, 6/19/15

number 1Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place (Psalm 51:6). 

Why can’t he leave well enough alone?  He has the surface—I look the part, act the part—anyone on the outside would think I’m a reasonably-well-functioning man of God.

Does he really need the core of my being?

That seems a little extreme, don’t you think?  I mean, a man deserves his privacy; this, “Openness with your feelings” thing only goes so far.

Nope

He wants it all.  He wants me

You

Us

to reflect his wisdom and his love and his very nature all the way to the bone.  He wants us, in our very essence, to be like him.  And he won’t stop until he gets what he wants.  Not if it takes all eternity.

Thank God, Beloved.