Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Cleansed by a Holy God

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:14-16 (NIV)

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.  Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.  Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NIV

Sin. Oh no, not me, Lord. I try to do good all the time everyday. I’m not like those other people.

How arrogant I can be sometimes. Have you ever spoken these words or even felt this way? Don’t be fooled. We are all sinners in big and small ways.

Believe it or not, King David of Israel, a man after God's own heart, sinned greatly. A quick look at his life's experiences offers insight into who he was. He watched over herds of sheep, proving his worth as a good shepherd, killed a giant with a rock and a slingshot, fought many battles and won, wrote psalms and spiritual songs, and committed adultery and murder. Yes, adultery and murder—evil in the sight of the Lord. David sinned with another man’s wife and then had the man killed. Yet God called him a man after His own heart. How could David love the Lord wholeheartedly and commit grievous sins against Him?

The answer lies in David’s response to Nathan. God utilized His messenger, Nathan, to confront David after he committed offenses. Nathan narrated a story to David about injustice done by a rich man against a poor man. David grieved and burned with anger over the rich man's actions. Nathan then declared, “You are that man!”

Immediately David recognized his guilt. He realized he sinned not only against human beings, but against a holy God. In humility he asked for forgiveness and Nathan spoke God’s redeeming love over David. (If you desire to discover this impressive story, read 2 Samuel 11-12.) In full repentance of heart, David penned his sacrificial offering of a broken spirit to His Heavenly Father. It’s written in the book of Psalms, #51.

Recently God revealed to me my sins. No, I’ve not murdered anybody, but I’ve murdered relationships with gossip. And God says of gossip, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,” (Romans 1:29).

What God? You mean I’m as bad as THOSE people. I hear God’s response in His living Word, saying, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Immediately God humbled me causing me to realize that I'm no better than anyone else. He is holy and I am a sinner. But I desire to serve Him with a heart like David. When I offered repentance for my sins, God supplied grace to me as He did to David. Praise His holy name.

Have you been confronted with your shortcomings, your sins? Ask God to reveal your wrongs to you and repent of them to Him. Then serve Him with a clean, undivided heart. And offer Him praise.

Oh Lord God, Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ, please forgive me. I’ve sinned against you and your people. Clean me up, Lord, and I will be free of wrongdoing. Turn my heart against evil and toward you. May I serve you with an unblemished and undivided heart. In your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)

Clean by Natalie Grant....

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