1.26.2018

Repentance matters - and restoration brings JOY!

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love;
according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight,
so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in Your judgment.
Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:1-4, 6, 9-12

Sunday morning was WONderful!
Every Eastman was healthy, so all eight of us were able to go to church - together.
I was most excited as I had missed three weeks of worship while staying home to care for our children.
One of my favorite parts of Sunday is sitting quietly in the sanctuary reading my Bible before the service begins. Reading God's Word is always a sweet and sacred time, but there is something precious about reading it in the house of the Lord and in the presence of the saints. I cherish those minutes and am always refreshed when I close the Bible and join in corporate worship. 
Sunday is my day to soak in the Psalms. I feel like the quiet solitude of the sanctuary is a perfect setting in which to read the encouraging and soothing words found within the book.

Psalm 51 was the chapter for the day. A familiar passage that is used to comfort sinners when they have chosen to disregard God's commands and find themselves overwhelmed and burdened by their sin, just as David did two thousand years ago. Though a Psalm of repentance, where the author's agony over his sin is evident, the language is beautiful and draws our thoughts toward God.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love.
according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Even as David confesses his sin, He acknowledges God's attributes and offers up PRAISE.

There were two verses the Lord kept forcing my eyes to read again. Verses three and six.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
They fit together so well, for it is important that we identify and acknowledge our sin - by name - so we can confess it and repent of it. We cannot confess what we do not know.
A blanket statement, "forgive me of my sins," does not create knowledge of our transgressions.
We must ask the Lord to bring all of our unconfessed sins to mind - "my sin is ever before me" - so we can have "truth in the inward being."
Lord, I gossiped about a family member. Forgive me and guard my tongue.
Father, I did not speak truth when confronted. Forgive me for lying.
Dear God, I had no self-control yesterday, eating like a glutton, and I was lazy, refusing to move my body. Forgive me for not taking care of myself.
Lord, I am so quick to anger. I let the sun go down without surrendering it to You, and I am in sin when I let that happen. Please, forgive me, remove all bitterness, anger, malice, and wrath, and replace them with Your peace.
After detailed confession and repentance, I have spoken truth to the Lord, and to myself.
He is delighted. And I am forgiven.

Once forgiveness happens, there is restoration and joy!
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.


Thank You, Lord, for such mercy and grace! We do not deserve it, yet You give it in abundance, day after day after day.

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