Friday, August 3, 2012

A Pure Heart is a Joyful Heart

1Have 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, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
     wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
     let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11  Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
Psalm 51:1-13 (ESV)

It is pretty much impossible to live joyfully when there is unconfessed sin my life. Sin is often accompanied by feelings of anger, bitterness, pride or shame, depression, stress, worry and fear. I don't know how anyone can be joyful with any of those feelings dominating their emotions - we are much more likely to be grumpy and mean. How can I love my family and teach my children truth when I'm acting like the Wicked Witch of the West?
In Psalm 51 David confesses his sin after being confronted by Nathan the prophet regarding David's affair with Bathsheba (and all that follows it) . In verse 2 David asks God to cleanse him from his sin and in verse 10 to create in him a clean heart. David knew that the joy of his salvation could not be restored (v. 12) until his heart was right with God.
Thankfully the source of our joy is Jesus who is also the reason for our joy because in Him alone we can be set free from our sin and live to do as verse 13 says, "teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you."

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