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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”—Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
When I was 13, all I ever did was read, write, and listen to music in my room with the door closed. My mother said that I was born to be a writer even though she didn’t understand why I had to shut myself in my room day after day after day. I didn’t understand my need for isolation either, and yet it gave me true joy. I played Christian songs that inspired me to write plays for my youth group. I wrote short stories and poems that connected me with God. And though I knew I was a sinner, I was wholeheartedly devoted to God.
Even at that young age, I recognized God had a purpose for me. And the reason the words flowed so easily was not a coincidence, because nothing is a coincidence with God. Though I went through some years of what I like to call “wretched behavior,” deep down in my heart I knew God’s mercy was enough to cleanse and renew me spiritually. As I prayed and repented of my sinful nature, I was confident that God’s work was not done.
It’s also not a coincidence that my life verse is Philippians 1:6 (NKJV), which says: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Such confidence is what David probably felt as he wrote the above verse. The events that precede the heartfelt confession of sin are recorded in 2 Samuel 11:1-12:13. When Nathan confronts him, David could have defended himself, lied, made excuses or even condemned the prophet to death. But because David, though a sinner, was devoted to God, he immediately owned up not only to his horrible behavior but also to his sinful nature. His plea for mercy was rooted securely in God’s character, not in his own righteousness. He prayed that a willing and obedient spirit would replace his wayward one.
We have more power inside of us than we think. It’s in our blood. The same blood that was shed on the cross. When we become aware of our sin and also realize we’re an unfinished project, good news prevails: When it comes to our spiritual life and God’s plans for us, we will not end in failure. It is God’s work, for His glory and our joy.
Dig: Read 2 Samuel 11:1-12:13 and Philippians 1:6.
Discover: A promise is only as reliable as the one who makes it. God always keeps His promises.
Display: Show the Lord a willing and obedient spirit and watch as He renews it.
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