Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
The act of creation brought about major changes—where there was once nothing, God created everything, the whole universe. For us personally, though, the greatest change occurs when Christ comes into our hearts as our Savior and Lord. Then everything about us changes.
Jesus said to Nicodemus (and to each one of us), "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again" (John 3:3). Nicodemus was correct in saying that this could not happen naturally, but we know that all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). More than 500 years before Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, God had said to his people, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26).
Though this change of heart is a miraculous onetime event, our hearts can sometimes stray and need to turn back to God. That is why the psalmist David asked God to cleanse him and "renew a steadfast spirit within" him. David knew personally the bitter experience of straying from God—his adultery had caused havoc in his life and family (see 2 Samuel 11-15). May we always be contrite and seek to be renewed by God daily.
Search me, O God, and know my heart today; try me, O Savior, and know my thoughts, I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me; cleanse me from every sin, and set me free. In Christ, Amen.
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