August 13, 2015

How Could I Have Done That?

Psalm 51

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

—  Psalm 51:4

David wrote this psalm after being convicted of great sin (see 2 Samuel 11-12). This heartfelt cry reflects his grief over his failure to God. David was seeking restoration of the most important relationship in his life, his relationship with God.

David recognized that his sin had separated him from God, so he prayed to be reconciled with God—and he counted on God’s steadfast love and mercy to restore their relationship.

Grace and forgiveness are about transformation—about a willing spirit, a spirit that wants to change; and about a broken spirit, a spirit that recognizes it is totally dependent on God.

Paul talks about that transformation when he states with con­fidence that one thing is sure and worthy of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15).

There is no heart so hard, no anger so bitter, and no spirit so willful that it is beyond the reach of God’s forgiveness.

What David and Paul learned is that God is committed to loving us forever. God promises to walk with us, to love and care for us, to fix our scraped knees when we fall, and to wipe away our tears. This is our merciful God—our God who loves us, no matter what.

In what ways has God shown you mercy?

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Thank you for the joy of salvation in Je-sus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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