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40 Days 2019 Week #4

Sunday, March 31

40 Days 2019 Week #4 - Remembering that God is the one who can make us clean again. - Psalm 51

[REFLECTION]

There are few guarantees in life, but one thing I can always count on is that my kids will get cold, wet and sandy when we visit the Oregon Coast. The ocean waves draw them in like a strong magnet, and they inevitably ignore all my warnings about the cold, sandy misery that lies on the other side of playing in the ocean. But, it doesn’t take much time out in the water for them to return shivering, gritty with sand and desperate to find a way to get clean and warm again. They need help, and they know they can come to their parents to get it. There are many paths that we can walk, contrary to God’s wise counsel, that inevitably lead to a sense that we are helplessly sinful and dirty. In those moments it is most important to remember that God is the one who can make us clean again, not just on the outside, but on the inside. What a relief to know that no matter how cold and dirty we get, God is ready and willing to help us find a warm shower and a fresh set of clothes!At a low point in his life (see 2 Sam 11-12), King David came to realize (with the help of Nathan) his waywardness, the misery his wayward actions had caused others and himself, and his inability to get back on track on his own. In a desperate place of brokenness and contrition, he cried out to God for forgiveness and asked him to perform a miraculous cleansing work in his heart: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” David’s prayer is a poignant call to humble ourselves before God in confession and openness, and a powerful reminder of God’s restorative work that can be activated in our lives through such a prayer and a “willing spirit (v.12).”

[STARTER PRAYER]

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

[PRACTICE]

Take some time this week to be quiet before the Lord and allow him to identify any ways in which you have wandered away from his good guidance. As God reveals these to you, confess them to him, receive his forgiveness and cleansing, and allow Him to lead you in a new direction