A Clean Heart

Old Testament Reading: Leviticus 9 & 10
*Psalms Reading: Psalm 51
New Testament Reading: 1 Corinthians 4

If there is one thing we can all do well, it is sin! We mess up and usually a lot, whether in thought, word, or action. We have all done something in our lives to fall short of God’s desires. David wrote Psalm 51 during a time in his life when he had messed up big time. Most of us probably can recall the story of David and Bathsheba, if not it can be found in 2 Samuel 11-12. At this time, David was completely broken, it was in his brokenness his heart revealed the words found in Psalm 51.

When I read this Psalm, I see three parts to it. The first is in verses 1-9. Here, David acknowledges that he has sinned, and he asks God to forgive him of his sins. The second part is verses 10-12. In these verses, David asks God to be changed from his sinful ways with the statement “create in me a clean heart.” The final section is verses 13-19. David proclaims what he is going to do because he has been forgiven. He says he will teach the ways of God, he will joyfully sing, and he will declare God’s praise. 

I think we can apply all three parts of this Psalm to our lives. When we sin and mess up against God, we need to be like David by confessing our sins, and asking for forgiveness. Right away in verse 1, David asks God to “Be gracious with me, O God, according to your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.” We then need to take action, recognizing that we need a changed heart and restoration. But it doesn’t stop there, we need to take the forgiveness given to us and live for God. When you are transparent with people they will see your changed life with God and will hopefully want that as well. Just as verse 13 says, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will be converted to you.” Follow David’s example, ask for forgiveness, ask to be changed, then show others how you have been changed. 

-Camden Bormes

Reflection Questions

  1. Have you experienced God’s forgiveness and the changing of your heart? If so, did you use the opportunity to declare His praises and show/teach others how you have been forgiven and changed? How?
  2. What does your heart need to be cleansed of today? What sins stand between you and God right now? Pray this Psalm to the Lord. What does it feel like to have your sins blotted out by God? What will your clean, changed heart look like? How will you share with others what God has done for you?
  3. What does God reveal about Himself in Psalm 51 and your reading today? What words would you use to describe Him? What will your response be?

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