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  • Psalm Fifty One

    Have mercy on me, Lord,
    with Your kindness and mercy
    wash away my sins.
    purify me from my past, Lord,
    and cleanse my soul from sin.
    I have sinned against you, Lord,
    and my sins haunt me still.
    My sins were committed against you, Lord,
    I know that now, I have done evil in Your sight.
    You are justified to condemn me in front of the people,
    Your judgement is righteous.
    Take pity on me, God,
    for I was born into a sinful world,
    in sin did my mother conceive me.
    I know now You want me to repent from within,
    I know now You will show me wisdom.
    Use hyssop to cleanse my flesh, Lord, and I will be clean,
    Wash me, Lord, and I will be whiter than snow.
    Let me be overjoyed in your correction, Lord,
    Let this broken spirit and body rejoice.
    Erase my sins from Your memory,
    erase all my sins from my birth.
    Create in me, Lord, a clean heart,
    renew in my flesh a righteous spirit.
    Do not send me away, Lord,
    Do not walk away from me, I pray.
    Restore me to Your service, Lord,
    Make my spirit obedient to Your word.
    I will praise you in the streets, Lord,
    I will speak of the path of righteousness to all people.
    Your words and Your spirit will convert the sinners.
    Save me from my sins, Lord, as terrible as they are,
    for You are my God, You are my salvation,
    and I will praise you every hour until the end of my life.
    Lord, open my mouth, and I will speak of Your loving kindness, your mercy,
    Lord, I will praise you before all the people.

    I know now, Lord, You do not desire a sacrifice of animals,
    I would give it, Lord, but I know it is not what You want.

    The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit,
    a broken and repentant heart.

    Do as You will with us, Lord,
    when Zion is in repentance, when Jerusalem wears sackcloth and ashes,
    then You will allow us to make the sacrifices of righteousness.
    Then will we offer burnt sacrifices upon Your altar,
    When we have purified ourselves with repentance.

    As I have said before, rituals are not enough. Merely going through the motions may look good on the surface, but it won't change the way you act, or the way others see you. Most of all, it won't change who you are.

    I wrote a poem a few days ago where I talked about the beginnings of my faith, and how for a while I fell away. My story is not unique, or even extraordinary. When a non-believer first comes to the faith, there is a fire of passion that overwhelms them, and they charge out to convert the world. Nothing wrong with that, but the problem is they get so carried away with the passion, they forget the Spirit. And without the Spirit, its just a lot of noise. People will hear the noise and listen, for a while. But then a new noise comes along, and they forget. Pretty soon, the fire begins to wane. Frustration and fatigue set in, and they become inert.

    Its like the parable of the sower and the seed. Plants spring up quickly in the rocky ground, but they aren't able to establish roots, so they almost as quickly die off. But with a little care and feeding, and sometimes transplanting, they come back.

    If the young Christian continues to study and fellowship, they find the same passion, but they understand the Spirit is the one who has to lead. When their heart comes to this realization, they become contrite and obedient, and willing to let God lead their lives. And this is when God can use them as a witness. When they are willing to surrender their life to God.

    It is not an easy lesson to learn. To learn it, you have to lose your heart.

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