A short devotion for 9th August

Call to worship

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:10-11.

Bible Reading

  • Psalm 51:1-7
  • John 6:24-27 & 33-35

Confession

Lord God, I am sorry for the time I take my eyes off you, and seek to do things in my own strength. I am sorry for the times I doubt that you can keep me on the straight and narrow. Lord I pray that you will forgive me and teach me to trust you at all times. Amen

Praise Angels and archangels and all the hosts of heaven worship you. We are not worthy to praise you; for your mercy’s sake, accept the praise of all your servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Message: The Prayer of a Great Sinner

Text: Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean, wash me, and
I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7

Introduction

In the Evergreen Cemetery near New York there stands a gravestone. Upon it there is only one word, ‘Forgiven’. No name, no date, just that one word, FORGIVEN. It is a priceless treasure that cannot be bought by earthly money, or using your credit card, only by the Blood of Christ, God’s Son.

Here is a story: King Edward the 7th when he was Prince of Wales was visiting a home when he was asked by the little child of his host as she sat upon his knee, “Do you like quizzes? What is whiter than snow?” The then Prince had to confess that he did not know, “I will tell you, a heart that has been washed in the Blood of Jesus”. Recently we have been looking at PRAYER. ‘What should we pray for? ‘What did Jesus pray for’? Today we are looking at a sinner’s prayer as told in Psalm 51 when we come face to face with a repentant King, David.

King David the Sinner

We find in 2nd Samuel 11:2 why King David was repenting: firstly it was LUST, the sin of the eye: From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful. Secondly we have the sin of ADULTERY: She came to him, and he slept with her. The woman conceived and sent word to David saying, “I am pregnant”. 2nd Samuel 11:4-5. Thirdly we have the sin of MURDER: “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then draw from him so he will be struck down and die.” 2nd Samuel 11:14. What do we see before us today? Is it a man, a King, no it’s a sinner. David knew what he was doing, the murder of Uriah was premeditated, it was planned so that he could cover up his adultery with the man’s wife. David had broken three Commandments here: 6th, “You shall not murder”. 7th, “You shall not commit adultery”, the 10th, “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife”. Exodus 20: 13, 14 & 17. King David sinned against God and against Bathsheba, the lady with whom he committed adultery.

No matter if you are a King on the throne or a simple person like me the Bible, God’s Word, tells us: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. All of us will have to stand before the Throne of God and give an account, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the Throne.” Revelation 20:12.

King David the Repented Sinner

In our reading from Psalm 51 we read, in verse 5, David’s acknowledgement of his sinfulness, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”. In Psalm 51 we have the sinner repenting of his sin, the first thing he does is he accepts that he has sinned. The first thing an addict has to do on the road to recovery is admit that he/she has a problem, then the healing process can begin, it is painful but necessary. “For I know my transgression and my sin is always before me”. Psalm. 51:3. Look at the I; it is personal. David confesses that he is the sinner and bowing before a Holy God. We hear the cry of his heart in verse 4, “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight”. Let us have a reality check here, what did this cost the two of them? It cost David, the life of a precious little one. It cost Bathsheba the life of her beloved husband plus a baby. You understand sin destroys; it separates from all that God wants best for us. In Genesis 3:23, “So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken”.

God, the King of Kings, the Restorer

The town of Ypres in Belgium is where the famous Menin Gate is situated as a memorial to all who lost their lives there during the WW1. That town was totally destroyed during the fighting. There you will find old trenches, a museum and graves of the fallen. Today, the town has been fully restored. Anyone who lived there in 1910 would have no problem in finding their way round. Nathan in 2nd Samuel 12:13 gives David this assurance from God, Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.” David was fully restored so is it any wonder he could write in Psalm 62:1-2, “My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken”. David was fully restored, God even refers to him as a man after His own heart. In Psalm 32 we have the testimony of a forgiven sinner as he tries to describe the joy of sins forgiven. Take time to read it. What an example King David has left us with; the prayer of a repented sinner and the mercy of a loving Heavenly Father. As T. T. Crabtree, “Let’s be wise enough to acknowledge sin, and forsake sin.” God’s promise, in Hebrews 8:12, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sin no more”.

Prayers of Intercession

Lord God, we come before you to pray for our Queen and for all peoples for whom taking risk is a way of life. We pray for our emergency services – paramedics, the police, the fire service – all who daily face difficult situations as they seek to help to protect us and make our world a safer and more peaceful place. We pray for people who work in troubled area – the armed forces, those who humanitarian aid into areas of natural disaster. We pray for all missionaries who take your word where it is most needed. Lord, reveal yourself to them and keep them safe. Amen

Blessing

May God keep you in all your days.
May Christ shield you in all your ways.
May the Spirit bring you healing and peace.
May God the Holy Trinity drive all darkness from you and pour upon you blessing and light. Amen