For you are great.

Psalm 86:8-13

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

For you are great and do wondrous things;
 you alone are God.

God has done marvelous things, He is doing amazing things, and so I know He won’t stop. It’s His nature.

I just need to take a look at my life to see His work, His provision, His care for me. Are the times of loss and difficulty? Of course, that is living this life. Any difficulty I have is not an indication of His lack of love or care for me.

Look back and remember what He has done for you. Look at today and see where He is providing for you. See the pattern? Tomorrow will be the same thing. You can count on Him!

There is none like you.

 Psalm 86:8-13

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours
.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours
.

I have always been fascinated by creation. All the amazing creatures designed by our Creator. The symbiotic relationships. The development. How the Universe works together with the sun, moon, and planets and how man ever saw the patterns — which are very different depending on your vantage point. It’s all so vast. And yet, God is so personal. He knows the hairs on our heads. He can telescope and microscope at the same time and not be confused by it at all. On the other hand, I took chemistry and astronomy in the same semester and that was a big mistake. I couldn’t wrap my head around either concept because objects were either a million miles away or thousands of them could fit on the head of a pin.

Today just seemed like one of those days to stop in awe of God’s creative handiwork — from creating to healing to restoring to renewing — He never stops. Take a moment to consider His handiwork. What have you seen in your own life that causes you to be in amazement of what God has done?

Psalm 51

Psalm 51:1-19

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

There are many beautiful things in this Psalm. On David’s part, his humility, broken spirit, and contrite heart. It’s a place where we have all been. It’s so relatable.

But the most beautiful is all that God is doing. The list is long:

He shows mercy and blots out transgressions. He washes us thoroughly and cleanses us from our sin. He teaches us wisdom and purges us with hyssop. He washes us some more. He hides His face from our sin and He blots out some more. And then, He creates in us clean hearts! He renews a right spirit within us! He refuses to cast us away from His presence and He will not take His Holy Spirit from us! He restores to us the joy of our salvation! He delivers us and opens our lips!

Receive God’s good gifts!

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness.

Psalm 51: 13 – 19

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness.

Sin is sin. The earthly consequences often differ, but in the end, we are all guilty.

I believe satan loves to poke and needle the guilty. He wants us to never forget our sins. And his goal seems to be to interrupt or delay the recognition of our sin as sin and distract us from going to our Deliverer.

Have you ever been stuck in the cycle of sin-guilt-shame-hiding-isolation- discouragement-frustration-anger-distance-sin? It might look a little different in your life, but this type of cycle does not produce healing. Somewhere in the cycle needs to be the confession-forgiveness-deliverance!

Don’t let yourself be fooled by satan and his tactics. The world certainly gives us every reason to justify our behavior. We have been through a lot recently and it looks like things aren’t easing up just yet. But God — He longs to restore and renew us. Daily confession brings daily deliverance. What a beautiful way to start a new day!

Uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Uphold me with a willing spirit.

There are days (and weeks and months) where I need to be held up. Have you been through a season like that? It’s those days when relationships, health, finance, or work challenges are just too much.

Thank God that He sees and knows and sends His reinforcements! He lets us know He is there is so many ways: from taking care of the smallest details to sending the right people to us at just the right time. There are so many ways God holds us up and lifts us up. Sometimes, however, I am guilty of not allowing Him to uphold me. I get comfortable in a cranky place.

Lord, grant me a willing spirit Uphold me in faith with the joy of your salvation! Amen.

Take not your Holy Spirit from me

Psalm 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Another gut wrenching plea. The weight of our sin in unbearable except for Jesus’ work.

But, if I am honest, sometimes the weight of my sin doesn’t impact me to the core as much as someone else’s. How could that be? I think it is my sinful nature coming through along with the whispering lies of satan.

I am confident in God’s love, care, and provision for me. I am very confident. And yet I vacillate between the gravity of my sin and the work done for me. It’s difficult to hold both of those at the same time.

Do you struggle with this, too?

Restore to me the joy of your salvation.

Psalm 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation.

It’s been a long few years. And things are getting a little more unsettled with what is happening in Europe. Whether or not we are experiencing the same challenges as our neighbors, it is disheartening to watch things around us.

Internal joy is not dependent on external circumstances. And, of course, the joy of salvation is such a different thing altogether. It’s above and beyond and yet I don’t think I consider it on a daily basis.

The joy of your salvation.

The word restore indicates that the joy has been there. Being separated from God should break us. And that brokenness makes us miserable. And that is evident to those around us.

Joy is contagious! And the joy of salvation? It’s certainly a cause for celebration. And once you know that particular joy, knowing that you have separated yourself from it can rock you to your core.

Lord, let me comprehend the weight of my sin but, in confession to You, bring it all. And allow You to wash it clean, renew my spirit, and restore my joy! Amen.

Cast me not away from your presence.

Psalm 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Cast me not away from your presence.

On one hand, I can’t imagine how desperate a place David must have been to say this. On the other hand, I certainly can. When we knowingly run headfirst into sin and then the shame and regret and remorse sets in. Not to mention all of the other consequences.

A true confession offers a humble position with no attempt to wiggle out of what comes next. The guilty knows that they deserve to be cast out.

We know David wrote this Psalm as a confession after he sinned with Bathsheba. And it is a Psalm that is used in prayerful ways in churches around the world.

Who or what is my Bathsheba?

We all have at least one. One place in our hearts or lives that is weak spot. A scenario where we regularly trip up. A situation where we are vulnerable to the grip of sin.

Lord, open my eyes to see the seriousness of my sin. Let me recognize the gravity and let me recognize that Jesus’ work on the cross allows me to be in your presence. Thank you for bridging the gap for me. Amen.

Renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Renew a right spirit within me.

I can count on God for many things, but this is vital for me. Never mind that the world rarely encourages a “right spirit” but I find I am fighting my own mind in this. God sets me straight and my mind wanders off immediately, filled with “wrong spirit” thoughts.

If only I …

If only he …

Why does she always …

There are countless situations that call for grace and mercy and I withhold them like I am having supply chain issues.

Forgiveness?

Well, I don’t know, have they groveled enough?

Somewhere, within me is a right spirit. I know because it has been renewed, time and time again. The sooner I notice a broken or “wrong spirit” and take it to my Heavenly Father, the sooner He can renew it.

Recognizing my issue is an important piece. My confession is another vital component. God’s work is more easily accomplished when I have some awareness of my sinfulness and I go to Him for renewal.

God can renew because He made us new creations in the first place. Daily confession. Daily renewal. There is no supply chain issue with our Creator!

Create in me a clean heart.

Psalm 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Create in me a clean heart.

I love that God is in the business of creating. He takes something from nothing. He takes something wretched and renews it. He takes old bones and breathes life into them. If we look closely at what is going on around us, we will see His creative work.

Here, in southern Indiana, we are experiencing Spring. For me, Spring is a season but also a perspective. I feel rejuvenated. All of creation is abuzz. For some reason, it is easier for me to notice God’s work in the world but also His work on me. He creates

a clean heart …

a new perspective …

the ability to forgive …

opportunities to show His love …

Thank you, Lord, for my clean heart. You scrub the old, crusty, and cantankerous parts away and clean me up. Let me see others through a clean heart today.