[23APRIL2012] Eastertide Devotional Series

[23APRIL2012] Eastertide Devotional Series

I will be posting this devotional series as part of my Eastertide reflections for the next three weeks (see this link for other installments in the series). Each week of this devotional series focuses on a specific theme (week one: brokenness, week two: repentance, and week three: renewal). I hope you’ll enjoy the series and I invite you to comment here on the blog or email me direct; I would love to hear your thoughts.

Renewal: Week 3 | Day 2

Scripture Reading: Psalm 51:5-13

“We must imitate Christ’s life and his ways if we are to be truly enlightened and set free from the darkness of our own hearts. Let it be the most important thing we do, then, to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ” -Thomas `a Kempis

Psalm 51: I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.  6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.   7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.  9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.  10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.  13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you

The past two weeks have been exercises in exploring and recognizing our brokenness and our need for repentance (realizing our need for change; turning around from our wrong, self-guided direction, and moving always and progressively on a path with God, and continually closer, toward God).

Spiritual renewal without the prerequisite acknowledgment of one’s brokenness and accompanying action of repentance is futile and impossible. A person might begin the outward expressions and disciplines for renewal, but without the aiding guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God leading the way, those efforts will result in frustration, deception, and ultimately be disastrous.

Illustrated in the prayer of David (Psalm 51) we witness the broken and contrite heart of a man who understands his condition. David despairs over his emptiness of soul as he realizes he stands defiled and guilty before God. He cries out to God for restoration renewal, knowing that God alone is his source for salvation, purpose, and eternal fulfillment. We share the same plight and are in the same need of renewal. Our prayer and our plea should echo similarly as David’s prayer; “Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to those who rebel against you and do not know you…and they will return to you.”

Have you realized areas of your life that have “cooled” in their fervor for God? During the past couple weeks, have you sensed apathy, complacency, or indifference toward your own spirituality? Has your heart ever burned passionately for God? Does it still? Do you want to be “on fire” for God. Do you need renewal?

Our Prayer: Lord God, today I recognize my brokenness. I do not want to make excuses for the areas I have fallen short or failed. I want to be responsible and accountable for my actions and my lack of action. Therefore, today I profess my sin and my weakness as my own. And I make the prayer of David my own as well… (read the passages above from Psalm 51:5-13 and make them your own words and prayer).

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