Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 32:1-5’

A Soul Set Free

August 22nd, 2012

“Praise the Lord . . Who forgives all your sins.” Psalm 103:3 NIV

Forgiveness heals your history; grace empowers your destiny.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a soul set free.”

Unforgiven sin is a heavy burden on one’s soul, even for the strongest of men. King David learned that lesson the hard way, “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” Read Psalm 32:3-4 NLT. Clearly, there is not only a spiritual dimension to sin; there are physical, emotional, psychological, and relational consequences to sin as well. Sin produces guilt; guilt breeds shame; shame causes regret. It is overly simplistic, but true, to say that none of those are profitable or desirable.

It is futile to hide sin from God, for He sees and knows all. It is foolish to excuse sin or blame anyone else but yourself and self-destructive to hold onto your sin when God waits to forgive readily. The burden of sin can only be relieved by forgiveness. Forgiveness heals your history; grace empowers your destiny. “Praise the Lord, O my soul . . and forget not all His benefits – Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, and crowns you with love and compassion.” Psalm 103:1-5 NIV.

Listen to David’s joy when rid of the burden of his horrible sins, “Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty . . finally, I confessed all my sins to You and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And You forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” Psalm 32:2/5 NLT. I saw a bumper sticker that correctly read, “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.” There is an unspeakable joy in a soul set free. Read Psalm 124:7-8 NAS.

Forgiveness was made available to you at the Cross when Jesus, the sinless Savior, died for the sins of the world. See John 3:16-21 NKJV. Forgiveness does not erase what you’ve done; it does transform who you are and can change who you become. The only reason sin remains unforgiven in your life is that you allow it to remain unrepented and unconfessed. My dear friend, Campbell, often said, “The only way that sin leaves your life is through your mouth, in confession and repentance to God.” I am sure he was right. The Bible promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” Read 1 John 1:8-10 NKJV.

Be clear about confession. Let’s start with what it is not. Confession is not telling God about your sin; he knew of your sin before you were willing to recognize it as such. Neither is it merely saying to God you are sorry; of course, you’re sorry. God gave you a conscience, an inner sense of right and wrong that troubles your soul when ignored. You are sorry because sin is troublesome to the human spirit. Read 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 NKJV. Confession is not promising God you will do better, although you had best intend to do just that. Confession literally means, “to say along with.” You confess sin when you say the same thing about your sin that God says – that your sin is against His moral and righteous Law, your sin separates you from His fellowship and purpose, and your sin is destructive now and eternally. Read Psalm 51:1-12 NIV.

My prayer for you today is for you to know the joy of a sinless soul and liberated spirit.

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Truth and Honesty

April 27th, 2012

“You, [Lord], desire honesty from the heart.” Psalm 51:6 NLT

“Life is simplest when truth is the only option you will allow yourself.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “truth and honesty.”

Some years ago when I testified before the Federal Communications Commission in Washington DC in regard to an application for a television broadcast license, the church’s attorneys coached me to avoid prefacing my responses to questions with, “to be perfectly honest with you” or “honestly speaking.” They advised that those phrases may wrongly imply that I could be less than honest and truthful in some other comments or occasions. There are times and things that may tempt you to “adjust” truth more conveniently to the moment. Resist such a time or situation.

Sometimes truth and honesty are inconvenient and seem inadequate for what we want. We want people to like us, so we flatter others. We want friends to admire us, so we exaggerate. We want others to be impressed, so we spend money we cannot afford. Truth-telling can have consequence on some few occasions, but dealing less than honestly and truthfully has consequences in your heart and character always. When you selectively speak a little less than the truth, is it still the truth? When you add something of your own opinion to truth, haven’t you made it something less not more? Life is simplest when truth is the only option you will allow yourself. Speaking or hearing the truth about yourself may hurt briefly; speaking the truth about others, however, should never be hurtful. Read Ephesians 4:15 NIV.

There is a valuable principle with which John concludes the New Testament, a warning about adding to or taking away from God’s words that could also be applied to an individual’s regard and handling of truth. See Revelation 22:18-19 NKJV. John says that you need all the truth Scripture provides, and certainly nothing less than that. Every court in our country requires all testimony first to be sworn to with these words: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help you God?” The truth, the whole truth, and nothing less nor more than the truth! How much more should that be always the case with those who profess the name of Christ and dare to speak on His behalf?

Solomon advises, “Truth, wisdom, learning, and good sense – these are worth paying for, but far too valuable to sell.” Proverbs 23:23 TEV. I really like this contemporary translation connecting those four related attributes – truth, wisdom, learning, and good sense! Don’t “sell the truth” for any price. Truth is from God and the prerequisite for “wisdom;” from wisdom “learning” is acquired; and “good sense” is the practical application of what you have learned by experience. Interestingly, truth believed and practiced produces the good sense everyday life needs, and too many people appear to lack.

King David found a situation in his life when he was less than honest and truthful – with himself, which is where the problem always begins, and with others, and ultimately with God. He learned the folly and pain of doing so. See Psalm 32:1-5 NLT. From that painful experience, David wrote, “You (Lord) desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.” Read Psalm 51:1-12 NLT. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NIV. Truth is liberating. Reflect prayerfully on Psalm 139:23 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you will experience the liberating power of truth.

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