April 15, 2011

Pardon Me
T. Suzanne Eller

"O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you." Psalm 69:5 (NLT)

Devotion:
You love Christ, but you've blown it. Again. Maybe it makes you wonder if this "faith life" is even possible. Or is it just for perfect people who seem to have it all together?

Sometimes sin is a taboo topic, but I'm not sure why. It messes with our lives and knocks us off course. Let's take an honest look at it, and what to do when it happens.

In our key verse, King David is aware of his sin. He also knows that others are aware of his sins. That's a hard place to be. It may make you want to run and hide. It may cause you to turn away from the love of the Savior because you feel "less than."

Despite what others believe or think about him, David passionately loves God. He wants to serve Him, and longs for intimacy with God. Perhaps it is this characteristic, more than any other, that he is remembered as a man with a "heart after God."

Notice how David goes right to the Source. He is at the end of his own strength, but he is also cognizant of God's strength. David doesn't pull punches or try to hide from God, but stands in the wilderness and cries out to God, his Healer, his Redeemer, the One who pardons his sin.

How many times do we miss out on God's grace because of our feelings of inadequacy? Yet worshiping God has nothing to do with our worth, but everything to do with His. We walk into worship with our hearts soiled, but walk out cleansed because of His sacrifice.

Perhaps you'll have to prove to people that you've changed (that may be part of the growth process), but God promises that our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west. You don't have to prove anything to Him after you've asked for forgiveness; just follow Him daily as He shows you how to take the next step.

David cries out, "Rescue me from the mud; don't let me sink any deeper! (Psalm 69:14a, NLT). We sink deeper when we turn away from God because of embarrassment or shame.

We find freedom when we cry out and receive the pardon of our Savior who reaches out for us. He longs to redeem our life and give us everything we need to live with freedom, hope, forgiveness, purpose and direction.

Dear Lord, I've sinned and I let it distance me from You. My faith is not about my strength, but living in Your love and strength. Restore the joy of my salvation. Fill me up with Your love one more time. Cleanse my heart and draw me close as I reach for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Suzie's blog or her Live Free Facebook group for community, encouragement and a weekly Bible study video.

The Woman I Am Becoming by T. Suzanne Eller

A Perfect Mess: Why You Don't Have to Worry About Being Good Enough for God by Lisa Harper

Confessions of a Good Christian Girl: The Secrets Women Keep and the Grace that Saves Them by Tammy Maltby

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Application Steps:
In Psalm 69, David shows us how to address sin:
• Honestly cry out to God (verses 1-4)
• Don't hide your sins (verses 5-8)
• Don't let the opinion of people keep you from God's grace (verses 9-12)
• Ask God for His strength (verses 13-19)
• Trust that God is bigger than your feelings (verses 20-28)
• Praise Him (verse 29-36)

Reflections:
"The primary reason we lose faith is because we forget the faithfulness of God. Maybe that's why the word 'remember' is repeated 250 times in Scripture." - Mark Batterson

Today: Remember His love. Receive His pardon. Reflect on His sacrifice and love.

Power Verses:
Psalm 69:33, "For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people." (NLT)

© 2011 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

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