Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mercy triumphs over justice.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

The ashes of my life have been redeemed, for mercy has triumphed over justice. God, in his infinite love, has fulfilled the demands of justice Himself, and mercifully offered Himself to take my place in paying the consequence for my actions.

And what can I do in return for this mercy? I can live in it. I can accept it for the free gift that it is, and honor the One who gave it.

So, as I enter into this period of fasting, I will temper it with feasting. I will fast from self-gratification, and I will feast in spiritual discipline. I will fast from the things of this life, and I will feast on the things of God.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 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 rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

~Psalm 51:1-17

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