Message Scripture: Psalms 51:1-19
‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.’ Psalms 51:10-12
Greetings Pastor B’s Family,
I hope this message finds everyone doing well. I am excited to find a new devotional series to get into, and I hope that this series will begin drawing more viewers to Pastor B’s Blog. I’m thrilled that the main blog has been viewed by so many, and I hope to find a series that will have the drawing power that 7 Hebrew Words For Praise has had on the main Pastor B’s Ministry Blog.
This devotional series will have 5 messages, and is titled “Acts of Repentance”. It’s my hope that by the end of this series we’ll have a better understanding of what repentance is, what it looks like, and how important repentance is in our relationship with the Lord.
The hope of every message is to help us to have the deep, personal, intimate abiding relationship with the Father. Even though my name is on this ministry that doesn’t mean I want it to be about me…it’s always my hope that God will be glorified and that Jesus will be exalted and that just one person will be encouraged or equipped or encounter God. I always hope that God’s voice is heard through whatever it is I’m writing because THAT is truly the most important thing of all.
So, let’s pray and get into this first of five messages from the “Acts of Repentance” series.
Lord Jesus. I pray that you would make my fingers as that of a pen of a ready writer, writing only of the oracles of You. I ask for the supernatural ability of the Holy Ghost to help me to write with boldness, clarity, power, and purpose. I ask that You would give those who read this ears to hear and hearts that will receive and respond to what You are about to speak through this message. It is my hope that You receive the glory and honor and praise. In Jesus name. Amen & Amen.
Picture Of Repentance
What do y’all think of when you hear the word “repentance“. I know that it’s a word that’s commonly used, but I think it’s one of those terms that really isn’t understood. If you look up the word in repentance you find that it’s a noun, and defined as the following…
the action or process of repenting especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings
1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
2 a: to feel regret or contrition b: to change one’s mind
Repentance is carries with it the sorrow and anguish whatever it is that we have done, and leads us to repent of that sin. A better way to describe what repent means is that we turn away from our sin, and never do it again. We usually describe it as instead of doing a 360 degree turn we do a 180. In military terms that would be an about-face, and just to prove it to you I’ll even give you the definition of “about-face“…
1: a 180° turn to the right from the position of attention
2: a reversal of direction
3: a reversal of attitude, behavior, or point of view
I have to give you one more definition of repentance that fits is with what we’re going to be talking about in this message, and so the other definition that goes along with this message is this…
Okay, now we that we have all the definitions out-of-the-way I think we’re ready to get into this message.
If you take some time to really read Psalms 51 you realize that David illustrates a picture of what repentance looks like. Most people when they hear repentance they think you mean repent. The great thing about this Psalm, however, is that it actually gives us what a repentant heart looks like, the sorrow that goes along with repentance, and then David actually committing to repent of the sin that he’s writing this Psalm of Repentance about.
In fact, if you look in most Bibles (like in mine) it says that Psalms 51 is actually a prayer for cleansing. Cleansing and forgiveness are the end results of repentance because it’s the cleansing and forgiveness and love of God that sets us free from the sorrow and anguish over what we’re confessing to God that we’re repenting of.
For me, one of the most powerful verses in Psalms 51 is verse 12 where David is asking God to “restore unto me the joy of my salvation”, and the reason for that is because I don’t know about you…but I remember back on November 15, 2010 the joy that I had in my heart when God restored unto me the joy of my salvation. I also remember way back when I was baptized in Marine Corps basic training the joy I and peace and how clean I felt walking back to the barracks that day.
Joy is one of the least talked about fruits of the spirit, but I believe next to love that joy is one of the greatest fruits of the spirit. There’s truly a difference between happiness and joy. There are many things that can bring happiness, but true joy comes from being in a right-standing, right relationship with God. It comes from knowing that the Father is pleased with me, and that one day I’m going to see my Savior face to face.
Of course, I could give you a definition of joy (to experience great pleasure or delight), and we know the old song “Trading My Sorrows” that says that we’re trading our sorrows and shame and laying them down for the JOY of the Lord. The lyrics go on to say that JOY is going to be my strength, and though sorrow may last for the night JOY comes in the morning.
You see, this song is also a picture of repentance. There’s shame, guilt, sorrow, remorse, anguish, and sadness that all go into having what we call a repentant heart which carries the emotions of our second definition of repentance that leads us to repent of what’s hindering or keeping us from having that deep, personal, intimate relationship with God that we want.
Repentance often comes after God’s had to discipline us for whatever it is that’s lead us to repentance. Because it’s through confession of our unrighteousness that the Lord forgives us of all unrighteousness, and after that comes the restored JOY of being in a right relationship with God which is what salvation does for us through the Cross and shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen!?!
Is this good? Are you getting a better picture of what repentance looks like? If not, I have a just a few points that will help us wrap up this message, and get it from draft mode to proof-read mode, and hopefully published mode by the end of the night.
Thankfully, I’m working this series along side of You Version like I often do for these messages, and I think that we can take a moment to stop and talk about this…
Psalm 51 is David’s cry to God for repentance for the pattern of sin he engaged in following his transgression with Bathsheba. You can almost picture David on his knees crying out to God at the top of his lungs in asking Him to wash away his sins. This Psalm also offers us a picture of what repentance should look like in our lives.
So, using my own life as an example, and going all the way back to November 15, 2010 I was experiencing what I would call real sorrow and anguish over the fact that I wasn’t living the way God wanted me to and I knew it. I was going through some very difficult times which was really God’s way of disciplining me for trying to do things on my own without consulting Him.
So, God’s discipline lead to some really painful times, but that pain is what drove me to repentance…and when I went up to the altar to lay my life down and repent for not walking with Him…as I said a moment ago I heard God speak to my heart that He loved me and that even though I made a mess of my life He had better things in store and a plan for my life and reminded me that He wanted to use me.
As a side note, God also introduced me to the woman who would become my wife that day. God truly will work everything out for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes. I knew God had a plan for my life and I knew I wasn’t walking according to that plan, and God allowed the things I went through to get me to a point where I was broken and contrite and at the end of myself…so that He could finally get me out-of-the-way and allow Him to do what He’s been wanting to do in…with…and now through my life.
All of this started on Sunday November 15, 2010. It hasn’t always been easy. I haven’t always done things the right way. I’ve had many more moments of sorrow and repentance and brokenness, but I know in my knower that I am truly on the right path and my relationship with God is getting to be deeper and more intimate today than it ever was before, and while I’m learning and growing I’ve begun ministering to God’s people through the ability He gave me to write.
Some people have the gift of gab. I have the gift of being able to write. I haven’t always been this good at writing. I’ve always had the ability to write, but as I’ve given my ability back to God by using it to bring Him glory He’s trained and taught and helped me to become a better writer through the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost.
In some small way I like to think that this is kind of what it was like for those who were sitting down to write the pages of the Bible. Only everything they wrote was God breathed, God inspired, and God spoken. Much of what I write is really understanding and how I’ve experienced and encountered God…and a desire to encourage people to know that if a guy like me can have the kind of relationship and encounters with God I have…anyone can because God’s no respecter of person…and what He’ll do for me He’ll do for someone else…and some times He’ll do it in greater measure.
Writing these messages is really an act of worship and service for me. I do this to bring God glory, but it’s wonderful to know that people all over the world are reading these messages and being equipped and encouraged and edified and even challenged. As I said, it’s always my hope and prayer that you have ears to hear what God is trying to speak to you through these messages.
So…there are a couple of points that I can give as to what the picture of repentance is, and I’m going to give those, see if God has anything else to say, and hopefully get this message wrapped up and published. But first, the four points as they’re given here…
First, David acknowledges his sin.
Next, he asks for forgiveness.
Then, he asks God to renew him.
Finally, he asks God to help him use his sin to teach those who are engaged in sin and are in need of repentance.
As we all know the first step in overcoming a problem is acknowledging and admitting that there is a problem. When I went to the front that morning at church that really changed the course of my life forever, I had already acknowledged to God the night before about how sorry I was that I had strayed so far from Him, and that I truly needed Him to do something to let me know that He had heard me and that He was indeed interested in having this relationship with me that I had always heard about.
So, the night before was when I acknowledged my sin and asked God for forgiveness and asked Him to renew and restore me.
The restoration came in the morning. Though sorrow may last through the night joy comes in the morning. God’s mercies are new every day, God’s faithfulness is new every day, and on the morning of Sunday November 15, 2010 my restoration and renewal came…and as a result the joy of my salvation was restored.
And a few years later I launched this ministry to begin telling people about Jesus and the fact that we can all have a personal, intimate relationship with Him.
See. I acknowledged my sin, I asked for forgiveness, I asked to be renewed, and I asked God to use me to help others.
As I wrap up this message I feel in my spirit that some of you may be at a place in your life where I was on Saturday November 14, 2010. Wow! I feel that really strongly, and I think one of the best things about doing things this way is I don’t have to give an altar call and you don’t have to come to the altar to get alone with God and encounter Him.
There’s grace and mercy and love and forgiveness right here, right now. The Lord’s waiting to restore the joy of YOUR salvation. If I’m talking to you then I want you to get alone with God right now, and I want you to pray this with me…
Father God, I come to You in the name of Jesus. Lord, I acknowledge and confess that I have not been living the way You desire for me to live, and I have not been the person that You have destined for me to be. I have allowed worthless idols and my own lusts to take Your place, I have done things in my own carnal way of thinking, and I find myself before You with this sorrow and anguish over the distance between us. Lord Jesus, I believe and confess that what You did on the Cross was for me, and like David I ask that You would create in me a clean heart, and that You would restore unto me the joy of my salvation. I ask that You would was and cleanse my heart and mind with Your blood, and I thank You for Your grace and mercy and love and forgiveness. I thank You that as Your Word says You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I ask You, Lord God, to use me to help others come to repentance, to give me the courage to share the testimony of what You’re doing, what You’ve done, and rejoice over what You’ve yet to do. Thank You for placing me once again in right-standing with You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen & Amen
Well, glory to God! This is a wonderful way to wrap up the first message of this series. I hope I was able to help give you a better understanding of the difference between repent and repentance. I hope I was able to give you a better illustration of what repentance is and looks like, and now I’m ready to pray and wrap up this message, and give you a few things to think about while you’re waiting for message two of this series.
Thank You, Lord God for teaching us tonight about what repentance looks like through David’s example in Psalms 51. Lord God, I pray for every person that read this message had ears to hear, and hearts that responded to what You were speaking to them through this message. I pray that those that don’t yet know You as their Lord and Savior will begin their journey with You. I pray that those who do know You, and are feeling distant will allow You to sift and prune their hearts to remove those hindrances in their relationship with You. I pray that You would seal in the hearts of Your people what You spoke to them, and that You Word would bring good fruit that will yield a good harvest. I thank You, Lord God, for giving me the ability to write and I thank You for all that You have done, all that You are doing, and all that You have yet to do in…with…and through me. May You receive the glory and honor that Your due. In Jesus name I pray. Amen and Amen.
Final Word From Pastor B
There’s a few final things I need to do before I can officially move this message from draft mode to proofread and publish it. The first thing I need to do is give us all the questions at the end of this devotional and hope that they give us something to think on, meditate upon, pray on, and that God can used to help get us where He wants us, Amen.
- What does repentance in your life look like?
- How could following David’s example of repentance strengthen your relationship with God?
I don’t know what your story is or what your story is going to be, but I do know the One that knows (and so do you). It’s important to understand one thing…David was a believer when He wrote this Psalm. He had a personal, intimate relationship with God, but he allowed lust into his heart and you know the rest of the story with Bathsheba.
How many of you know that we can be saved and still do some stupid things that wind up hindering our relationship with God? These things don’t separate us from Him, but they can wind up keeping us from having an intimate relationship with Him. Which is why repentance and repenting is so important in the lives of believers. Whenever there’s something between us and God the discipline comes to move us to a place of repentance so that our fellowship and relationship with Him can be restored.
The great thing about God is that He truly is no respecter of person. What He did for King David, what He did for me, what He’s done for countless others…He will do for you as well because He loves you and He has good thoughts towards you and He also has a plan for your life.
Did you know that? God loves you and He has a plan (not just a good plan, but a great plan) for your life, and I hope that this message helped get you back on track with your relationship with Him or helped you begin one.
If you need to begin one then all you need to do is get alone and get real with God, and say a simple prayer like this one…
Dear Jesus, Your Word says that if I believe in my heart that what You did on the Cross was for me, and then with my mouth call upon You to be Lord of my life I will be saved, and so right now I declare out loud that I believe in my heart that what You did on the Cross was for me, and I am calling upon You, Lord Jesus to be my Lord and my Savior. I ask You to fill me with Your Spirit, and to help me live for You for the rest of my days. Thank You for saving me and for being my Lord. In Jesus name I pray. Amen and Amen
That’s it…I know it wasn’t really simple. All you really have to say is something like the thief next to Jesus said: “Jesus, I receive and confess You as Lord of my life. In Jesus name Amen”. That’s all that’s needed, but it’s always great to say that out loud so that all the demons and devils in hell can hear you, and just know that every person that accepts Jesus Christ as Lord causes a rejoicing in Heaven because another lost sheep has come home.
Well, friends, there’s one final thing I need to do before I close this message, and that’s ask that if what I write in these messages is a blessing to you that you would consider helping sowing into this ministry. I want you to know that I depends on God’s Provision through YOU, and that if you have been blessed by the posts on this website, we humbly ask you to pray about how you might be led to support with a gift.
You can do that by going to: https://www.paypal.me/christministnwa
Please know that the money that comes into the ministry helps my family, and it helps me to pay what I need to pay in order to keep this ministry online. It’s also going to help fund projects in the future like giving out gift cards at my local Harp’s or Dollar General just to bless people with the love of God.
Also, for anyone that commits to partnering with me with a minimum monthly gift of $10 or more you will get a free copy of my book 7 Hebrew Words For Praise as my way of saying thank you for partnering with me to do what God’s called me to do.
Pastor B’s Ministry and Christlike Ministries NWA is really as grass-roots as it can be. I get the hesitation of sowing into a ministry that’s mainly a blog and done online, but I can assure you that it’s not free to operate this ministry the way I know the Lord wants me to, and as I mentioned I do believe He provides…but He needs you to be the ones that He provides through.
With all that said, it’s finally time to close this message. If you’ve read this all the way to the end, thank you for doing so. I would like to ask you one more favor. If you have been touched or ministered to by this message won’t you first of all write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and then share this message with others. I also hope that you’ll come back and join me for the second message of this five message series.
Thank y’all again for your time. Thank you in advance to anyone who sows into the ministry. Thank you as always for your prayers and patience and encouragement. I know without a doubt that I couldn’t do what God’s called me to do without you. I’d still be writing these messages whether God’s the only One that reads them or not, but it’s nicer knowing that there are people on the other end that will hopefully be blessed by what they read, Amen!?!
I love and appreciate y’all very much. For now, it’s time to save and proofread this mess, LOL.
Blessings & Grace to you ~ Pastor B