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Monday, May 23, 2022

Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
Brooksyne and Ester have been staying with an elderly friend this last week along Sunset Cliffs Blvd in San Diego but are returning today.
Click on photo to enlarge

"Confession And Forgiveness"

Message summary: The blessedness of forgiveness remains the promise to all who earnestly come to God in belief, confession and repentance. It’s at the very heart of God’s salvation extended to the human race. Accept this generous grace today and proclaim with the Psalmist, “But with You there is forgiveness” (Psalm 130:4). When God forgives He removes the sin and restores the soul!

Podcast not prepared for this message. (hopefully will resume tomorrow)

"Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord'" (2 Samuel 12:13). "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin" (Psalm 51:1,2). "Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1). "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us" (Ephesians 1:7,8).

One of my most memorable ministry moments took place in the church we served in New England in the 90's.  A young man with a rough, gang background began to attend church and in time responded to an altar call. He knelt at the altar, confessed his sin and God’s forgiveness. As he stood up, after pouring out his heart to God at the altar, he looked at me with the biggest, joy-filled smile and said for the whole church to hear, "I feel a h*** of a lot better!"

It certainly was not the “Christianese” language we’re accustomed to hearing in a church setting! But he spoke from his heart and I, along with others who heard him, certainly recognized that the sanctifying work would yet come to our brother and clean up his language over time. Most importantly he had yielded his sinful heart to God and left that day a new man in Christ. His sincere expression of joy and relief is the testimony of all who receive the wonderful forgiveness of God.

Last week we shared several lessons about David’s sin with Bathsheba recorded in 2 Samuel 11. On Thursday we examined Nathan who was sent by the Lord to rebuke David. His brave words, "You are the man!" led to David’s confession, "I have sinned against the Lord".

Nathan pronounced God’s forgiveness when David made his brief confession in 2 Samuel 12, “The LORD has taken away your sin” (v.13).

Psalm 51 is David’s written confession after Nathan's rebuke. It is a psalm of confession and repentance that we can all read and personally apply to our own lives for we have all sinned against the Lord.

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” (51:1,2).  In v. 10 we come to the familiar passage sung in many circles where David earnestly prays, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (51:10-12).

In another Psalm David had written, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered” (32:1).  Whether David wrote this before or after the events of 2 Samuel 11 is immaterial for we all live in constant need of forgiveness, coming short in one way or another of the glory of God.

Writer Erwin Lutzer observes: "When the mask of self-righteousness has been torn from us and we stand stripped of all our accustomed defenses, we are candidates for God’s generous grace."

The blessedness of forgiveness remains the promise to all who earnestly come to God in belief, confession and repentance. It’s at the very heart of God’s salvation extended to the human race. Accept this generous grace today and proclaim with the Psalmist, “But with You there is forgiveness” (Psalm 130:4). When God forgives He removes the sin and restores the soul!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I pray that You would wash me so that I will be whiter than snow. Hide Your face from my sins which are great and dishonor You so much that I can’t bear for You to look upon them. Blot out all my iniquity. O Lord, open my lips and my mouth that will enable me to declare Your praise.  It isn’t the burnt offering that You delight in but the sacrifice of my broken spirit; it is a broken and contrite heart that You desire in me. As I come to You in humility and brokenness of spirit You restore to me the joy of Your salvation much like the new fallen snow that covers the earth. Thank You for being merciful and forgiving. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Prayer adapted from verses in Psalm 51

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Create In Me A Clean Heart"  Video  Keith Green

"I Got Saved"  Video  Selah

"It Was Finished Upon That Cross"  Video  CityAlight

Personal notes:

Today Brooksyne and Ester are returning from their trip to San Diego and are scheduled to arrive in Harrisburg this evening!

Last week I shared about a bike accident I had on Tuesday morning up at Swatara State Park in Lebanon County. I am feeling somewhat better and it seems my many abrasive wounds are healing. I have a follow-up appointment Friday afternoon to discuss the results of the MRI and treatment options.

Saturday Eli James was over to "help" me out (although he did virtually everything). We got my bike out of the van and confirmed the handlebars were not tight, likely causing the bike accident last week. He mowed my lawn, cleared some brush and cleaned the gunk from my gutters.

Mourning dove in gutter
As Eli James was cleaning my gutters (there wasn't much debris) he saw this, a mourning dove nesting. She was blocking the path to the downspout and probably had endured some heavy flooding!

Mourning dove chick in gutter
Mom flew off and James saw this lone chick. Uncertain of the meaning of Deuteronomy 22:6 we left the nest alone and will remove it after the little one leaves.

Finally today:

Swimming pond on Old Windmill Farm
We had a very hot weekend with temps in the mid-nineties. When I took James home to the Old Windmill Farm yesterday afternoon the children were down at the swimming pond. Looks like they're ready to get buzzed by a fighter jet!

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Stephen & Brooksyne

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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