Readings: Psalm 106: 1-6 and Philippians 4: 7-9
Keys verses: We have sinned… we have done wrong and acted wickedly (Psalm 106:6). Whatever is true… right… pure… lovely… admirable… think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
Pairing today’s readings together yields a wonderful truth for our lives. The Psalm leads us to seek a repentant heart, to admit our sins to God, to begin again to walk in step with His ways. We are all sinful creatures, living in a world that is full of temptations and that glorifies many sins. Satan is always at work in our lives, trying to pry his way into our hearts and minds, working on our bodily passions as well as our human frailties and weaknesses. It is no wonder we occasionally sin. However, it cannot stop there. We cannot live with or in our sin. Each day we must come before God to be honest with God and ourselves, to name our sins, to repent and seek His forgiveness for this time and God’s strength for the next time. To do all this is essential because it makes space for God in our lives as it clears away all the gets in the way of our relationship with Him.
Paul speaks of what can fill this space created by confessing our sins. Into that space created by releasing our sins and inviting God into our lives, Paul suggests we think about the things of God. He writes, “Whatever is true… right… pure… lovely… admirable… think about such things”. When we train our minds to focus on these things, then we begin to see the world, ourselves, and others as God sees them. This will help us to walk as Jesus walked – loving God and loving neighbor. Walking this way will not only strengthen us in our battle with Satan, it will also lead us to have a thankful and grateful heart within us. Once we are emptied, then He can fill us up.
When we honestly confess our sins and empty ourselves of these burdens, then we are opening ourselves up for God’s participation in our lives. This is my prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right Spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). May it be so today.