Psalm 51:16-19 NLT
 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.  Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  Then, you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit— with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar
These words remind me of the times as a parent, I have directed one of our children to apologize for something they have done wrong. Most of the time, I have to tell them to do it again, but this time do it as if they mean it. Why do we do that? The reason they struggle to ask for forgiveness is often that at that moment, they are not sorry. It would be much better to give me time to time about it and apologizes when they are ready. Shoot, I’m not particularly eager to apologize on demand. King David’s words here shift in their focus to be the people of Israel. As much as it was the custom to make sacrifices at the temple, God requires that our hearts be sincere when we come seeking God’s grace and forgiveness.
Where in your life do you struggle to have a broken spirit when it comes to seeking God’s forgiveness?
Keep a Holy Lent!
Psalm 51:7-15 NLT
 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. …
One problem we run into when we practice a Lenten discipline, such as daily reading this devotion, is it can quickly turn into something that we force ourselves to do. Self-discipline is not always a bad thing, for, without it, many people would never be able to hold down a job or finish any project they begin.
However, did you notice in David’s prayer of repentance he acknowledges that only God can bring about the transformation of a “clean heart” as he desires? Don’t stop your Lenten spiritual disciplines but approach your actions or fasting from a place of dependence and gratitude for how God is transforming and healing you. Remember, you are mere dust, and it is God who cleans us and make us whole again.
Where in your life do you need to remember that only God is God, and we are not?
Keep a Holy Lent, Pastor Josh
Psalm 51:1-6 NLT
 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.
Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, was the beginning of a season where the people of God focus on seeking repentance in their lives. Think about your most important relationships, what prevents you from admitting when you are wrong and asking for forgiveness when necessary?
For myself, it is often the defense mechanism that does not want to admit that I did something wrong. We are often scared to do so because it makes us feel weak, which is a lie that we all believe at some point. This season is a time to push past that fear and embrace our sin and brokenness honestly.
David learns this lesson the hard way here but notice what he writes in verse 6: “But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.” When I read this, I become aware of not only my sin but also my temptation, to be honest about this sin. When we do this, it keeps us blind to the ways we need to grow as the children of God and the community of saints.
Today reflect on the places inside you that you are willfully blind to the sin in your life and how you have lied to cover it up?
Keep a Holy Lent,