Monday, March 11    

Scripture: Psalm 51:3-4

3 For I know my transgressions,
       and my sin is always before me. 

 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
       and done what is evil in your sight,
       so that you are proved right when you speak
       and justified when you judge. 

Some thoughts:

     Have you ever thought, “Sure I messed up, but it’s not that big a deal. No one got hurt too badly. I’ll just keep a low profile and things will get back to normal. I’ll eventually feel better in my heart. Just give it time for the guilty feeling to go away.” King David would not have gone along with such thinking! Though we go on with life and try to lose guilt by getting busy in the next thing and hoping others will calm down, that method of dealing with my sin does not really work. How do I know this is the truth, . . . personal experience. All sin matters to a holy God.

     David thinks, “I know my sins and they won’t go away. They wear on me. I think about them sub-consciously and I can’t get rid of them.” Have you had times when a relentless “cloud on a string” followed you day after day? It didn’t go away, did it? David’s key in dealing with the mess he was in, was acknowledging that his sin was not only against a man but also against God. Confession to others we have sinned against and asking their forgiveness is important. But David also confessed what he had done was wrong in God’s sight, the only one who’s sight ultimately matters.  

     As we reflect on our own journey with the Lord during these days of the Lenten season, are we cognizant that the sin in our lives, while at times is against other people, is also ultimately against God? Is confession to the Lord for having sinned against him also a part of our prayer? It was so with David. In his words, “against you, you only, have I sinned.” David makes clear that he adopts God’s view of his wrongdoing. As we deal with tempting situations, looking at them from God’s viewpoint, is a great clarifier. Since all sin is against God, he is the only one who can solve our unsolvable problem. He alone paid the penalty. His forgiveness is the one that counts the most.

Music: “Jesus Paid It All” Fernando Ortega 


God of compassion, you are slow to anger and full of mercy, welcoming sinners who return to you with penitent hearts. Receive in your loving embrace all who come home to you. We confess that we have been wayward children. We have disobeyed your commands; our ears have been deaf to your call; our hearts have been cold to your love. In thought, in word, and in deed we have hurt others and dishonored your name. Receive us yet again as your beloved children, not because we are worthy, but for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us. Amen.    —The Worship Sourcebook, p.562, adapted Daniel Sharp