April 1

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.”

Scripture: Psalm 51: 13-19

 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
       and sinners will turn back to you.

 14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
       the God who saves me,
       and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

 15 O Lord, open my lips,
       and my mouth will declare your praise.

 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
       you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
       a broken and contrite heart,
       O God, you will not despise.

 18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
       build up the walls of Jerusalem.

 19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
       whole burnt offerings to delight you;
       then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
When our boys were little, I remember the immediate joy that returned in them after they had been disciplined for an “attitude problem.” One little guys words were, “Daddy, I feel happy again!” Our family rule was that the offense would not be mentioned again. There would be no, “Look what you did again!”  The God-quality of forgiveness includes forgetting. Like our boys, King David returns to joy in the Lord. His mouth is again open in praising God. He makes a beautiful distinction concerning God’s perspective. God’s greatest joy is not in receiving the offering of a sacrifice, however necessary and wonderful that is in worship. The joy in God’s heart came from the humble, broken heart of David, the worshiper, who was making the sacrifices. Even from the first Genesis recording of the sacrifices of Cain and his brother Abel, God’s words to Cain were, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Communion with the Lord was the central significant factor in sacrificial worship. While offering of the Old Testament sacrifice was necessary and of a significance of the first order, the ultimate point was the heart of the worshiper. Have you noticed the qualities of heart God is looking for? A truthful heart, a humble heart, a transparent heart, a heart like the heart of Jesus is what God is looking for. Honestly, how truthful, humble, and transparent are you with the Lord?  As you pray, ask the Lord to reveal his perspective on your heart.

Music: “Father of My Heart”       Fernando Ortega


Hymn: Come, Ye Disconsolate                             -Thomas More 1824

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,                                                                                                  Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.     Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish.  Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, Light of the straying,                                                                                                          Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure,        Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure.”

Prayer: Take, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask
―Ignatius Loyola 1491-1556