You Try So Hard, But…

You’ve blown it again.

You’ve blown it again. You’re trying, but with your imperfect raw materials, you can’t live the way you want to live, the way God’s righteousness demands that you live. You have proved once again that it is impossible for you to measure up to God’s standard of perfection.

You’re not alone; look at King David. He was a womanizer and a murderer. He played political games. Yet God called him a man after his own heart. How is that even possible? And after his biggest mistakes, he prays like this:

Listen to this prayer of mine, God; pay attention to what I’m asking. Answer me—you’re famous for your answers! Do what’s right for me. But don’t, please don’t, haul me into court; not a person alive would be acquitted there. . . I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away, my heart heavy, like lead. Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before you. . . Save me from my enemies, God—you’re my only hope! Teach me how to live to please you, because you’re my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland. Keep up your reputation, God—give me life! In your justice, get me out of this trouble! In your great love, vanquish my enemies; make a clean sweep of those who harass me. And why? Because I’m your servant

Psalm 143, The Message

God loved David. Because David believed in God’s promised redemption, David knew and experienced that love and forgiveness daily .

God loves us, too. Believe it! We live in a time when this redemption has already taken place–Jesus Christ our Savior paid for our sins with his death, and then He conquered death. This is the great gospel message:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:16-18, NIV

It’s not our strength that saves us, that makes us eligible for God’s grace and salvation. It’s His love, His pathway, His power. All we have to do is believe it.

Let’s explore these truths:

  • Are you still living with the weight of your sins on your shoulders?  Is that the way God intends us to live? Read the following verses and talk about how we can leave worry at God’s feet.
    • “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7, The Message)
    •  “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, The Message)
    • “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. (Psalm 55:22, The Message)
  • David committed terrible sins—adultery and murder, yet he was a man after God’s own heart.
    • I’m a good person, treat others with respect, earn my own way; I’m even a philanthropist. My sins are nothing compared to David’s, so what’s the big deal about confession?
    • In David’s life, how did his sin of adultery lead to murder? Do you think he entered the situation of adultery thinking that he would kill to continue his pleasure?
    • Does a similar progression of sins happen in our lives?

Turn to Psalm 51 and make this your prayer today.

Picture by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.

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