Walking To The Cross – Ash Wednesday

Psalm 51:1 – “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.”

As I was praying this morning and asking forgiveness for the of sin in my life, I reflected on Psalm 51. When David wrote this Psalm I know it was the confessions of his personal struggles.  Yet, it seems to have been written specifically for anyone who is truly repentant of their sin. It never ceases to amaze me that God anticipates every struggle we humans have. We have those same old sins that just keep showing up in our life like dogs that get into the trash bags left on the curb every Thursday morning before the garbage truck. I call these sins “Signature Sins.” These sins seem to cling to us and we need to continually go to God for strength to battle them.

I have to constantly remind myself of what King David wrote in Psalms 51. Keep in mind, David is the only man in Scripture described as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). However, he was also a man guilty of terrible sin – sin he was painfully aware of: adultery, murder, bloodshed, etc. In fact, David had broken every single commandment. Guess what? So have you, and so have I. We are a church full of sinners. That is why Jesus walked to the cross and died on it. So our sins could be forgiven.
Questions To Consider:
– Have you ever worshipped an idol? We can idolize money, comfort, achievement, recognition, self-importance, affluence, sports, leisure activities, security…. many things are idols. Is there anyone who has not bowed down to one of these things at least once?
– Have you ever spoken God’s name casually, flippantly, disrespectfully, or without the reverence He deserves? As one church member put it – Have you ever had to buy Pastor Paul a “Caribou Card?”
– Have you ever failed to set aside appropriate time to worship, to rest, and to give God the time He deserves from us? Have you skipped Sunday morning to sleep in, watch a sporting event, or even go shopping?
– Have you ever stretched the truth? Lead someone to believe something and not correct them?
– Have you ever let your eyes wander? Maybe you haven’t committed adultery, but have you ever thought about it?
Prayer for the day:
Gracious and loving God, you know exactly how sin affects us. Jesus taught how sin saturates every aspect of our behavior. Your teaching convicts us and reminds us we need You to forgive us when we fall short. When we approach You it changes the basis of our plea for forgiveness. We come to You today like King David did and we seek true repentance. Repentance that means more than we are sorry.  We want to make an intentional effort to turn away from our sins. Help us this Lenten season to carry our cross and follow you. Help us to make decisions to turn toward you and away from sin. In Jesus name, Amen.
In Christ’s love and service,
Pastor Paul Marzahn