REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was originally posted on May 7, 2013. Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Create in Me a Clean Heart”
Psalm 51:10-12 (ESV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Create in me a clean heart. The word “create” here is the Hebrew verb bara, which is used in Genesis 1 for the creation of the heavens and earth by God. It describes what only God can do: to create ex nihilo, out of nothing. When David asks God to “create” a pure heart in him in v. 10, basically, he is asking for nothing less than a miracle; something that only God can provide. David is acknowledging that this re-creation must be creation out of nothing.
Cast me not away. Davis is worried that he might again fall into sin even if God re-creates a new heart in him. He prays for a steadfast spirit. David’s prayer also shows that the Holy Spirit still indwells in him. There is eternal security for those who are in Christ. We cannot lose our salvation. David may not so much be talking about a possibility of losing his salvation, but more so, he is acknowledging that he is unable to live a holy life without God. He is asking for divine help.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation. It is not salvation that David has lost, but the joy of it. As long as we live in sin, there is no joy. Our fellowship with God is broken experientially. Now that he has repented, David has found cleansing, is seeking a renewed spirit, and he wants to have that joy again.
Prayer: Father, I need You alone to create in me a clean heart. I can’t do it on my own. Forgive me of my sins so that I may regain the joy of Your salvation. I cannot do anything apart from You. Help me to live the holy life to which You are calling me. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Esther 10
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 2:11-13 (ESV): Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Questions to Consider
- How does this passage describe our spiritual condition apart from Jesus (v. 12)?
- What is the significance of Paul saying that we have been brought near by the blood of Christ, not the death of Christ?
- A South American Indian told the missionary who led him to Christ the following: “When I was living in the jungle, we never knew a day without fear. When we woke up in the morning, we were afraid. When we went out of our houses, we were afraid. When we walked along the river, we were afraid. We saw an evil spirit in every stone and tree and waterfall. And when night fell, fear came into our huts and slept with us all night long.” Without Christian truth, darkness and fear settles upon the land and people’s hearts. How thankful we ought to be that God has called us out of such darkness! Take a moment to remember that were it not for God’s grace in Christ, we would be unable to experience His peace & love.
- Apart from the gospel being brought to us, we would be “separated from Christ, alienated from believers, without any hope and without God in the world.” Without any light in our darkness, we would still be living in that condition. But now, having once been far off, we have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
- It isn’t merely through the death of Christ, but Paul says that it is the blood of Christ. It is significant that he uses that term since death is not always bloody, that is, one can die without shedding blood. But the Bible speaks of the death of Christ, and more often of the cross of Christ, yet even more so, it speaks of the blood of Christ. We don’t like to think of the cross of Christ as being bloody, but God emphasizes it because blood is always a sign of violence. The death of Jesus is not just a simple passing away—dying of old age on a comfortable bed. No, it is a violent death, a bloody scene—a man hanging by his flesh, torn and tattered, with blood gushing down from pierced legs and hands. God wants us to remember that violent death, because violence is the final expression of a godless society. He is reminding us that when humanity had done its worst, God’s love reached down to that very place, calling back those who were far off and bringing them near to him—through the blood of Christ.
- Personal response
Since God has already taken us from complete spiritual darkness to bring us near to him by the blood of Christ, how much more is he willing and able to help us in the present? Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” After thinking about your current prayer requests and considering every possible scenario in which God could answer, write a prayer of thanksgiving, acknowledging that God’s will and plan for our lives are perfect. We can learn to be thankful in all circumstances, all the more when we remember that His plan for our lives is good and unfailing.
Prayer: Father, I thank You that I have been delivered from the darkness and brought near to You by the precious blood of Your Son. Amen.