The Repentance

Day 1

Read Psalm 51

This Psalm is so heavy and full of content.  It is a great teacher of how to repent.  And since we need that, let’s let it be before us for at least three days this week?  David was really holding on to some incredible wisdom in the middle of a seemingly wisdom-less event in his life.  He asks for five things in the middle of this Psalm.

What do you think it means to have God create in us a “clean heart?”

What does it mean to have a steadfast or right spirit?

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in repentance the way that you understand it?

How have you needed to ask God for a willing spirit in your life?

Where are any of these things needed in your life right now and how can you make that your prayer?

Day 2

Read 2 Samuel 12

David is confronted by Nathan the prophet and everything is brought into confession.  It was this event that led to David writing Psalm 51, as we looked at it yesterday.  We will talk more about this story in next week’s sermon.  

Why did God send Nathan to David?

How does Nathan confront David about his sin that seems a bit different from how you have seen people approach others before?

Is there anything that you can learn from this approach?

Why not share some of the thoughts on the app with the others that are following the devotions?

Day 3

Read Psalm 51

We are reading it again because it has a lot more to glean.  Let’s be honest, we are terrible at knowing how to deal with or even how to approach our guilt and shame.  Our approach is to run and hide or just pretend like it wasn’t there.  I wonder how many of our relationships over the years are just left out there with undealt with baggage and bitterness?  We don’t want that.  So we learn more from David in this Psalm.

Focus on verse 6 and 17

What do you think David means with the phrase “truth in the inward being?”

How have you seen that on display and how have you seen the opposite of that?

When were you a victim of that or a perpetrator of that idea?

What do you think David means by “wisdom in the secret heart?”

Can you tell the difference between a “broken heart” and a person that seems to be putting it on?  What are those differences?

What does a broken spirit look like and how could this be a good thing?

Day 4

Read Psalm 31

This is another Psalm that David wrote in the vein of repenting of something.  If you read it carefully, you will pick up on some of those themes.  In the week’s to come, we will explore a few more of these type of Psalms known as “penitential psalms.”  Most of the time, we only think of Psalm 51, but there are more.  Which means that David, this man after God’s own heart, had more than one moment when he admitted that he was wrong.  

When was the last time that you confessed a sin to God?  Not kind of confessed, or just saw it, but admitted that you were wrong and took responsibility and blame for your actions and asked for forgiveness?  

How do we get better at a discipline like this?  I would argue that few of us are really “good” at this.

When was the last time that you feel you could somewhat relate to verses 9-10?

What in your life right now should you be sorrowful and repentant over?

How does this become your prayer for today?

Day 5

Read Psalm 51

David saw his repentance as a personal thing.  But he also saw his sin in light of the world around him.  He was not so self absorbed that he thought it was only his life that was tangled in the web of troubles that he had spun.  His promise toward the end of the Psalm about using this to teach others is very interesting and maybe one perspective that we don’t really give attention to in our lives.  So let’s think about that idea and the idea of our sins in the communities that we are a part of. 

How do you think David’s restoration from these sins could be used to “teach transgressors” God’s ways and cause sinners to return to God?

David says that his tongue will “sing aloud of God’s righteousness.”  When we are processing our faults and failures, we tend to find the reasons why what we did wasn’t as bad as it sounds or why the other person’s behavior made us do something, and therefore cheapen or lessen the guilt we feel.  How is singing aloud of God’s ‘right’eousness different than that?

“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

How would you explain what David means here to someone new to the idea of repenting?

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