Clean and Renewed (Ps. 51)

Create in me a clean heart Oh God, and RENEW a right spirit within me.  (Psalm 51:10-19)

I read a blog by the eloquent author and Cuban Assemblies of God church historian, Octavio Ríos,  (you can click on his blog in Spanish here:  https://octavioriosblog.blogspot.com/2020/05/crea-en-mi-oh-dios-un-corazon-limpio.html) He writes about the effects of conscious and subconscious memories on our behavior as adults, and how one of the most invasive subconscious effects on our behavior is sin.  He ties that thought carefully into Psalm 51. 

The psalmist asks God to create, to renew, to restore, to uphold and to deliver.  Notice the results of all of that: transgressors will learn God’s ways, sinners will be converted, with our mouths we will sing praises about God’s righteousness, we will have a broken spirit and a contrite heart, and we will do good for His good pleasure.

In this time of sickness and death and significant loss of economic income, it would be easy to let those things overtake our hearts and have them be etched in our memories in such a way that we are left paralyzed, unable to move or speak.  The grief of watching the losses people are experiencing around the world is overwhelming. 

And yet the Psalmist wanted to remind us that we can ask God to put new memories in our heart, to renew a right spirit, so that we end up teaching and doing good works for the benefit of others and in turn, for the pleasure of God.  Isn’t that what the Kingdom is about? 

Missionaries and people of God all around the world are doing what they can to meet the needs of others.  Sometimes that means teaching a class in Zoom.  Sometimes it involves purchasing, organizing and dropping off food and supplies for people in need.  Sometimes it means preaching to a screen and praying that all who need to hear the message will do so. Sometimes it means spending more time on the phone or giving generously. It definitely means increased prayer and study of the Word. 

The Kazims are tutoring kids at a disadvantage over Zoom, meeting with pastors over Zoom, teaching classes over Zoom, participating in preaching and other ministries online, and organizing relief supplies for pastors who are doctors and nurses in Mexico. They are on the front lines of Covid treatment.  Continue to pray for all of our front line workers. The above picture is of Doctor Suárez in full protective gear, made possible by your giving.

God designed us to work together in community, to produce clean hearts, to be renewed, and to sing praises about who He is and what He has done for us.  Today I look at this Chiapaneco purse, a gift from dear friends, who let me know with this gift that they know and walk with us in our love for Mexico.

We have been reminded time and time again by the messages, emails, letters and generosity of others that God is in the business of creating and renewing, restoring and upholding, and delivering.  Despite the destruction from Covid, in the end, God’s righteousness wins. We are reminded in so many ways about that, and yes, we will sing about that very thing.  

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