Pray we and our children live by conviction

Pray We and Our Children Love the Word and Live by Conviction (Psalm 51:1-12 and Psalm 119:9-11 and 105)

Praying Scripture Series

Prepared and preached on June 3, 2018 for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH

Let’s think about conviction, confession, repentance and forgiveness.

Married for 16 years and with two great kids, Kurt Stansell seems to have it all together. He has a successful investment counseling business, and he’s a founding elder at his church. And he’s a sex addict. Kurt’s the first to admit it.

For years, Kurt struggled with pornography. It started with magazines, but eventually turned into visits to Triple-X theaters and strip joints. Kurt kept repeating a cycle of guilt and remorse, then prayer and repentance, only to find himself back at it again.

Eventually, Kurt found an accountability partner named Stan. At first, Kurt held back, being less than honest about his problem. But when he finally confessed, telling Stan the whole truth, Kurt immediately felt a weight lifted from his shoulders. He was on the road to victory.

“I began to understand what shame does,” Kurt says. “When we Christians try to hide something in the darkness, we give Satan incredible license to work in our lives. So, the more open I could be, the less of a hold Satan seemed to have.”[1]

Today, we are going to have a discussion, a conversation about conviction, repentance and forgiveness. So, to start I want you to think about sometime that you have had to forgive someone else. Maybe you can recall someone disrespecting you in the way that they said something. Maybe you can recall someone stealing something. Maybe, maybe you can recall something like this……. Play nationwide commercial

——————nationwide commercial 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqY0pP6oogQ

But, she really wasn’t an example of forgiveness, Nationwide was or at least they say they forgive. So, have you ever had to forgive someone?

Now, turn it around. Think about conviction. Then, think about repentance.

We are in a sermon series in which I am focusing on Scriptures that I have been convicted to pray for my children, grandchildren and descendants. These are Scriptures that I pray for myself and the churches I serve and the Church universally.

I pray that we are repentant in a Psalm 51 way. I pray that we are convicted in a Psalm 51 way. I also want to squeeze into this sermon that I also pray that we have a Psalm 119 passion for the Word.

So, I will often pray something like:

Father, I pray that myself, Meagan, Mercedes and Abigail as well as their future spouses, also our grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, I ask that we will live by conviction of sins of omission and commission. I ask the we will live by conviction of right and wrong. I pray that we will be repentant like David in Psalm 51 where we can say with David in verses 10-12:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
 

Father God, I also ask that Meagan and I and our descendants will live with a passion for the Word like the Psalmist in 119. May Your Word be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path; may we hide Your Word in our heart so that we do not sin against You.[2] In Jesus’ Name Amen.

My theme today is: Pray that our descendants are men and women of conviction and repentance in a Psalm 51:1-12 way.

Let’s turn to Psalm 51 and read it.

Read Psalm 51:

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

  1. First, let’s talk about conviction as I am using it for this sermon.
    1. One definition of conviction is a strong persuasion or belief.[3]
    2. That is certainly what I pray for myself and our descendants. I pray that our convictions, our strong persuasions and beliefs, are rooted and grounded in the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
    3. Psalm 119:9-11 and 105: How can a young man keep his way pure?
      By keeping itaccording to Your word.
      10 With all my heart I have sought You;
      Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
      11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
      That I may not sin against You. Your word is a lamp to my feet
      And a light to my path.
    4. How do we stay pure? By keeping our life according to the Word. How do we live by conviction? By make the Word of God a part of us.
    5. Another way that I pray that my descendants are men and women of conviction is that they will be convicted of sins and repent. As stated, there are sins of omission and commission. Sins of omission are sins because we do not do something that we should have done. Neglecting something we should have done. Sins of commission are sins that commit like lying or murder. I pray that we are repentant like David in this Psalm 51. Now, let’s get to the Psalm.
  2. Now I want to give you some background to Psalm 51.
    1. Psalm 51 is about David, the famous King of Israel.
    2. David had conquered many enemies of Israel.
    3. David was God’s anointed King of Israel. (1 Samuel 6:13)
    4. But then, in 2 Samuel chapters 11-13 we see King David commit this awful sin, try to cover it up and then he is confronted by the prophet Nathan. David had some free time because the others went out to battle but this time King David, the famous King of Israel stayed home. King David is about to, as Johnny Cash would say, fall into a “Burning Ring of Fire.” During the night David was walking on the roof of the king’s house and he saw this beautiful woman named Bathsheba taking a bath. David had a servant go and get her and David slept with her. Later on she ended up pregnant.
    5. So, David has to cover up this sin. The pregnancy is going to make it known by everyone that she is pregnant but not by her husband. Her husband, Uriah, the Hittite, was away at battle. So, David sent for him. David had him come home and tried to get him to sleep with his wife, Bathsheba. But Uriah wouldn’t. Uriah wanted to be back at the battle.
    6. So then, David sent Uriah back to battle with the message that he be placed on the front lines and the rest of the troops will withdraw from him (2 Sam 11:14).
    7. So, Uriah died in battle.
    8. In this Psalm David had been confronted about this sin of adultery and murder and this is his prayer of confession.
    9. Before we move on I want to quote 1 John 1:9: if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Now let’s look at David’s prayer again
    1. Notice that David asks for God’s grace (verse 1).
    2. he says that He wants God’s grace according to His loving kindness and His compassions (verse 1). David acknowledges who God is. David knows that we have a loving God.
    3. David wants God to blot out his transgression wash him from his iniquity, (verse 1 and 9) cleanse him from his sin. (verse 2 and 10)
      1. This is an instance in the Bible where there are 3 words for sin. They all have separate meanings but very similar. Iniquity is a wicked act or thing. Transgression is crossing a law, sin is missing the mark. David the famous king of Israel is acknowledging in a heavy way that he messed up. In verse 4 he says that he knows his transgression, crossing of the law. In verse 4 he says that he sinned against God and that God is right and a just judge.
      2. David wants this sin to blotted out. The idea of blotting something out is like erasing a contract. David wants his sin to be erased.
  • In a Babylonian text there is a comment that the king may order that the tablet of “my sins be broken.” In Hammurabi’s code an illegal contract for the purchase of a soldier’s home may be canceled by breaking the cuneiform tablet. But this was not usually thought of with a god. This is what David wanted.
  1. David wants to be washed in verse 2 and later in verse 7 he talks about the idea of being washed. In verse 7 he talks about being purified with hyssop which was plant they used to purify uncleanness.
  2. David wants to be cleansed.
  3. Think of the effects of confession and repentance:

By the time Howard Schultz had resigned from Starbucks in 2000, the coffee chain was experiencing steady growth. Eight years later, when Starbucks was reeling from a bad economy and stiff competition, Schultz resumed his role as Starbucks’ chief executive. He faced a challenging mission: to lead a turnaround. In an interview about his return, Schultz commented that before they could move forward, they had to deal with the past by honestly admitting their mistakes. Here’s an excerpt from that interview:

When I returned in January 2008, things were actually worse than I’d thought. The decisions we made were very difficult, but first there had to be a time when we stood up in front of the entire company as leaders and made almost a confession—that the leadership had failed the 180,000 Starbucks people and their families. And even though I wasn’t the CEO…I should have known better. I am responsible. We had to admit to ourselves and to the people of this company that we owned the mistakes that were made. Once we did, it was a powerful turning point. It’s like when you have a secret and get it out: The burden is off your shoulders.[4]

  1. But then in verse 8 David prays for joy again.
  2. David has probably lost the joy because for a year he had this overwhelming guilt of this sin that he committed. Guilt can cause major problems there is even a whole chapter on guilt in Pastoral counseling books.
  3. David asks for a clean heart and a right Spirit. (10)
  4. David asks that he not be cast from God’s presence and that he doesn’t lose the Holy Spirit.
  5. in 1 Samuel 18 and 19 we can see that the Spirit of the Lord had left King David’s predecessor Saul because of sin.
  6. Then in verse 12 David asks for the joy of God’s salvation and a willing Spirit. The Living Translation says “and make me willing to obey Him.
  7. I find this interesting. After confessing David asks for help to keep obeying God.

We live in a society where people focus on the outside but King David focused on the inside. He had messed up. But when David confessed it he went to God. David realized that he couldn’t fix this massive sin on his own. He had to go to God. Then when he went to God, he didn’t make excuses.

  1. He acknowledges his “epic failure.”
  2. He asks for a cleansing
  3. He asks that he doesn’t lose his close relationship with God.

Research psychologists have found there are at least three situations when we are not ourselves. First, the average person puts on airs when he visits the lobby of a fancy hotel. Next, the typical Jane Doe will try to hide her emotions and bamboozle the salesman when she enters the new-car showroom. And finally, as we take our seat in church or synagogue, we try to fake out the Almighty that we’ve really been good all week.[5]

God forgave David. Jesus came from David’s lineage and Jesus died that we all can have forgiveness and a relationship with God. (2 Cor 5:21: God made Him who knew no sin….) Remember what  1John 1:9 says God will forgive us and cleanse us from our sins. If we confess. God will forgive you even if people will not.

Now, we have talked about David’s sin and confession.

How are you doing with repentance and confession?

We need to pray that God helps us, and our descendants, be men and women of conviction. We must ask God to help us to be men and women of conviction in that we know right from wrong and we are grounded in the Bible. But we also must pray for conviction of sins of omission and commission and that we respond like David in repentance.

Luke 9:23

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

 

[1] Gregg Lewis, author of The Power of a Promise Kept. Men of Integrity, Vol. 1, no. 1.

[2] Psalm 119:9-11 and 105

[3] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conviction

[4] Adi Ignatius, “We Had to Own the Mistakes,” Harvard Business Review (July-August 2010), p. 109

[5] Dr. Perry Buffington, licensed psychologist, author, columnist; “Playing Charades,” Universal Press Syndicate (9-26-99)

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