Sunday, 21st August 2016: External religious activity cannot replace repentance!

Scripture Reading: Psaim 51:16-17
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

 

Reflection: In this Psalm, David shows the way for what real repentance is. He wrote this Psalm after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed to cover his sin (2 Samuel 11). It was his cry to God for forgiveness. He discovers that there is nothing we can offer God to appease Him when we have sinned. The only thing God desires at the moment we have sinned is our true repentance. God will never look out for any (animal) sacrifices from us apart from true repentance. This is what many people miss. Rather than genuinely repent, they try to do something externally such as give more offering, offer their services more, pray more, or busy themselves in other religious activity in the hope that God will finally get over what they did wrong.The entire Psalm 51, proves that God wants nothing of that. External religious activity can never and will never replace repentance. A broken spirit and a contrite heart refer to brokenness over our own sin, agreeing with God about how bad our sin is and going before God in absolute repentance where we end up forsaking our sinful ways. Don’t ever forget that external religious activity cannot replace repentance!

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me maintain a broken spirit and a contrite heart before you.

Confession: I know that external religious activity cannot replace repentance. I will always maintain a broken spirit and a contrite heart before God. I will never loose my fellowship with God.

 

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