August 12 - God Longs to Forgive

By Nancy Stevens

Today's Scripture: Psalm 32:1-11

Central Thought: Unconfessed sin produces a guilty conscience and a joyless life.

    David had lived on both sides of God's law. He had rightfully refused to murder King Saul, even though Saul was pursuing him and trying to kill him. Yet, later, David had committed adultery and murdered Uriah to cover up his sin. He had experienced the Holy Spirit's conviction and still refused to repent.

    David was well acquainted with the misery of living with unconfessed and unforgiven sin. 'When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3, NIV). God's hand was heavy upon him day and night; David's sin sapped his strength.

    Finally, David confessed his sin and experienced the joy of God's forgiveness. He knew that the Lord's unfailing love once again surrounded him (v. 10). When facing trouble, he could confidently trust that God would protect him and be his hiding place (v. 7).

    If we refuse to acknowledge our sin, we will experience the misery of a nagging conscience, a troubled mind, and a joyless life, just as David did. Yet God faithfully offers His gracious gift of forgiveness if we are willing to humble ourselves, confess our sin, and obey.

    Sin builds a wall between us and God, but repentance knocks it down. If you know there is something between you and God, why not confess it immediately and receive again the joy of your salvation.

Devotional Prayer: Father, I acknowledge that You have been convicting me of a specific sin, and I confess it to You now. Please forgive me and help me to walk in obedience to You.

Today's Bible Reading: Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:25-40; Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7