READ: Psalms -51
THINK: How do you measure the significance of your life? Some people determine their worth by their wealth. Others measure success by the people they know or things they've done. But none of those things are stable enough to stake your life on. And nothing in this world is worth enough to compensate for a life that's spent on the wrong things. Your life-any person's life-is of such great value to God that only He could provide the ransom (:8) to free us from slavery to sin and death (:15) and restore the purpose for which He created us.
RESPOND: Why is it useless to trust in riches or anything else this world has to offer? (See :1-20 note.) What eventually happens to those who measure their lives by how much they have, what they can do or how well they are known? How does this contrast with those who live to accomplish God's plans? (See :1-20 note.) What warning does God give to those who pretend to be devoted to Him and claim the promises of His Word, but at the same time they ignore His commands and conform to worldly ways? (See 50:16-23 note.) Who wrote Psalm 51 and what were the circumstances? (See ch. 51 title note.) In what way does this psalm serve as both a warning and an encouragement? Why was the psalm writer confident of finding mercy from God? (See 51:1-19 note.) Why is it sometimes difficult to "feel" forgiven? (See 51:3 note.) What does it mean that we are "sinful at birth" (51:5)? (See 51:5 note.) With what attitudes should we approach God when we're in need of mercy and forgiveness? What did David want God to do with his heart and spirit, and how would this happen? (See 51:10 note.) Why was David so desperate that God wouldn't take His Holy Spirit away? (See 51:11 note.) What did David promise to do if God restored him (51:13,15)? What does it mean to serve God with a "broken and contrite heart" (51:17), and why is this necessary?
PRAY: Give God thanks for His mercy and forgiveness. Thank Jesus for being your Source of trust and for giving His life to restore your purpose. Give thanks to the Holy Spirit for His life-transforming power, presence and joy.
ACT: Are you measuring your life by any standard other than your relationship with God or relying on anyone or anything more than God for success, security or satisfaction? If so, make an immediate change in your priorities, even if this means altering your lifestyle, rearranging your commitments or getting rid of a spiritual distraction.
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