Monday, February 18, 2013
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Psalm 17, 1 Chronicles 21:1-17, and 1 John 2:1-6
King David decided that he wanted a census of fighting men in the country. We don’t think much about such things; by constitutional law we in the U.S. have a census every ten years. It’s not that big of a deal. However, David’s census wasn’t in order to figure out representation or anything like that. It was to stroke David’s ego. He wanted to know how many soldiers he had so he could go to war.
God was displeased by this. When David went ahead with his plan, God sent a prophet to tell David he had sinned and would face the consequences. God gave David a choice between three years of famine, three months of enemy oppression, or three days of plague. David chose the plague.
Even though David was a sinner, the Bible describes him as “a man after God’s own heart.” Every time we see David going against what God wants, we also see David repenting. Every time he messed up, he had a change of heart and prayed for God’s forgiveness.
We mess up, too. Lent is a season where we can look at ourselves and see where we have gotten away from God, so that we can tell God we’re sorry. And just like God always forgave David, God will always forgive us. Then, once we’re forgiven, God will give us the grace to not make the same mistake twice. But even if we make the same mistake time after time, God still forgives.
How has God forgiven you in the past? Have you made the same mistakes over again? Are there any areas where you consistently go against what God wants? Take some time to pray about this, asking God to show you where you mess up and what you can do about it. Ask him to help you not make those mistakes again. Write your own prayer.