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Pastor Chris Olson: Morning Devotion 08/16/21

It’s All Connected

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10


The word trial by its definition does not immediately bring about a positive emotion. A trial or trials can come in many forms. A trial can involve a myriad of things, finances, health, relationships, or all of the above.

A trial can occur without warning, last for an undetermined amount of time and be costly. A trial can require the expenditure of personal and financial resources.

It is no wonder that the word trial does not illicit a sense of joy.

Trials are a part of life. A Christian does not get a pass or an exemption. Trials do have value, and they do play a significant role in our spiritual development. If they didn’t God would not allow them to cross our path.

God has a purpose and a plan for every believer. A trial in one’s life can play a significant role for the individual, for the body of Christ, and for the unbeliever. God, however, does offer His comfort and presence in and through trials.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 states the following:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Way back some forty plus years ago, a guy named Keith Green wrote a song “Create in Me a Clean Heart” with the lyrics taken from Psalm 51.  It’s a great song that occasionally will still find its way back into a worship set……many times spontaneously.  Here are the simple lyrics to the song:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me, the joy of Thy salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.

This is great prayer in song for spiritual cleansing and renewal, and I really don’t want to detract from that……but did you notice that in this one stanza the word “me” is used eight times?   In North American Churches, well over 90 percent of all of our resources stay within our own churches….to build and to bless!  Thankfully Grace has more of an outward focus than most, but in general, we are self-centered creatures in a very self-centered culture, and it certainly bleeds over into our churches, and yet Jesus lived a very selfless life, a very clear example for us to follow.   Now I’m not saying that Psalm 51 or this great old song are promoting self-centeredness.  What I want to point out today is that there is more to Psalm 51 than these three verses of the chapter that make up this song, and the very next verse makes all of the difference……literally all of the difference in the world!

To periodically examine oneself is a good thing, but we are never going to “fix” ourselves by fixing our eyes on ourselves.  The Lord will complete the work that He has begun in us (see Philippians 1:6).  He is Faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (see I John 1:9).  When we get our focus off of us and trust Him to transform us, I believe it allows Him to conform us to His image much more easily.

So back to Psalm 51 and that very next verse after the prayer for a clean heart.  Verse 13 says “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”   That, my friends, is our purpose for being here.  Our future has been secured by Jesus Christ and our ultimate perfection is sure.  If we can have the joy of salvation restored in us our spirits will be renewed and the Holy Spirit will align our will with God’s will.  We know that the Lord wills that none should perish (see 2 Peter 3:9) so we can now focus on teaching the lost the ways of the Lord and they will be saved just as verse 13 tells us.  It’s all connected!

As we begin a fresh, new, cooler week, may we focus on the Lord and His will that none should perish.  Let’s get our eyes off of ourselves and trust Him to take care of us as we seek the lost and show them His love.  They’re waiting for us!

Praying for You!

Pastor Chris Olson

Pastor Chris

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