A Sacrifice for Lent…a broken heart?

Devotional THought of the Day:

Psalm 51:7-17 (NLT) 7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. 16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

In the midst of our BIble Study this morning, we went on a side tangent about Lent, and what people sacrifice for Lent.  For a short period of time, we give up something – with the sincere intention to use the time, the money, whatever is gained in service to God.  One of my ladies, aske a great question, “why do we give Him back what is already His?” and I mentioned the irony of immediately taking back whatever we gave up, the moment sunrise service ends.  

If our “sacrifice” is in view of something more beneficial, then why no continue it after lent?
Why not take up something far more long reaching, something that will cause a change that lasts longer than 40 days?

Noting my odd nature, my mind went to the passage above – yeah on Valentines Day I am suggesting we give God… our broken hearts.

Our broken hearts?

Yeah, the brokenness that comes when we hear stories of 9 year old pregnant girls, or stories where perceived injustice results in more injustice…

The brokenness that is seen when we witness lives devastated death, or by illness, or by age.

The brokenness that comes, when finances grow tight, and desperation sets in, whether this it is corporate or individual.  

The brokenness that comes when the churches work with the lost is interfered with by infighting, or hypocrisy..

The brokenness that comes, when our own sin is so clear, when its damage seems beyond healing, when we find ourselves “doing what is right in our own eyes”.

 it seems odd – that the best gift we could give God, to demonstrate our love… is our brokenness… to lay it open before Him all of it.. to say, here, God, you want me – you have me – all of my brokenness, all of my hurts, all my resentment, all my pain and all my sin. 

Yet it is…an incredible gift, one that brings the first commandment into play.   For when we bring God our brokenness, when we let Him heal and restore, reconcile and rescue us… when we do these things, we are letting God be.. well God, our Father, our Lord and Master (which is as much/more about responsibility than it is authority)

When we let God be God, when we find contentment in being His people, the ones for whom He cares, when we let Him clean and bandage and heal our woulds… when we let Him love us….that is the best….”sacrifice” we can make….an offering which pleases Him….

So my friends who are in Christ, give Him, without restriction, your broken hearts, and all your brokenness… and see what He does.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 14, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. You seem to have a better understanding of Lent than I do. I don’t even remember hearing of Lent until a few years years ago.

    • I grew up Roman Catholic, and to be honest, I didn’t get this good of an understanding of Lent until I became a Lutheran Pastor. 🙂
      The season resonates with me, and not just because I like deep purple…

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