Daily Readings

#DailyDevotion There Is A Heart And Spirit God Cannot Despise

Ash Wednesday
Psalm 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken | spirit;* a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will | not despise.


This is the antiphon, the response from the introit for Ash Wednesday. It really is the theme for the day. While we take this day to remember our own mortality because of our sinfulness there is yet hope for the day. True we are utterly sinful. We are conceived sinful and it is that sinfulness that is a cause for rebellion against our Creator. It is that sinfulness that is the cause of our mortality and which brings us to the point of our eventual death. Spiritually dead we are brought into this world. It is the reason the world is the way it is.


But this passage gives us hope. It does not please God to punish sinners or see them go to the grave. It is His primary desire to bestow grace and mercy upon us. He has provided the world a means by which our transgressions have been removed from us. The Lord God has become one of us and in that flesh He has reconciled the world to the Father. (1 Cor. 4)


But we cannot receive this message or have a clear conscience as long as we stand defiant against God. He though gives us this message that when we hear the Law that convicts us of our sins, if we have a broken spirit, spirit that acknowledges our brokenness, He will receive us into His life. If we but allow our hearts to be broken and contrite (full of terror and remorse) because of our sins, the Lord, our Father in heaven, for the sake of Christ Jesus, will not despise us.


It is our Father in heaven’s primary will toward us to be forgiving, gracious, merciful, patient and kind. Through the blood of Christ, in the waters of baptism, by the pronouncement of the pastor and fellow Christians, we are “washed of our iniquities and cleansed of our sins.” While we are baptized only once we can always remember our baptism into Christ. We may always go to the pastor for Confession and Absolution.


In the forgiveness of sins we receive from having good news applied to us, we receive a new spirit within us. God creates a clean heart. With a clean heart and new spirit from the Father above through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus we can resist the evil one and even our flesh. We can begin to live the life of Christ in our own lives. And as often as we may fall short and sin, sin, death and the devil still have no power over us. The forgiveness of sins reigns in our life and we can daily go to the Father with a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart and find mercy and forgiveness from Him.

Heavenly Father, ever grant us your grace, that we may come to you with broken spirits and contrite hearts, receive the blessings of your Son Jesus Christ, and be restored back to your life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

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