Feeling Great About Life Guilt Psalm 51 Pastor Ryan Heller

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1 1. ACKNOWLEDGE GOD S CHARACTER Feeling Great About Life Guilt Psalm 51 Pastor Ryan Heller Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1 (NIV) 2. ADMIT OUR SIN Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 (TLB) Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight Psalm 51:4 (NIV) Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Psalm 51:14 (NLT) The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (NLT) 3. ACCEPT GOD S FORGIVENESS Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalms 51:7 (NIV) Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Psalm 51:2-3 (NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:10,12 (NIV) Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Psalm 51:14 (NLT) 4. ADVISE OUR FRIENDS Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you. Psalms 51:13 (NLT) Feeling Great About Life- Guilt

2 Well, good morning. How are we doing today? Everybody good? It's so great to see you today as we continue our series, Feeling Great About Life. I've got a question to ask you this morning. Have you ever felt guilty before? Maybe it's the food that you're eating, or maybe it's the lack of exercise, or it's something that you said, or something that you did. We all feel a little bit of guilt from time to time, don't we? Sometimes a whole lot of times. In order to help people deal with guilt, developers of a new app, called the Whisper App, have created a forum, a social media platform for people to get rid of guilt. You go on the Whisper app and you kind of just share all the bad stuff that you've done. I want to give you a couple of examples of this great app that's going on because, I don't know, this might benefit your spiritual life in some way. It may. It's a crossover between Twitter and Snapchat and here's what a few people confessed on the Whisper app. "I tell everyone I got laid off from a job because of pay cuts but I got fired because I stole people's lunch from the fridge." How about that? Just keeping it real today. "I've turned into the worst babysitter ever. Now I just steal their food and take naps." That's like every parents worst nightmare, isn't it? "I've cheated on my girlfriend and I want to say I feel bad but I don't." Ooh, yeah, a little more serious there. "I've been faking a British accent every since I got into college three years ago." You've got to watch out for those people with those accents. I'm telling you, be careful. "I work at a pet store and sometimes I tell rude customers that they can eat the dog treats because they're organic. They're not." Church, stop eating the dog treats, okay? Got to quit snacking on those things, okay? Don't believe what they told you at the pet store. Well, today I want to talk to you about how to deal with the guilt in your life. God has a much more substantial solution than the Whisper app. Did you know God wants you to live in freedom? God does not want you to live a life that is filled with guilt but unfortunately many times we feel the emotion of guilt because we look around and we know that we've done things that are wrong. How do we recognize the fact that we've done things that are wrong and how do we make sure that our life is not ridiculed and dominated by feelings of guilt? If you have a guilty conscience, you will never achieve your full potential in Jesus Christ and God wants you to live a life of freedom. Did you know that? You're going to make some mistakes in life. In fact, one of our mottos here at Edge Church is, "No perfect people allowed," because we realize that everyone has their own junk, their own stuff but what we do with our junk has everything to do with where we go with God. Today I want to look at the 51st Psalm, a great passage of scripture that outlines to us how we can live a life that is free from guilt. Now the backdrop of this story in Psalm 51 is a man by the name of King David. He's the second king of Israel. David is known, really in the scripture as a man after God's own heart. I mean Feeling Great About Life- Guilt Page 2 of 8

3 David was an amazing character, an amazing leader, an amazing man of God, an amazing person. But David also fell into some sin in his life and we find in the story of his life that David, during the springtime, he's looking out on his roof. Normally during the springtime, the kings are off at battle. They're fighting. For some reason David stayed at home that year and he was there looking across the city of Jerusalem from the palace that he lived in and he saw a very beautiful woman by the name of Bathsheba. Bathsheba was actually taking a bath on the roof of her flat. I still for the life of me not sure why Bathsheba was bathing on the roof. I still have never figured that out but the Bible says that she was. She was a very attractive woman and David was drawn to her. After taking a few looks and a few ganders, he sent a message and summoned her to the palace. He seduced her and had an adulterous relationship with her. He gets a message a short time later that Bathsheba has conceived and this is a huge problem because her husband, Uriah the Hittite, is off at war so how do we explain this? David brings Uriah the Hittite to the palace off of the field of battle, brings him into his quarters and tells him he's doing a great job and to go home and be with his wife. But out of his loyalty to his fellow troops he chose to sleep on the steps of the palace and now David's plan, his cover up has been destroyed. What's he going to do? He sends a message to Joab, the general there, the leader of the Israelite forces in the hand of Uriah the Hittite that is sealed that says, "Have Uriah killed on the field of battle," and he does. Uriah the Hittite had no idea that he was actually carrying the note that was his own death sentence and he gave it to the general and there lost his life. Wow. David goes into a deep, dark depression. He is confronted by the prophet by the name of Nathan. Nathan comes and corrects him and David confesses his sin. It is out of that story, it's out of that emotion, it's out of that struggle that the 51st Psalm is written. It's David getting his heart in tune with God after he has just committed these grievous sins. If you'll look with me, we'll see this powerful story unfold as we see how we too can overcome the guilt in our lives. The first thing that David does is he acknowledges God's character. 1. ACKNOWLEDGE GOD S CHARACTER How we approach God has everything to do with who we believe that he is. If you believe that God is merely a heavy-handed judge that is seeking to smack you around all the time, you will never want to come and have an intimate relationship with God. What we believe about God has everything to do with our ability and our capacity to come and to make things right with him when we struggle. Notice how David begins this psalm in Psalm 51, verse 1, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions." David Feeling Great About Life- Guilt Page 3 of 8

4 describes God as compassionate, a God who is merciful, and a God who is loving. That's how he- The precursor to this whole deal is, who is God? I want you to know today, no matter what you've done, or where you have been, or what you've said, or what you've been a part of, God is merciful, he is loving, and he is compassionate. That's who God is. That's who God is and that's why we can approach him. That's why we love him. That's why we worship him is because he's that kind of God. We've got to acknowledge the character and the nature of God. Sometimes getting caught is one of the greatest things that can happen in our lives. David got caught. Nathan went and confronted him. You know what, if the prophet had not confronted David, I wonder if he would have continued doing the same thing all throughout his life. He needed somebody to redirect him. Sometimes God will put a Nathan in your life to redirect you, and to help you, and to coach you. Don't see that as a curse. See that as a blessing. That's a good thing. That's a good thing but, it begins with the character and the heart of God. The reason today, you can live a life that is not dominated by guilt is because God is merciful, compassionate, and loving. That's why we acknowledge God's character. We acknowledge God's character but we also have to admit our own sin. 2. ADMIT OUR SIN We have to come clean with what we have done. Many people instead of confessing sins, will blame others. We've all done a little of that. You know, "She made me do it," or, "I was weak and vulnerable," or, "It was just once," or, "It wasn't that big a deal," or, "I was sad," or, "I was angry," or, "They provoked me," or whatever it may be. It's easy to blame others. Some people just do their own form of penance, you know, and punish themselves, so to speak. Some people deny it. Some people ignore it. But you know what God wants us to do is to confess it, to make it right with him, okay? Make that right with him. Let's confess that to God. Let's don't justify it. Let's don't try and argue around it. Let's don't ignore it. Listen, this is the hard stuff and guys, today we're just shooting straight and we're just talking real openly and honestly this morning because I want you to live a life that's not dominated by guilt but the only way that can happen is to come clean with God. That's the only way. We've got to own it. We've got to say to God, "God, listen, I messed up, shouldn't have done that, shouldn't have gone there, shouldn't have been a part of that." Listen, when we do that, that's when freedom comes, okay. Your life will be so much better if you're not dominated by guilt. Let's come to God. Let's admit what it is, whatever has gone on. If it was five years ago, 10 years ago, yesterday, whenever it was, come clean with God so that we can move forward in freedom. Now, let's see how David does this. If you look in verse 4 he says, "Against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight." David says, "I have sinned against God. Feeling Great About Life- Guilt Page 4 of 8

5 See, every time we sin, we sin against God. Sometimes we think, "Well, nobody knew about it. It wasn't that big a deal. It was very private, you know, wasn't that big a deal. Listen, when you sin, you sin against God. The next time you start to go down the path of temptation, before you cross the line remind yourself, "When I sin, I sin against God. I don't want to do that. I don't want to grieve the heart of God. I don't want to hurt God. I don't want to embarrass myself in front of God." Don't do it. Then he tells us in verse 14 that part of how we admit this is we are specific about our sin. Look at this, "Forgive me for shedding blood, O God, who saves and I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness." That shedding of blood is talking about Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba, the adulterous lover. David said, "I killed that guy. I was terrible. I was bad, God. I own that. I'm going to take responsibility for that. I'm going to be specific." In other words, I'm not just going to say, God, please forgive me for everything in the universe that I may or may not have said or done, you know? That's not really confession. Confession is, "God, I did this and please forgive me for that specific thing." There's a spirit of brokenness in the heart of David that is yielded to God and to his work in his life. If you skip down to verse 17, he says, "The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise." God wants a repentant heart, a broken heart, a repentant heart. There's a huge difference between fake repentance and real repentance. Real repentance is when we really turn and we really go the way of God and we stop doing what we've been doing. As a pastor, my door is open. I talk to a lot of people. I meet with as many people as I can and I love to do that. I have people come to my office and confess all kinds of sins. There's no subject matter that's off the table, you know? That's something that happens all the time. I'm amazed, there's two kinds of people. There are some people that come in and they're like, "I did this, and I did this, and I did this." We pray and they're a new person and God restores them and I mean, it's awesome. It's amazing to see. But there's other people that will come in and they will cry and they will say all the same things that the other people did but guess what? They'll go back and do the same thing that they swore they would never have done. I'm like, how is that possible? But we are all creatures that are controlled by sin and if we're not careful we can continue to go down the same path. A lot of people cry because they got caught. A lot of people fake a contrite spirit and a broken heart because they're embarrassed that everybody found out about it. But the person that really turns to God is the person that will have a transformed life. Once we come clean with God and admit these things, then that's when the healing, and the transformation, and the power of God begins to be evident in our lives. David didn't, he didn't just do one or two things. There's 10 commandments, right, ten? Is that right, 10 commandments? David broke five of them in this story. Check this out. He coveted another man's wife. He stole Bathsheba from Uriah the Hittite. He committed adultery. He lied. Feeling Great About Life- Guilt Page 5 of 8

6 Then he murdered to cover up all the other sins. Is that not incredible? I mean, do you think that David ever thought, when he was looking there at this beautiful woman, that this adulterous relationship would lead him to the path of murder? No! But when we sin and we don't admit it, guess what we've got to do? We've got to keep sinning to keep covering everything up, right? Then before we know it, what started as one sin becomes a multitude of sins because we're trying to keep everything secret, right? Yeah. Yeah. People will lie about sex more than any other sin that I have ever seen before. It is crazy and David is a great example of this. He just lies, and lies, and lies, and lies, and lies, and keeps covering up until finally he gets caught. But you know what? Once we come clean with God, we can accept God's forgiveness and this is where it gets really good today, church, and I know this morning it's been a little heavy today but stay with me today because what I'm about to share with you is going to set you free, okay? 3. ACCEPT GOD S FORGIVENESS When we come clean with God, we accept God's forgiveness. God restores us. Look at this in verse 7, "Cleanse me with the hyssop and I will be clean, and wash me and I'll be whiter than snow." The hyssop is a plant that was used in ancient times. It was for medicinal and for cleaning purposes. He says, "God, clean me. God, clean me." Look at that last phrase there, verse 7, "Make me whiter than snow." In other words, when you admit sin to God, God blots out the sin. It's like the sin was not even there in the first place. Is that amazing? Is that incredible that God could look at your life and he would not see, "Oh, she said this," and, "Oh, they did that," and, "Oh-" No, God says, "What I see is something that is white as snow." It's purified. I remember one time I got some ink pen all over my khaki pants. They were some of my favorite pants. They were really stylish. They were Guess pants. I was really proud of them. Somebody said, "Oh, just spray some hairspray on it." I sprayed some hairspray on this. It was like a little bitty, like a dime size stain, you know? I sprayed hairspray on it and guess what it did? It smeared it all over the place. Now, it may have been operator error, okay. I'll confess that but it made the stain look worse. It was terrible. It was bad. I wonder how many times that when we look at our lives we see a huge mess but God sees a stain that has been removed entirely. How many times do we admit sin to God and then live in bondage? This is crazy. We will come to God with a contrite heart. We will confess it in all sincerity and yet we will, in many regards, forget to forgive ourselves. We will come to the second stage right here, admitting the sin but we don't accept forgiveness. Let God forgive you today. Quit condemning yourself. Quit looking at your life through the lens of your own perception and begin to look at your life through the lens God. Feeling Great About Life- Guilt Page 6 of 8

7 God says this, "I will wash you whiter than snow." It's like you never sinned. It's like God took Shout It Out to your life, okay? God pushed the delete button. When you confess your sins to God, your sins are like Hillary's s, okay? They're gone. They're gone, baby. They ain't coming back. Let's come to God. Let's admit it and let's receive God's forgiveness, okay? Let's do that. Look at this in verse 2, "Wash away all my iniquities and cleanse me from my sin for I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me." Let's do a little soul detox, confessing some sin. Once a year I do a 21 day detox. My doctor's got me on this thing where I eat fruits and vegetables only for 21 days and lean organic meats beginning on Day 17. It's like, I've got to keep my figure, you know? They say it kind of resets the system and you kind of get things out of your body, which I don't want to get into this morning at church but you kind of understand the detox is to get out the toxifications in our lives because we all have toxifications, don't we. We've got to get rid of those things at times and then you just feel better, right? You just feel revived, like, "Whew! How about that?" But there's times we need a soul detox and the soul detox is when we come and confess that sin to God and then we allow ourselves to receive God's forgiveness, okay? That's what we do, a little soul detox. If we have salvation in Jesus Christ, we have joy. Look at this in verse 10 and 12, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." God's going to restore a strength in your life that you haven't had. He says, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me." The joy of my salvation! Sometimes when you get riddled with guilt and dominated by guilt, you forgot what it was like to have salvation in Jesus Christ in the first place. David says, "Restore to me." God I want to go back to when I first met you and when I just first fell in love with you and when I first heard the message of salvation. Take me back there. He says, "Restore to me the joy of my salvation." When we accept God's forgiveness, it will bring that old joy back to us. He says something similar in verse 14, "Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves. Then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness." He says, "I want to worship you. I want to praise you. I want to adore you, God, because you have been so faithful," because joy comes from having forgiveness. It starts with the character of God and then it requires us to admit what we've done. Then we have to accept God's forgiveness because a lot of people will admit what they've done but they won't let God forgive them, you know? Or they will punish themselves. But David doesn't end there. He says, finally he says this, we have to advise our friends. 4. ADVISE OUR FRIENDS Look at this in verse 13, "Then I will teach your ways to sinners and they will return to you." In other words, David says, "Listen, when I've been forgiven, when I've experienced the grace, the compassion, the mercy of God, I've got to tell somebody else. I don't want to have the grace, Feeling Great About Life- Guilt Page 7 of 8

8 and mercy, and love of God in my life and just hoard it, like this. I want to be able to share what God has done in my life." I've found this, the longer that people are Christian people, the less likely that they are to talk about their past sins. There's something about like, just the longer we're in church, the longer we're around Christian people, we just want to talk about our past less. I'm not talking about today bragging on sins or glorifying immorality or things like that. I'm not talking about that. But I also think there's something powerful about being able to share our journey and how the mercy and the grace of God transformed our life. Is that true? Let's don't ever get into a position where we think we're so sanctified that we can't talk about how God redeemed us and how God took the stain of sin in our life and poured bleach all over it, and created a new heart within us. David says, "I want everybody else to know. I want other people to know about God's mercy and forgiveness. I want to bring my friends to Edge Church because I want them to know about the grace and the mercy of God like I've met the grace and mercy of God. You see, when your heart has really been transformed, you can't just keep it for yourself. You have to start giving it away. You have to start talking to others. You have to start sharing your story. There's somebody sitting on your row today that's going through something that you've been through. They would benefit so much if they knew how the grace, and the mercy, and the compassion of God transformed your life. That's what it is. Let's advise others. Let's point our friends, let's point our family, let's point our children, let's point our loved ones to the grace, and the mercy, and the compassion of God because there are some people that are living under the weight of guilt and guilt is not necessary. It's really not. That's why 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9, what the Old Testament says in Psalm 51, is what 1 John 1:9 says in the New Testament. God cleanses us once we get those things right with him. That's our journey today. That's what we want to do. We don't want to be stingy with the mercy and the grace of God. We want to share that with as many people as we can. What do we do? We acknowledge God's character. God is mercy. God is merciful. He is gracious. He is loving. We admit our own sin, whatever it is that we've done. We accept his cleansing and we advise our friends. That, friends, is how we live a guilt-free life. Let's pray together. Feeling Great About Life- Guilt Page 8 of 8

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