The Spirit Renews our spirit

The Spirit Renews our spirit

Psalm 51:10-12 — Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Honest truth: I stink. This time of year I find myself sweating more. Especially when I am active outside or working out. My shirts are wet. My socks are nasty. My daughter doesn’t even want to give me a hug when she sees me. I stink.

It’s the stink you feel, the stink you just want to get off of you. The stink that makes you excited to just step into the shower and wash off. It’s refreshing. It’s cleansing. It’s invigorating. I get done with that shower and then I am ready for what’s next — wife, children, whatever…

Honest truth: I stink. Not just this time of year. Every day my sinful nature wins some battles in my heart. Every day I am led to worry, arrogance, covetousness, lust, bitter anger, laziness. Every day I cover my heart and soul with selfishness and lovelessness.

The problem is that sometimes I don’t think I stink. Have you ever had it where you have been around that person who stinks, but it seems like they don’t realize it? That’s me and my sin. I can get pretty comfortable covered and filled with it. So I pray:

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for being willing to tell me, “You stink”. Thank you, for putting the words of your Law in front of me that opens my awareness to my impurity. Thank you for helping me see that even beyond my daughter, my holy God wants nothing to do with someone steeped in sin. Thank you for people who have loved me enough to show me my faults.

Now I want to clean. Take me to the gospel, Holy Spirit. Take me to the gospel to wash away all my iniquities. Take me to Jesus’ body and blood so that my sad heart can hear that this is what Jesus gives me for the forgiveness of all my sins. Take me back to my baptism and shower me with your baptismal promise that I am dressed in Christ’s robes of righteousness and have been made the redeemed child of my heavenly Father. Restore to me the joy of salvation.

But don’t stop with just forgiving me, Spirit. I don’t want to go back to my sins. I want to stay clean. Washed of my sin, I want to live for my Savior. So create in me a pure heart. Renew a spirit within me that is steadfast in the fact of temptation, a spirit that is willing to follow where Jesus calls.

Holy Spirit, I will probably be back praying to you again tomorrow this same prayer. Thank you, for being in my life, in my heart, through your Word and Sacraments to daily renew my spirit.

Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer

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