ODJ: like new

May 12, 2015 

READ: Psalm 51:1-19 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation (v.12).

When our washing machine malfunctioned it spewed water through a heating vent and into our basement—drenching wallboard and carpeting. To prevent mould, we had to hire a company that set up special fans inside our house. The company’s motto read: “We will make it like new.”

David wanted his spiritual life to become “like new” after committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband (Psalm 51:1-4). Although David’s sin caused him to suffer in an earthly sense, it created spiritual problems as well. His sin offended God. He needed divine mercy and forgiveness (v.1). He pleaded with God, “Create in me a clean heart . . . . Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (vv.10,12). Once David had settled the issue with God, he could walk in obedience again, help restore others and freely praise God (vv.12-15).

We don’t have to commit a David-sized sin to require spiritual renewal. When we first join God’s family, it feels amazing! We see clearly that Jesus “broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality” (2 Timothy 1:10). Our worship seems to pierce the clouds; our souls brim with gratefulness. We want everyone to sample God’s grace and experience the delight it brings.

As time goes by, however, we may start to forget about our miraculous transformation. Life gets hard. Prayer becomes an afterthought. Confession happens only occasionally because we figure Jesus has already taken care of our sin. Old habits come calling. Eventually, spiritual decline threatens our closeness with God.

Do you need spiritual renewal today? Take the first step back towards God. It’s been said, “The God who made us can also remake us.”

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day-plan: Psalm 1:1-6

Read Nehemiah 8:9-11 to see what happened when the Israelites rediscovered God’s Word. Look up Isaiah 1:18 to see God’s heart for people who need to be cleansed from sin. 
Do you think confession is a necessary part of restoring our fellowship with God? What are some signs of spiritual renewal in the life of a believer in Jesus?