Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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A PRAYER OF A BACKSLIDER
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
The fifty-first Psalm is what you might call, if you like, “a prayer of a backslider.” Here we are shown the steps through which a man inevitably passes when he becomes convinced and convicted of his sin.
The first is this: He comes to a knowledge of and an acknowledgment of the fact that he has sinned. Listen to David: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” The first thing that happens to a man when he becomes convinced and convicted of sin is that he faces his sin and really looks at what he has done in an honest manner. This whole story [of David and Bathsheba] tells us that was exactly what David had previously not done.
Is there not something almost incredible about this, that a man could do the things that David did and yet really not face them? Surely David must have felt he was doing wrong; yet he did it! But he did not face the fact of wrongdoing, and he went on refusing to face it. And having done these terrible things, David would still not have faced them were it not that God sent the prophet Nathan to him and made him face them by giving him details of the same thing as had happened but in a different form. Thus David saw the truth, and he was humbled to the dust. That is how he came to write this fifty-first Psalm. This is always the first step. We must stop and think; we must pause for a moment and face ourselves and face the life we have lived and what we have done and what we are doing.
Now I know this is very unpleasant, and people dislike a gospel that says a thing like that. But if you want to know God’s salvation, you have to repent; and the first step is conviction of sin, and the first way to become convicted of sin is to stop and look at yourself.
A Thought to Ponder
The first step is conviction of sin.
From Out of the Depths, pp. 22-23.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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