This song begins with a positive declaration of the blessing to be found in the powerful thing we call forgiveness. No one enjoys having to admit fault or failure but we can’t fool God and are foolish to deceive ourselves. The writer David found cover up exhausting and confession such a relief! The Psalm continues with an invitation to willing discipleship rather than having to learn the hard way and promises of protection, deliverance and ‘unfailing love’ for those who trust in God.
Matthew chs 5-7
These chapters contain Jesus’ epic Sermon on the Mount. While it contains encouraging teaching on prayer and more promises of God’s generous provision, the Son of God sets the standards for ethics even higher than the infamous Pharisees and teachers of the law. He makes it clear sin is not just outward actions but private, inward thoughts and attitudes. By this reckoning we all have much to confess! His listeners comment that He seems to speak with unusual authority.
This authority he demonstrates further in ch8, following the most challenging sermon with the most powerful and compassionate signs. He touches and heals a leper, speaks and heals a foreigner’s servant from a distance, takes Peter’s mother-in-law’s hand and banishes her fever. Crowds are healed and delivered from evil bondage.
They welcome the healing but will they accept the challenge? It will require not just words of confession but real repentance and trust in Jesus, yet this is the way to find ongoing blessings which stretch into eternity!
Here the Apostle Paul spells out some implications of service and lifestyle for those who have repented, trusted and benefitted from God’s loving mercy in Jesus. Basically we are to offer our whole lives, body and soul, in willing service of the One Who gave everything for us. We are to humbly play our part in Christ’s church and enthusiastically practise love, doing to others as we would have them do for us, and thus ‘overcome evil with good’.