Psalm 51:1-17 The Voice (VOICE)
For the worship leader. A song of David after Nathan the prophet accused him of infidelity with Bathsheba.
One of the most difficult episodes in King David’s life was his affair with Bathsheba and all that resulted from it. Psalm 51 reflects the emotions he felt after Nathan confronted him with stealing Bathsheba and murdering her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11–12).
At one time or another, all people experience the painful consequences of sin. Psalm 51 has been a comfort and a help to millions who have prayed these words as their own. It invites all who are broken to come before God and lean upon His compassion. It teaches that we need not only to be forgiven for the wrong we have done, but we also need to be cleansed of its effects on us. Ultimately, it helps us recognize that if we are to be healed, it is the work of God to create in us a heart that is clean and a spirit that is strong.
1 Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God,
3 For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong,
6 But still, You long to enthrone truth throughout my being;
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God;
13 If You do, I promise to teach rebels Your ways
15 O Lord, pry open my lips
Joel 2:1-2 The Voice (VOICE)
2 Eternal One: Blow the trumpet in Zion;
2 Judgment will come on a black and fearful day;
Joel 2:12-17 The Voice (VOICE)
12 Eternal One: Even now, turn back your heart and rededicate yourselves to Me;
Now return to the Eternal, your True God.
Priests: Have pity on Your people, O Eternal One!
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 The Voice (VOICE)
20 So we are now representatives of the Anointed One, the Liberating King; God has given us a charge to carry through our lives—urging all people on behalf of the Anointed to become reconciled to the Creator God. 21 He orchestrated this: the Anointed One, who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God.
These simple verses capture the heart of the good news. Lowering Himself, the sinless Jesus took our sin upon Himself and canceled its power through His death and resurrection. As believers are united with Him, they are raised up with Him and embody God’s righteousness, experiencing forgiveness, reconciliation, and new life. This righteousness is a new creation gift that can never be separated from the Giver, and so believers only experience it because they are “in Him.”
6 As for those of us working as His emissaries,[a] we beg you not to take the grace of God lightly. 2 For God says through Isaiah,
When the time was right, I listened to you;
Look, now the time is right! See, your day of deliverance is here! 3 We are careful in what we teach so that our words won’t be a stumbling block and so that no one will discredit our ministry. 4 But as God’s servants, we commend ourselves in every situation. So that with great endurance we persevere even in anguish and hardship. We have been cornered by the enemy 5 suffering beatings, imprisonments, uproars, toil, sleeplessness, and starvation. 6 And by the Holy Spirit with purity, understanding, patience, kindness, and sincerest love we have proved ourselves. 7 Now with the voice of truth and power of God—armed on the right and armed on the left with righteousness from God—we continue. 8 Whether respected or loathed, praised or criticized as frauds, yet true, 9 as unknown to this world, and yet well known to God, we serve Him. We are treated as dying and yet we live, as punished and yet we are not executed. 10 Though we are sorrowful, we continually rejoice. As the poorest of the poor, we bring richness to all, and though we have nothing, we possess all things.
Matthew 6:1-6 The Voice (VOICE)
Part of imitating the perfection of God is acting charitably and generously, doing good deeds, working for justice, and praying.
6 Jesus: But when you do these righteous acts, do not do them in front of spectators. Don’t do them where you can be seen, let alone lauded, by others. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to the poor, do not boast about it, announcing your donations with blaring trumpets as the play actors do. Do not brazenly give your charity in the synagogues and on the streets; indeed, do not give at all if you are giving because you want to be praised by your neighbors. Those people who give in order to reap praise have already received their reward. 3-4 When you give to the needy, do it in secret—even your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing. Then your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
5 Likewise, when you pray, do not be as hypocrites who love to pray loudly at synagogue or on street corners—their concern is to be seen by men. They have already earned their reward. 6 When you pray, go into a private room, close the door, and pray unseen to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:16-21 The Voice (VOICE)
16 And when you fast, do not look miserable as the actors and hypocrites do when they are fasting—they walk around town putting on airs about their suffering and weakness, complaining about how hungry they are. So everyone will know they are fasting, they don’t wash or anoint themselves with oil, pink their cheeks, or wear comfortable shoes. Those who show off their piety, they have already received their reward. 17 When you fast, wash your face and beautify yourself with oil, 18 so no one who looks at you will know about your discipline. Only your Father, who is unseen, will see your fast. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
19 Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth. This is a shortsighted practice—don’t undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here. Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets. 20 Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack, where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
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