Revive My Heart (Psalm 51) pt 3



This past week I had an unexpected visitor. It was not in my church office but rather the mobile office of my car. I had just dropped my oldest daughter off at school and was on the way to bring two of my other children to their preschool. I was stopped behind a school bus at the intersection of Magothy   Bridge Rd and Rt 100. There were 2 cars in front of the bus and as they each went through I followed suit only upon mid-intersection did I notice that the light was quickly yellow and even more quickly red. And sure enough, my unexpected visitor turned on his siren to greet me with an earful of instruction.

I could tell he was not happy as he exited his vehicle because he was murmuring. In fact, just minutes previously I had seen him giving instructions and murmuring to another citizen. Before he could get a word out I spoke up, “Officer I apologize greatly. The light turned on me so quickly and I should have paid more attention. It was completely my fault and I am guilty for whatever punishment I deserve.” My statement caught him off guard but not enough to stop his lecture. Nonetheless, I agreed with the officer and continued to apologize in confessing my wrongful actions.

The officer extended mercy to me. He recognized my fault but he released me from any fine or penalty.

psalm 51_revive my heart logo

Psalm 32:1-2 “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity”


I received mercy. I was humbled. I was thankful. In the days since I have been that much more careful to change my driving habits.

This is just a small picture of Psalm 51.

David had sinned. He need the siren of the prophet Nathan to convict him. Afterwards, David agreed and apologized in the record we have in Psalm 51. His ways were forever changed.


EXAMINE   Psalm 51       I am spiritually growing.

So far in this series we have looked at 2 identities for the believer: I am a sinner. I am saved. In this last message we will examine a third identity to help us understand our relationship with God and the role of God reviving our hearts: I am spiritually growing.

In this message we will answer the question, how can I grow spiritually? I pray this message will help you as much as it is helping me. I want more of God, or rather God to have more of me! The following principles will help your shape your spiritual identity.

Spiritual growth starts with our appetite for God’s mercy (51:1-9)
The past few weeks have examined this psalm and established one central truth: God’s mercy is incomparable. There is not a single person who does not need and require mercy. As we have seen, without God’s mercy there is no forgiveness of sin, no victory, no power, no hope, no help and certainly no relationship with God. God’s mercy is everything.

After being convicted of his sin, David entered a greater awareness of who God was and whom he was. His assessment of himself was greater than what it should have been. He was humbled and turned to the God of abundant mercy and steadfast love.

à We must identify our Savior. Is our hope in our self-strength, a might = right mindset? The truth is that

our strength is not in human or worldly solutions but in the saving strength and might of God’s mercy to

supply the needed grace to wake and work each day.

à We must realize how little help the saviors of this world provide and how much hope the Savior Jesus

does provide. We do this simply by admitting our need and thus begins our appetite for God’s mercy.

Tullian Tchividjian

The hope of the Christian faith is dependent on God’s display of strength, not ours. God is in the business of destroying our idol of self-sufficiency in order to reveal himself as our sole sufficiency. This is God’s way—he kills in order to make alive; he strips us in order to give us new clothes. He lays us flat on our back so that we’re forced to look up. God’s office of grace is located at the end of our rope. The thing we least want to admit is the one thing that can set us free: the fact that we’re weak. The message of the Gospel will only make sense to those who have run out of options and have come to the relieving realization that they’re not strong. Counterintuitively, our weakness is our greatest strength.

Spiritual growth occurs through a visionary holiness (51:10, 16-17)
David prays to God for a newly created heart [bārāʾ: miracle divine creation, – out of nothing]. He knows that only God can bring about a future that will forget his past. David’s past sin had the potential to derail his God-ordained purpose. He could have strayed forever but God’s unconditional love and unmerited favor had given David a vision to move beyond what was to what could be.

When it comes to our past we cannot change it. If we choose to live in the past then we are choosing to not live for the future. God’s grace is the reminder that yesterday does not determine our tomorrows. God grants fresh forgiveness and new beginnings. This happens though visionary holiness.

We all need a vision for our lives. One person said, When you want to build a ship, do not begin by gathering wood, cutting boards, and distributing work, but rather awaken within men the desire for the vast and endless sea.” Spiritual growth requires a vast vision for the endless sea of God’s glory.

Visionary holiness sees the power of fresh repentance (51:10-11). As David prayed for a clean heart and a renewed spirit, he trusted in God’s power to fulfill His promise of grace. David knew his past condemned him but he was asking God’s grace to change him through his repentance.

Repentance is a change of mind and heart that leads to a changed life. The Christian is not immune to sin. Therefore, repentance must be a regular part of our relationship with God. The Reformer Martin Luther noted this when writing his 95 Theses, the first one stated, “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent’, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

Visionary holiness understands that God created us for relationship not ritual (51:16-17). David knew God did not want religious sacrifices or offerings but rather a broken [shattered] and contrite heart. Spiritual brokenness leads to holiness. We must come to a point in our lives that our relationship with God means more to us than going through the motions. Christianity is much more than a list of do’s and don’ts. We were made for so much more than a list. God made us in His image so that we can live for glory; glory is visionary holiness. When we live for God’s glory we are not merely living for rules but rather as a reflection of the beauty and splendor of God.

Illus: When you drive you are taught to scan 20-30 yards ahead to focus on your direction and to navigate against any disruptions. Everyone knows that to look ahead you must look through the windshield but your focus is not on the windshield but through the windshield. Likewise, Christians must allow the windows of Bible study, prayer, worship and fellowship to be means through which they focus on God in a personal relationship and with visionary holiness.


Spiritual growth occurs through a personal presence. (51:10-11)
David prayed for God’s Spirit to fill him and free him for service. David was understanding that he could not do the work of God without the Spirit of God. He could not be Israel’s king if he was not following Israel’s God. David’s relationship with God was sincerely personal.

Many believers today say they would not doubt or digress in sin if they could see Jesus face to face. But this view misses the very words of Jesus, whom said “it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). The full gospel is not just about a Jesus buried in history but a God whom is born anew in His followers through His Holy Spirit. It was Jesus’ belief that having the Holy Spirit inside you would be better than having Him beside you; His presence in you is greater than His presence near you. Do you understand what is available to you as a believer in Jesus Christ? As a believer, is your experience with the Holy Spirit like that of what Jesus describes? Do you sense and see how the Holy Spirit is growing and guiding your life each day? Be honest… and if not, then it would seem to imply that you are missing out on the salvation and spiritual growth that God has made available to you.

Illus: The average human heart beats 72 beats per minute and will beat approximately 2.5 billion times during an average 66 year lifespan. It pumps approximately 4.7-5.7 litres of blood per minute (Wikipedia). Many believers relate to the Holy Spirit as they do their physical heart. They know it is inside their body and that it serves an important role to their health, but they do not have a constant attention to every heartbeat or pumping of blood.

Illus. Or consider your bank account. Not many people think intimate thoughts about 00055519776431. But that number represents your life’s work, time, energy and investments.

àSo, as we care for our heart or value our bank acct #, so that much more we should love and listen to the

Spirit of God in our life.


Spiritual growth occurs through the joy of praise (51:12, 14-15)
David had prayed and pleaded for God’s mercy and began to taste the grace of forgiveness. In response, his heart was ignited to worship. He was filled with joy and praise transferred from his heart to his lips (51:14-15). The redeemed of the Lord sing.

Psalm 95:1 “Oh come let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”  

Psalm 98:1 “Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.”

Our lips are locked when we have sin dominating our heart. But when we experience salvation then we sing. God created His children to sing, praise, give thanks and worship. Those that have eternal life, fullness of Christ, forgiven sin – how can we not sing?

à By nature we are celebrators:

Celebrate nice weather

Celebrate lack of traffic on our commute

Celebrate a raise at work

Celebrate the taste of pecan pie at Thanksgiving

Ladies Celebrate the purchase of new shoes or a purse

Men Celebrate their team winning the game

Parents Celebrate the birth of a child (Paxton, Williams, Roorda)

We are celebrators… are you taking time to celebrate the goodness of God?

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.

Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.

I think of my blessèd Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long:
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.

à Sing in confidence       à Sing with the choir       à Sing with the congregation


Spiritual growth occurs through telling the story (51:13)

David understood he could not keep silent about God’s salvation. He had to tell and teach others to share in the joy.

Aristotle said “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” Believers who understand salvation are called, commanded and commissioned to tell the good news.

I love to tell the story 
               of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.  
               I love to tell the story, because I know 'tis true; it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.  
I love to tell the story, 
               'twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.


à To whom are you telling the story?


Spiritual growth occurs through loving others and growing godly generations (51:18-19).
David closes the psalm with a full transformation from inward repentance to outward love. Though David confesses his sin against God, his consequences were not in isolation of the kingdom. The nation had seen David’s transgression. They were linked to his failure.

David was once consumed with selfishness and captured by his own lust. But now he is captured by a deeper delight and a greater glory.

And David prays for Zion’s (Israel’s) good. He asks that their walls will be built up and receive God’s blessing for the community of faith. In other words, that Zion would be protected and will return to a place of worship (51:18-19).

à As in the gospel, God often uses our wounds to bring healing to others.

–          Has there been someone impacted negatively by your actions? Seek forgiveness and pray for them.

–          Have you endured hardship and wondered God’s purpose? Seek to share your hope in the gospel.



The believer’s identity: I am a sinner. I am saved. I am spiritually growing.

Spiritual growth starts with our appetite for God’s mercy (51:1-9)

Spiritual growth occurs through a visionary holiness (51:10, 16-17)

Spiritual growth occurs through a personal presence. (51:10-11)

Spiritual growth occurs through the joy of praise (51:12, 14-15)

Spiritual growth occurs through telling the story (51:13)

Spiritual growth occurs through loving others and growing godly generations (51:18-19).



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