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A Repentant Heart

Saturday, April 24, 2010

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house."

2 Samuel 11:1-4

As much as God hates sin, His love reaches out with forgiveness to fallen saints when they repent.

A common thread that runs throughout the Bible is God's willingness to use imperfect people for His work. While critics would point to the sins of God's saints as stains on His work, God uses them to show that even imperfect people can help in the work of God. Consider Rahab the harlot. A woman engrossed in a life of sin chose to help hide the Jewish spies and help them escape. God used her. Moses, the leader of Israel, and another pillar of the Bible doubted God, made excuses to get out of His will, and directly disobeyed God. Yet God used Moses. Jonah ran from God, deciding to follow his own path rather than trust God's will. But God still used Jonah. Peter denied God outright when questioned about his allegiance to Christ. He swore against the name of the Man he had followed for years. Yet God used Peter. Paul made a career of finding Christians, publicly humiliating them, then killing them. His life's goal was to stop the spread of Christianity. Yet God used Paul.

Why did God use these sinners, the imperfect people of the Bible? God uses imperfect people because we are all imperfect. There is no level of Christianity in which people stop sinning. God's greatest servants are people who daily struggle with sin and temptation. Notice the story of David's struggle with sin.

David had moved into a time in his life when he finally sat atop the throne of Israel. As king, David followed God, unlike Saul. He rightly governed the people and instructed them in the way that God had for them. He was a man after God's own heart. But 2 Samuel 11 shows us the humanity of even one of God's most loyal servants.

David's men had left for battle, yet strangely David hadn't followed them. Kings usually went to war with their troops, however David decided to stay home during that military campaign. While home, David lusted after a woman he saw bathing. After a series of events, David committed adultery with the woman.

How could God still use David when he had sinned? Notice David's response to the sin in 2 Samuel 12:13, "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die." As much as God hates sin, His love reaches out with forgiveness to fallen saints when they repent.

David, Rahab, Moses, Jonah, Peter, and Paul all responded to their sins with repentant hearts. The difference between David and Saul was that David acknowledged his sin and repented of it rather than covering it as Saul did.

When you sin or are convicted of sin in your life, how do you react? Do you cover the sin or do you repent of it immediately? God knows of your imperfection, but still desires a repentant heart from you.

David wasn't perfect, but he was used mightily by God. Ask yourself the following questions and consider if God could use you right now:

-Do I have a personal relationship with God?
-Am I sensitive to God's leading in my life?
-Am I surrendered to whatever God leads me to do, no matter what it is? -How strong is my faith? Do I stand on what I believe or cower from proclaiming God's truths?
-How do I react when I sin? Am I quick to repent, or do I make excuses for it?

God desires for you to be ready to be used by Him whenever He calls you. Could you be used by God according to the checklist above?

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
2 Samuel 19-20 | Luke 18:1-23