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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"A Contrite Heart"

February 5, 2008

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The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17

When we came into this world, the Lord gave us a conscience to show us right from wrong.

Most of us have heard about the fellow who wrote a letter to the IRS saying something like, “I have cheated on my taxes and have not been able to sleep. I am including some cash with this letter. If I am still unable to sleep I will send in the rest.”

That fellow had a conscience, but not much of one.

He stands in contrast to the fellow, a guilt-stricken American, who wrote to an outback village in Australia. He said, “I removed this back in 1983 when I was younger and dumber. It was the wrong thing to do, I’m sorry, and I’m going to send it back.”

Along with the letter was a boomerang that had been stolen from the Frank Aston Underground Museum.

The museum is closed now, but the people in the town are grateful for the return of the aboriginal throwing device.

They’re glad their boomerang has come back.

By listening to his conscience, this fellow has set an example for the entire human race, and especially the Christian community. All too often, like Adam and Eve, we try to pass the blame for our sins onto someone else and, like David, we try to cover up our crimes by committing other sins.

As our text for today’s devotion says, the Lord wants a broken and contrite heart from His people.

God has sent His Son into this world to seek and save the lost, to rescue sinners from their myriad transgressions. We dare not let our false pride minimize His sacrifice and make purposeless the reason for which He was born, lived, died, and rose.

Rather than covering up, far better for us to say to the Lord, “I’ve done the wrong thing and I’m sorry. Lord be merciful to me a sinner.”

To such sinners the Lord says, I am merciful, go and sin no more.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, Your sinless life and death remove my sins. May I be given wisdom and strength to walk the path that You would have Your forgiven followers tread. In Your Name. Amen.


In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 46-48    Matthew 23:1-22

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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