Create In Me a Clean Heart

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54 Now when they (the Jewish leaders) heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at (Stephen). 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
(Acts 7:54-60)
Have you ever wondered what your last words on this earth would be?  Stephen, as his life is taken from him by an angry crowd calls out, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.  Stephen quotes His Savior, who spoken those words from the cross, having fulfilled all that was necessary for our salvation.  Charlemagne, the Roman emperor who died in 814, uttered these same last words, as did Christopher Columbus in 1506.  I always hoped I would have the privilege of leaving this world with these same words on my lips.  It would be a privilege to die with these as our last words.

It is also a privilege to begin each new day with these words on our lips.  Each day is a gift from the Lord.  Our gift to Him is the manner in which we live that day.  It is so easy to begin our day, rehearsing the “To Do” list that stands before us.  Our plans can take priority.  Our goals can become our god.  Often we find ourselves asking the Lord to bless what we are doing.  Perhaps it would be better for us to begin the day praying for the Lord to lead us to the things that He is blessing.

Our gifts and talents and abilities are a gift from God, to be used to serve Him.  The best way to serve the Lord is by serving others.  How are you making a difference to the people around you?  Your “To Do” list is important, but it must include caring for others physically, emotionally and spiritually.

We live in a fast paced world, which has recently come to a near halt.  Perhaps the Lord is offering this time for us to reconnect with those who could use a word of encouragement, a word of care, a word of compassion.  Are you making a difference for others?  If not, join King David who prayed about his spirit, saying, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

Prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you (Psalm 51:11-13).  I pray this in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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