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Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. (NKJV)

(Previous devotionals can be found at www.seriousfaith.com)

The most inevitable thing about sin is that it destroys. The problem with us hard-headed, thick-skinned, numb-skulled humans is that since we don’t see that destruction immediately, in the form of a lightning bolt or something, we often ignore that destruction that will result from the sin we are about to purposely engage in. Call it what you want: destruction, consequences… when we sin, it ALWAYS ends up bad.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

God’s Word says we will reap what we sow. Obviously the harvest in mind in this verse is a bitter one because we see the negative terms “deceived” and “mocked”. What kind of seed is sown that reaps a harvest that we should be deceived about, or mock God by not believing His warning? Sin, of course.

Think about that. DO NOT FOOL YOURSELF. DO NOT KID YOURSELF. DO NOT PRETEND OTHERWISE. IGNORING IT WILL NOT CHANGE THE TRUTH. God is NOT mocked. You WILL reap what you sow.

Whatever seed you plant, that type of plant will grow. Plant sin, get the bitter harvest that sin produces. Sometimes the harvest will be fast when the sin grows like a weed. The hurt and destruction will come swiftly and keep sprouting up until it is dug out by the roots and destroyed. Sinful seeds that grow like weeds might be lying, gossiping or complaining. We often see quick and painful harvests from these sins.

Sometimes the bitter harvest comes years, even decades, even lifetimes down the road. Some seeds are like redwood trees that affect us our entire lives, and even the generations that follow. Sexual immorality, occultism, hypocrisy… often are slow growing harvests that ripen decades later causing long lasting, lingering consequences that result in much regret and many tears.

What is our hope when the bitter harvest comes due? First, some of the effects by looking at the “negative” of these verses, then the positive that only God can do:

  • Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

    • Sin makes our heart dirty, stained and filthy. In the same way that we need chemicals or soap to clean stains from our clothes or skin, it takes something outside of us to clean our hearts. Of course the only One that can do that is God. We can clean our hearts by doing good, being sorry, making promises or cutting deals with God. Thing only thing that can remove the awful stain of sin and the filth of unrighteousness is God.
      • Note: for the unsaved, the heart is not washed clean of sin; through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the repentant believer’s heart is made NEW, not made clean. The heart (spirit) is literally, supernaturally regenerated (recreated; Titus 3.5) and infused with the righteousness of Christ (imputation; Rom 4.6). For the Christian, although our spirit is unstained, we are still “clothed” temporarily in this body of flesh that is still cursed by sin and death. So our heart is still “stained” when we sin but that sin stain is washed clean forever and ever when we ask for God’s forgiveness. New sin will create new stains; but any stain washed away, is washed away for good.
    • Sin causes us to be weak-kneed, unsure, wobbly and insecure. When we know we are stained with sin, everything becomes a question, nothing is sure except our guilt. Along with forgiveness, God can restore a sense of security and steadfastness in our life. Many times we attempt to procure our own steadfastness by “pulling up our bootstraps”, making promises to do better, reading an extra chapter of the Bible or cutting a deal with God. One problem… it won’t work. Only a heart made clean by God can erase the guilt of sin which is the source of our insecurity and anxiousness.

  • Psalm 51:11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (NKJV; emphasis mine)
    • Sin causes us to feel distant from God. It’s hard to pray, if you pray at all. You feel like God is not listening or won’t respond. You feel like you don’t deserve to have God listen. Like a wayward child who avoids his parents, or an unfaithful spouse who avoids their marriage, or a cheating employee who avoids the owner… when we are sinning we know innately that we are not comfortable or “right” in God’s presence. So we avoid Him. Asking for God’s forgiveness and repenting of our sin can restore our joy and expectation about being in God’s presence. He’s never moved… it’s us who avoid Him.

  • Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. (NKJV; emphasis mine)
    • Sin steals joy. Plain and simple. As a Christian, you cannot sin and still have the blessing of joy. Impossible. Oh, you can fake some temporal happiness, but you cannot have real joy if you are willfully and purposely sinning with no remorse, no repentance. Now I’m not talking about when you are STRUGGLING with sin. We all do that, most every day, some more than others (I throw myself in the “more” group). Joy is what sustains us and fuels us during those times when we are fighting the good fight against our sinful flesh; but when we simply engage in sin and have a flippant, casual or prideful attitude about it…. joy disappears.

    Joy disappears when sin is treated casually or ignored.
    That’s a fact, Jack.

    • It goes hand in hand with the verse we started with… “God is not mocked”. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5.22), a blessing that our Heavenly Father graciously gives us in the midst of a hopeless and sad world. Don’t fool yourself… if you choose sin, then you choose to forfeit the blessings (fruits) of Christianity. God alone can restore your joy and spiritually bless you with all abundance… as soon as you see sin the same way He does. Repent, turn from your sin that refreshment may come into your life (Acts 3.19). God is always ready to restore joy, fellowship and abundant life to the sinner who sincerely repents.

God is not the harsh old task master waiting to punish us like many of us have grown up believing. Nor is He the wishy-washy, permissive Genie-in-a-bottle that many have the impression of. God is a righteous, merciful, loving, holy, just Heavenly Father who will not tolerate sin, but is always ready to forgive the sincere, and fully restore us into a relationship with Him – the unsaved can be eternally restored by the shed blood of Jesus Christ – and for Believers, by daily confession which washes away the sin of our flesh and restores our fellowship with Him moment by moment.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

Lord God, Help us to realize that Your forgiveness is the only source of restoration – of joy, of fellowship and a clean heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Contemplation: Do you have certain sins that you continue to do, even though you know its wrong, simply because the consequences are not immediate? Do you try to clean up your heart by any other method than asking God to do it (ie, good works, promises, self will)? Do you lack steadfastness (insecure about your salvation, insecure about whether God hears your prayers, insecure about God’s love for you)? Do you have a hard time being in God’s presence, either through prayer, being around other Christians, or reading His word? Do you lack true joy in your life?

Application: The answers to those questions may indicate a need on your part to get honest about the sin in your life. We can never fully experience the joy, fellowship and security that God can give us until we see sin the way God sees it, and we deal with sin the way God says to deal with it.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)

  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?



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