Every Word of God Proves True

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I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Every word of God proves true…Proverbs 30:5 NLT

God’s Word said “if you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you will die.” The serpent said, “You won’t die!” insinuating God is a liar. The serpent was talking so it appeared defiance to God actually gave him special powers. Eve believed in what she heard and saw from the serpent instead of believing God’s Word. Turns out God’s Word was true. She died.

God told us through the prophet Daniel that Europe would never be reunited into a one-world empire after Rome fell. In World War 2 Arthur Maxwell’s superiors were so afraid Hitler would take over Europe that they asked him not to publish his article claiming, according to Daniel 2, that there was no way Hitler could win and take over Europe. Maxwell published his article anyways. Good thing he did, because it turned out God’s Word was true. Hitler lost. Europe has never been reunited into a one-world empire.

In the wilderness Satan wanted to tempt Jesus and make Him doubt He was the Son of God. After all He probably did not look the best after 40 days of fasting. Jesus said He did not need any signs, like turning stones to bread to prove He was God’s Son. He had already heard God call Him “Son” at His baptism. Jesus put His faith in God’s Word instead of appearances. Turns out God’s Word is true. Even the centurion knew Jesus was God’s Son.

A boy told a story about dying and going to heaven. The Bible says when you die you remain in your grave, unconscious until Jesus comes and resurrects us. Like Eve, many people put their faith in what they saw and heard instead of God’s Word. The boy later recanted his story. Turns out the Bible is true. Those who die sleep until Jesus comes.

The moral of my story is, whenever appearances, sight, sound and feeling all contradict God’s Word, God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures will prove true every time. Trust God. Trust His Word above anything you see, feel, or hear.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here. 

Who Has Your Back?

I’m writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay Area.

n the movie Black Hawk Down, the U.S. colonel was trying to rescue his men who who had been ambushed by gun fire while trying to intervene in the civil war in Somalia. He had Humvees picking up the dead and wounded all around. After loading a Humvee with several wounded soldiers, he told a private to drive the Humvee. “But I have been shot,” the private replied. “Everyone has been shot!” The colonel sternly replied.

Sometimes when we are treated wrongly and wounded, we are tempted to think we are the only one such a thing has happened to when, in reality, everyone has been wounded. In my last post I talked about the fact that Daniel was able to make friends in pagan Babylon, but that did not mean he did not have enemies, and even though he had friends, they let him down. Down into a den of lions!

The other administrators were jealous of Daniel so to get rid of him they buttered up Darius, who was supposed to be a friend of Daniel. 

So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius!  We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions.  And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.”  So King Darius signed the law. Daniel 6:6-9 NLT 

They knew Daniel would pray to God, and they knew Darius liked Daniel, so they made a law that could not be reversed once Daniel prayed. And of course Daniel prayed. 

But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10 NLT 

Today many are protective of their privacy and worry if a third party could be spying and listening in on their phone conversations or reading their emails. Daniel knew good and well people were spying on him, but he kept doing what he always did. He prayed right in front of the window. If you knew people were spying on you, would you change your behavior or routine at all? Daniel didn’t. So the other administrators reported him to King Darius and reminded him that the law about being thrown in the lion’s den could not be changed. But Darius  could have thought of his friend Daniel before he even made the rule. He did none of that. He let his friend down … into the lions den. By the way have you ever wondered where Daniel was in Daniel 3 when the three Hebrews were thrown in the fiery furnace? One theory is that Nebuchadnezzar knew good and well Daniel would not bow to the idol, so sent Daniel on a business trip to avoid the embarrassment of having Daniel defy his order. If that theory is so, Darius failed to calculate Daniel’s integrity, which embarrassed Darius himself. 

I remember a while back working with someone who was not treating her co-workers right. She bragged how she was friends with the boss so she could get a way with whatever she wanted. Just a few months later her boss lost his job, and she lost her job right after he lost his. Sometimes people feel confident knowing someone “powerful” has their back, but all humans are just mortal dust in the wind. You can’t trust them. They can only do so much. Darius, as powerful as he was, could not save Daniel. Thankfully Daniel trusted God who could save him. 

A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel.  Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. Daniel 6:17-18 NLT 

Darius could not sleep that night, but I am sure Daniel could. He probably used a lion for a pillow. Funny how a clear conscience allows you to sleep.

Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den.  When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?”  Daniel answered, “Long live the king!  My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”  The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. Daniel 6:19-23 NLT 

Darius in his human sphere could not save Daniel though he tried. Fact is the only one who can save us is God. Daniel had no hard feelings towards Darius, because he knew Darius was only human. Daniel knew to trust no one but God. 

Years later Pilate tried to rescue Jesus and failed. On the third day the Father raised Him from the grave. Both Daniel and Jesus stood for what was right. Both Daniel and Jesus had people who tried to save them but could not. Both Daniel and Jesus were saved by God alone. Likewise in the last days we need to stand for what is right knowing full well no man will be able to save us. God will. We all have been wounded and let down by people. Praise God He alone can save us all!

It’s the Little Things That Make a big Difference

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I am writing today from my beautiful hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Its funny the memories that stay lodged in my mind. The impromptu summer afternoon trip to the ice cream shop with grandma ranks right up there with Thanksgiving dinner. The meaningful 30 minute conversation with my friend on the west coast who accidentally pocket dialed me at 2 AM my time was more fun than the call I got on my birthday.  Sometimes its a simple compliment from the heart of a stranger who you never see again, but never forget just because of the way they made you feel that one time you met. I’ve heard it said, and I’m sure you have too, that what we remember most about people is how they made us feel. I believe this is especially true about our leaders.

As I studied this week’s Sabbath School lesson about leaders I found my self reminiscing not only about leaders in the church, but also leaders in the secular work place. And why not? After all, while we discuss the theory of the Gospel in Sabbath School class, the workplace is where we exercise the Gospel. While I have been a full time Bible Worker most of my career there have been times I also had to pick up a secular side job to support myself and my ministry. I believe my example in the workplace is so crucial that over the years, when I arrive at my secular job I pray the same prayer I pray before taking the pulpit to preach Sabbath morning. I would say its even more crucial because behind the pulpit I am just talking for maybe 30 minutes, but at work I am demonstrating the Gospel for several hours.

One the jobs I had several years ago when I was a Bible Worker and lay pastor in Texas was being a part time supervisor at UPS. And its there that I had three simple encounters with my own supervisors that years later I have never forgotten, and this week’s lesson brought them to mind once again.

I supervised the people loading the brown delivery trucks. When a worker could not show up and I could not find a replacement I sometimes had to load a few trucks myself. When this would happen I would always go to the break room to get my favorite cold drink and some chips, set them in the back of the truck so I could  enjoy them as I was going in and out of the trucks. Early one morning the packages were already stacking up in an area before I realized the worker was not there. I had no time to find someone or even alert my own supervisor as to what was going on, much less go to the break room for my ritual. I had to jump in there  right away and get to work. About thirty minutes later my own supervisor came by with my favorite drink and chips and placed them in the back of the truck for me. A very simple gesture but it meant a lot because it showed she knew me, and even though it was not necessary for my work she wanted me to be happy.

Drinks and chips are not the only things I had in the back of the trucks. I often placed my cell phone in the back of the trucks. One morning after the trucks had all left to run all over town, I realized my phone was still in the back of one of them. I told the day time supervisor who called the driver to see where I could meet him to retrieve my phone which I did. Later in the day my cell phone rang. It was the daytime supervisor making sure I got my phone okay. Wow! I thought. Those daytime supervisors are so busy how did he even remember me? And why would he remember? My phone wasn’t his problem or responsibility. It meant a lot to me that in such as busy time crunched place like UPS a full time supervisor for another shift, with plenty of responsibilities and problems of his own, took the time to make sure I found my phone.

Before I became a part time supervisor in the loading area I was a sorter. One morning while sorting away I turned to the belt behind me and my eye caught the zip code of a package right as it went by. I instantly realized that zip code did not go on that belt. Another sorter miss sorted it. I quickly grabbed it and placed it on the correct belt as I kept up sorting my own packages. My supervisor walked by and patted me on the back telling me he saw what I just did. He commended my eagle eye. A couple years later was when I became a part time supervisor in the loading area. At the end of one of my shifts I failed to realize that a next day air package was still left on the belt. The next day the manager over the entire building was very upset with me. I probably would have been in hot water had it not been for my former supervisor years ago when I was a sorter. He took it upon himself to go to the building manager and tell him how he thought I was one of the best workers he ever had. When the building manager later talked to me, he told me my old supervisor told him about the package I caught on the wrong belt and how I corrected it, even though in my position I was not expected to. The building manager told me I was not going to be in any trouble.

Again UPS is a hard nose job and it amazed me that a former supervisor took the time and effort to stand up for me even though he had nothing to gain one way or the other if anything happened to me or not.  In these stories I recall each leader showed true character even though they were outside of church and in a place where it is a struggle for even the best of church members to show good character. Each experience may have been small within itself, but I will never forget them. I also try to be what I admire in each of these leaders.

The First Sign of Backsliding

Heron Channelside (5)

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Concerning Jesus, the Pharisees said,

Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked.  “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? John 7:47-48 NLT

In Luke 24:13-34 Jesus uses Scripture to explain to a couple of friends who the Messiah is, while they don’t even recognize Him. Jesus didn’t want them to recognize Him. Jesus did not need them to recognize Him. The Scriptures stood on their own regardless if it was the Son of God or a small servant child sharing them. However, the Pharisees thought people should base their beliefs on who endorsed them rather than what the Scriptures said about them. The Pharisees thought people should just believe whatever the leaders believed, and if a leader did not believe it neither should anyone else. 

May I suggest that the first sign of backsliding is when people take their eyes off of Scriptures and look to their leaders alone?

In Exodus 32:1-35 the people took their eyes off the law they just heard and looked to Aaron. The people should have held Aaron accountable to the law but instead they thought Aaron was above the law or able to interpret the law all on his own. Maybe they thought since Aaron was the high priest that he would be more spiritual than they. He wasn’t. Working as a Bible worker and lay preacher I have a lot of close associations with ordained ministers as well as lay people. I am surprised to find many lay members assume pastors are on a higher spiritual plane when they are not. Should pastors walk very closely to Jesus? Of course! But so should every single church member.  Lay members are called Christians. In sign language the literal translation is “Christ person” or a person like Christ. You can’t have any calling higher than that. Being an ordained pastor does not make you like Christ. Being a true Christian makes you like Christ.

Not by their wealth, their education, or their position does God estimate men. He estimates them by their purity of motive and their beauty of character. He looks to see how  much of His Spirit they possess and how much of His likeness their life reveals.  -Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, Pages 477-8

Maybe the people of Israel thought Aaron had special insights into the law and could interpret it better than they. He didn’t. On the other hand, we have Jesus who was God in the flesh, yet instead of claiming any special insights or philosophies above Scripture, He always stuck to Scripture. In Matthew 4:1-11, when Jesus was tempted He did not check with His personal inclinations or philosophy in order to create any gray areas. Instead He answered every temptation with “It is written” in the Scripture. In Luke 10:25-26 an expert in the law asked Jesus how to have eternal life. He did not give any off-the-cuff answer. He directed the man straight to Scripture.  Had Aaron looked to the law he just heard instead of the people or his own emotions, the golden calf never would have been made, and there would have been no backsliding. If the people had focused on the law they just heard instead of looking to Aaron and their apparent current circumstances they would never have backslidden.

The church went through the spiritual dark ages when the Scriptures were usurped by men of position and human reasoning. Recovery from this darkness began when men like Luther usurped men of position and human reasoning with Scripture.  Today, I believe the first sign of personal or corporate backsliding begins by preferring people with position and human reasoning over Scripture.

As I read about the reformations made in Nehemiah 13, I can’t help but think there are changes I need to make as well in regard to Sabbath keeping and even health reform. Years ago I was working for a church that was somewhat lax about the health message. I actually appreciated this as I could take my cola into the church office without anyone giving me funny looks or admonishing me. But you know what? It was still very unhealthy. It wasn’t any more appropriate just because this church had a different tone about caffeine than previous churches I worked with.  1 Corinthians 10:31 says to eat and drink to the glory of God, and that stands regardless of what church I am in or what other church leaders  are eating or drinking around me. The same goes for Sabbath reform. I see more and more secular work being done in the church on Sabbath that should be saved for during the week. Recently I received a call on Sabbath from a pastor wanting me to hold meetings in his church. He started talking to me about what I would charge and started scrolling through hotel prices online while we were on the phone. I asked him if we could discuss the business part after Sabbath. He quickly agreed but he never spoke to me again. I get it. It is more convenient to take care of these things on Sabbath. Our week is already so hectic.

I worked with a church years ago where everyone wanted to hold committee meetings on Sabbath because it was more convenient than coming back to church during the week. People stopped coming to prayer meeting because they did not want to take time for church during the week. But it did not stop there. Next thing I knew people wanted to have their committee meetings during Sabbath School so they would not have to stay after church. It makes me wonder what we would do if Nehemiah came to our churches today? Problem is, would we just tell him to mind his own business because we are all already doing what is right in our own eyes, and we don’t need him judging us? Something to think about.

Throughout history individual Christians and churches have been tempted to backslide by preferring convenience, philosophy and human leaders over Scripture. The first sign of backsliding is when we neglect or rationalize away Scripture. Jesus gave us a fool-proof way to avoid backsliding by placing Scripture above human authority or human philosophy and reasoning.

You may study this week’s lesson here. 

This one was Born There….

The leaders of the people were living in Jerusalem, the holy city. A tenth of the people from the other towns of Judah and Benjamin were chosen by sacred lots to live there, too, while the rest stayed where they were. Nehemiah 11:1 NLT

I love living in Florida, but that does not keep me from dreaming of other places. I love reading books and watching documentaries about far-away places. Sometimes late at night when my work is done or even when it’s not, I go on Google Satellite Maps and tour the world. When asked where my favorite places are I respond, “Mostly just the seven continents and all the little islands in between.” I like to go through neighborhoods in Australia and Canada and places in between on street view. It makes me feel like I am really there.

While Lima seemed to be a very modern and wealthy enough city, I visited other parts of Peru that reminded me I was far away from home. One night while walking with friends near our hotel in Chiclayo, we met a young girl sitting on a blanket with her little brother begging for money. We gave her several soles, and she gave us a warm beautiful smile, making us feel richer than we did while the money was still in our hands. Nearby another young nina watched, much too polite to ask, but you could  see in her eyes that she desperately needed some soles too. I went over to her and she quickly took my offering and smiled with a “gracias.” I realized while we were on the same planet, I, being a man from the United States, and the two girls begging in Peru were living in separate worlds. Reading all the encyclopedias in the world and visiting Google Maps would never give me a true picture of the world they live in, even tough we share the same moon and sun.

As I write this I can already hear you say, “William you don’t have to cross the sea to find people living in a different world than you. Just cross the railroad tracks!” True. I even read a while back that different siblings perceive their same family so differently based on age and order of birth that it is not even like growing up in the same family. I walk the campus of the school where I help, which has grades pre-k through 12. I realize each classroom is in its own little world. If you asked a pre-k student and a 12th-grader to each draw a picture of their school, you would never be able to tell that both pictures were of the same school, and it’s not just because the 12th-grader is a better artist. They are both in their own world on the same campus. So, yes, you are right. I don’t have to go far to find someone living in a different world than me.

Have you ever looked at a family member who just said something very far out to you, and wanted to ask them, “What planet are you from?” Even though they grew up with you in the same house? Chances are they may have grown up in the same home as you but  still from a different “planet” so to speak because of how they perceived the home and neighborhood around them. Today I will be talking to my sister about our childhood memories, and she will remember things I never noticed, while I was paying attention to things she never saw. Same home. Different worlds. That could explain why two siblings can both love each other very much and have many of the same values, while each being their own independent person. One moment they can both be in total agreement about an issue and then on another issue wonder what planet the other one is from.

While our worlds can be very similar in some ways but in another galaxy in other ways, it helps us understand why we can be so different and yet similar. This is why only God can judge us, because only God even knows what world we are living in.

The Lord will record, When He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.” Psalm 87:6 NKJV

And you know what? Only God knows where “there” is. In other words, God is the only one who knows what world you live in. But He knows everything about your world. He understands things our own family members have no clue about! And you know what else? He can change our worlds so fast. It’s been 13 years since my friends and I were walking the streets of Peru. That young girl sitting on a blanket begging for money may still be sitting there. Or she may be at the medical university near my home here in Florida. One day she may save my life at the hospital and then get into her Lexus and drive home. Stranger things have happened. Only God knows. Only God is our judge. Only God needs to know. For the rest of us, let’s just be kind. That’s all we need to know – just be kind.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

Abraham’s Promises are Your Promises

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I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

A member of a church I had recently spoken in asked me to come to her home. She was very upset because a neighbor claimed to be  a witch and put a curse on her home and family.  The lady church member believed in God but  was afraid of what this curse might mean.  When I got to her home I shared this passage with her.  It is a promise God made to Abraham.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.  I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 2:1-3 NLT

The Lord promised to bless those who blessed Abraham, and to treat those who curse him with contempt. I actually think the KJV is a little more powerful on this point when it says, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” Right after this promise was given, Abraham went into Egypt, and instead of trusting God to care for him, he trusted a lie he invented that Sara was only his sister, not his wife. Not only are lies deceitful, they show we are not trusting God. When we trust God we have no reason to make up lies. Pharaoh took Sara to himself, not knowing she was married. Even though Abraham was less than perfect in this situation the Lord still kept his promise like He always does.

But the Lord sent terrible plagues upon Pharaoh and his household because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. Genesis 12:17 NLT

Even when Abraham was less than perfect and even had trust issues, the Lord kept his promise to curse those who cursed him. I reminded the lady I was visiting, that Balaam tried to curse Israel but could only bless them! See Numbers 23:11-12. The Lord’s blessing continued for the great nation of Israel the Lord had promised to Abraham. The lady I was visiting thought that was all wonderful for Abraham but what did that have to do with her and the curse that was placed upon her? I asked her if she belonged to Christ and of course she said she did. I told her I had good news for her.

And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:29 NLT

I shared with her that the promise to bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you belonged to her just as much it did to Abraham. She claimed this promise and when I spoke to her again many months later, the neighbor was gone and there were no signs of any curses.

Once there was an elder in my area who was being slandered by some of the other church leaders. Thank God the church body could see through the other leaders’ lies and stood up for him. When the truth came out and the elder was exonerated ,one of his enemies, who was also a leader was too proud to recant his lies and accusations. Not long after, the leader who made the false accusations retired to a new area. Soon  he had to move far away from the area he retired in, because of accusations that were made against him which were much more serious than the one he made against the local elder. Some called it karma, some called it what goes around comes around. I can’t help but think of God’s promise, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”  I hope too that this situation led the slandering leader to repentance and salvation.

Now before we start acting all high and mighty when God works in our favor, it’s important to remember that God blessed Abraham because of His own faithfulness, not the faithfulness of Abraham. Even though God cursed Pharaoh so to speak, Abraham still had his own lesson to learn about honesty and trusting God instead of lies. I would imagine even when God curses those who curse us that we too still need to humbly learn some lessons as well. The promise in Genesis 12:3 goes on to say that all families of the earth will be blessed as God wants to bless and save all of us friends and foes, just as he saved faulty Abraham.

You may study this week’s SS lesson here.

History Doesn’t Have to Repeat itself

 

Have you ever been haunted by your past?

Over a decade ago I was preaching during the first worship service and I guess I was all wound up in what I was preaching, because an elder motioned to me that it was time for Sabbath School. I had a real passion for what I was preaching at the moment and basically chastised the elder for telling me to stop. It came across kind of … no it definitely came across as high and mighty and condescending to the elder. The elder quickly ducked out of view of the congregation. I soon realized I did not react appropriately and even made a fool of myself. After church I told the elder I was sorry. He graciously accepted my apology and for the remainder of our time together in that congregation he acted like it never happened. But I had trouble shaking it. Four or five years later, he and I were talking in the hallway, and of course he was acting totally natural, while I was still cringing inside over what I did years ago. As we were talking, the obvious finally dawned on me. He does not even remember what I am cringing about! I am the only one who remembers it! He forgot about it years ago after he forgave me. Why am I holding on to this?  I had to forgive myself then and there, and now I no longer feel awkward when I see him, and, of course, I have never repeated the incident.

It appears in the days of Nehemiah Israel was still haunted by its past, going back to the days of Moses.

But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them,  even when they made an idol shaped like a calf and said, ‘This is your god who brought you out of Egypt!’ They committed terrible blasphemies. Nehemiah 9:17-18 NLT

This came during their time of confession. They are claiming God’s forgiveness but still going over things that happened long ago. The good news is, history does not have to repeat itself. Paul was haunted by his previous actions towards Christians, but he still was able to move on.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14 NLT

Paul was able to get over his past by not continually thinking about it, but also by being sure not to let his history repeat itself. He pressed on to what was ahead instead of repeating what was behind him. When a runner trips over a hurdle she can’t waste time wallowing in self pity. There is no time to lose. She must get back up and run! But she also must make sure she does not trip over any more hurdles. There is no time for self-pity or for tripping over more hurdles.

David made some big mistakes, but we don’t see him making the same mistakes over and over. I think his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51 offers us some clues as to how he moved forward instead of letting history repeat itself.

For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So David was haunted by his rebellion just like Israel, and just like I was. Often times we try to ignore negative feelings and emotions but they have their place. Those negative feelings are symptoms telling us a problem needs to be fixed. If we only treat the symptoms then the problem remains and still needs to be fixed.

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. Psalms‬ ‭51:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

David recognized that He hurt God. He is not sorry that he hurt himself. He is sorry he hurt God and others.

Forgive me for shedding blood…Psalms 51:14 NLT

David’s confession is specific, just like Israel’s in Nehemiah 9.

At the Christian school where I occasionally substitute teach, one of the classrooms uses what is called a fix-it ticket. When students do something inappropriate,  students writes down on a piece of paper exactly what they did wrong, and how they are going to fix that form of behavior. They sign the paper themselves, and then the teacher signs it and the student takes it home for the parents to sign. In Psalms 51 David appears to be writing a fix-it ticket. He is writing specifically about what he did wrong and also how the problem is going to be fixed. A while back I had an attitude that I knew was not right. I wrote a letter to God telling him specifically why I was wrong and asked for Him to help me in specific ways not to have that attitude any more. I have never had that attitude since.. I believe that actually writing things out, not typing but actually hand writing things out can be very therapeutic. If nothing else it shows God and ourselves that our repentance is earnest, rather than just giving a flippant “Please forgive me. I’m sorry.”

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:1, 7, 10, 12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We don’t see David repeating his history over and over because his repentance and confession were very specific and very deep. David realized and openly confessed his own weaknesses and how he was prone to sin.

For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. Psalms 51:5 NLT

Therefore instead of being self-confident David put his confidence in God’s powerful love and promises. We too can keep our sinful history from continually repeating itself by making our repentance deep and heartfelt, and by having no confidence in our flesh or human effort (Philippians 3:3), but rather put our hope and faith in God’s powerful love and promises.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.