January 2020  
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Minister's Message

“Create, Renew and Restore”

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation…”
(Psalm 51:10, 12)
 
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Happy New Year to everyone, and my prayer to God for you is found in 3 John 1:2. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” As we experience this first Lord’s day of 2020, I would like to share some thoughts gleaned from Psalm 51 centered on, “Create, Renew and Restore.”

In Psalm 51:10-12 David prays for purity—for a pure heart, a steadfast spirit of faithfulness and a willing spirit of service. These can only be his if God does not reject him and take his Holy Spirit from him. If granted, the joy of God’s salvation will return to gladden his troubled soul.
The word translated “create” means to create as something new, which cannot emerge from what now is and which only God can fashion. The word usually connotes God’s creating something entirely new. David’s point here is that his sin so tainted his heart that he needed a completely new one that only God could give him.

In asking God to “renew a right spirit within me,” he prays that God will repair the decays of spiritual strength which this sin has been the cause of and set me to rights again. Some scholars suggest the it carries the idea of a renewing a constant spirit within me. He had, in this matter, discovered much inconstancy and inconsistency with himself, and therefore he prays, “Lord, fix me for the time to come, that I may never in like manner depart from thee.”

He prays for the restoration of divine comforts and the perpetual communications of divine grace in verse 12. David finds two ill effects of his sin. First, it had made him sad, and therefore he prays, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” A child of God known no true nor solid joy but the joy of God’s salvation, joy in God his or her Savior and in the hope of eternal life. By willful sin we forfeit this joy and deprive ourselves of it; our evidences cannot but be clouded and our hopes shaken. When we give ourselves so much cause to doubt of our interest in the salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? But when we truly repent, we may pray and hope that god will restore to us those joys. Those that sow in penitential tears shall reap in the joys of God’s salvation when the times of refreshing shall come.

The second thing is that his sin had mad him weak, and therefore he prays, “Uphold me with thy free Spirit.” In other words, I am ready to fall, either into sin or into despair; Lord, sustain me; my own spirit is not sufficient; if I be left to myself, I shall certainly sink; therefore uphold me with thy Spirit, let Him counterwork the evil spirit that would cast me down

As we enter the year 2020, my prayer is that we all will ask God to “create, renew and restore” us in our Christian walk. And remember that the Mission and Vision statement of the University Church of Christ is to be “a New Testament church seeking to evangelize, starting with the central core of Greater Cleveland. We will use our unique gifts and opportunities to engage with the community to bring souls to Jesus, develop and equip them for a 21st century ministry.” Until next week, remember that God loves you, Jesus died for you, I love you and I am your servant for Jesus’ sake!

Yours because of Calvary,
Terrance R. McClain, PhD
Minister

 

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