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May 2 – Guilt, grace, and gratitude intertwined

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” –  Psalm 51:12 

Scripture reading: Psalm 51:1-19

In David’s prayer, we see a picture of ourselves. We see ourselves reflected in Psalm 51 even if we have never committed the act of adultery with our neighbour’s spouse or arranged a murder. Jesus clearly taught that if we have looked in lust, we have committed adultery in our heart. The same goes for unbridled anger without a just cause; it is murder in the heart (Matthew 5:22, 28). We have all broken not just the sixth and seventh commandments, but all God’s commandments. With David we must pray, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love…”

And as we recognize our guilt, we also see God’s grace. David’s confession of guilt was intertwined with his knowledge of God’s grace, mercy and love. He prayed, “O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions.” He recognized that God’s grace is far greater than our sin!

When we realize that God’s grace is greater than our sin, we cannot help but be filled with gratitude. As David concludes the Psalm, he focuses on the desire to tell others about God’s grace (13) and he praises God with a joyful heart (15).

May the same be said about you and me! In the sorrow of our sins, may we see the magnitude of God’s grace and then live a life of gratitude, marked by a sincere effort to live in obedience to the very Word which we have so often broken.

Suggestions for prayer

After confessing your sin, prayerfully praise God that His grace is greater than your sin and ask Him to enable you to live a life of gratitude!

Pastor Ted Gray is a retired minister in the United Reformed Church of North America. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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