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Broken Contrite Hearts

Psalms 34:18: The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Broken and contrite hearts are indispensable to have a right and functional relationship with God. Hard hearts keep lost individuals from being saved and ruin the relationship believers need to have with Him. Do you have a broken and contrite heart over your sin from time to time? Do I? When my heart is broken because I did not accomplish something, I lost something that I wanted to keep or I did not get what I wanted, that brokenness is self-centered and God does not bless it. The broken and contrite heart that we need knows we have offended a Holy God who loves us. David often had a broken and contrite heart.

Psalms 51:4: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Recently I sinned against a total stranger. By the time I was willing to apologize, that stranger was miles away. They would never know that I had sinned against them. The sin could not be undone. It did them no harm but gave me a broken and contrite heart. I was forgiven but all I could do was pray for that stranger. Perhaps that was reason enough for my broken heart. I had been impatient. I did not wait upon the Lord. I deliberately put myself out of reach of that stranger so I would not have to apologize to them. Every now and again I am shocked by the hardness of my heart, in spite of being saved for several decades. If you don*t have a broken and contrite heart, you need to ask the Lord to give you one.

Luke 18:13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

The publican had a broken and contrite heart.

Matthew 26:75: And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Peter had a broken and contrite heart. Do you weep bitterly over your sin? Do I?

Charles Haddon Spurgeon devotional on Psalms 73:22: So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee.

Remember this is the confession of the man after God*s own heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, *So foolish was I, and ignorant.* The word *foolish,* here, means more than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former verse of the Psalm, writes, *I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked,* which shows that the folly he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus *foolish,* and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; *so foolish was I.* How foolish he could not tell. It was a sinful folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be condemned because of its perverseness and wilful ignorance, for he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our wilfulness out of us? Ah, this were pride indeed! If David was foolish, how foolish should we be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves! Look back, believer: think of your doubting God when He has been so faithful to you-think of your foolish outcry of *Not so, my Father,* when He crossed His hands in affliction to give you the larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read His providences in the dark, misinterpreted His dispensations, and groaned out, *All these things are against me,* when they are all working together for your good! Think how often you have chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed, that pleasure was a root of bitterness to you! Surely if we know our own heart we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and conscious of this *foolishness,* we must make David*s consequent resolve our own-*Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel.*

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