Third Sunday in Lent – March 24, 2019 –Psalm 85:8
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
Psalm 85; key verse, verse 8: I will listen to what God the Lord will say; He promises peace to His people His saints – but let them not return to folly. When we repent, we take responsibility, we show remorse, we repair what we can, and we repeat not! This is what the psalmist is driving at when he says, “but let them not return to folly.” When we repeat, when we return to visit from whence we came, we provoke God’s displeasure again. Thus, we need to ask the Lord to send us His Holy Spirit to lead us into right living. And when we fall or fail, we need to confess our sin, repent, and rely on His grace to save us. This is the pattern of a life of repentance.
And with repentance comes faith; which trusts the Lord’s promise to forgive and which receives this forgiveness with thanksgiving. The Lord does not want us to wallow in our grief and shame. He wants to strengthen and renew us for Jesus’ sake. This He has promise to do for us every time we come to Him. The old adage reminds us, “confession is good for the soul,” which is true. But even better, forgiveness makes glad the heart.
Just as I am, thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe; O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Almighty God, You know that I have no power in myself to help myself: Keep me both outwardly in my body and inwardly in my soul, that I may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ the Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. AmenO God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
 Just as I Am, without One Plea stanza five, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing, St. Louis