March 5 "O Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath, nor chasten me in your hot displeasure!" Psalm 38:1 These are the cries of king David, a man heavily weighed down in the results of sin. Sin always brings destruction; it may be immediate or it could show up later, but the sin principle does not change, it will always bring destruction. vs 3-4, 18: "There is no soundness in my flesh because of your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me." When the results of sin bring destruction into a man's life, it can be so severe that he goes into despair. It can seem never-ending and the person can be overcome by depression and hopelessness. vs 6, 10: "I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long... My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me." In many cases the man/woman has lost everything and even his family and friends have left him. This can lead to utter despondency. vs 11: "My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, and my relatives stand afar off." But as long as there is life there is hope. There is no sin too terrible to be forgiven. In this Psalm, the broken man turns to God for mercy, and we know he received it because this Psalm was written by king David concerning whom the Lord said: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will." Acts 13:22 Really? David was an adulterer and he was also guilty of murder. So how could the Lord say that David is a man after his own heart? The answer is that we are ALL sinners, each and every descendant of Adam. But our attitude will make or break us before the Lord. The man after God's own heart is the man who accepts the verdict on his sin, the man whose pride does not cause him to shrink back from confessing it, the man who turns to the Lord in heartfelt repentance, admitting his guilt, and acknowledging that the results of his sin are just. vs 18: "For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin." If you have stayed away from God because you think your sin is too great for him to forgive; if your life is destroyed and you've come to the end of yourself; if despair and bitterness fills your every day, the Word of God assures you that God will receive the repentant man no matter how terrible his sins. Believe his Word which offers you hope. Cry out to him and he will hear you. Have you crossed over the line where there is no more mercy? Remember one thing: when God has cut a man off from mercy because that man has hardened his heart permanently, the Holy Spirit no longer brings conviction upon him, he's permanently hardened. What characterizes a person who has become so reprobate that he's crossed that line beyond which there is no mercy, is that is the man no longer feels guilt. The conviction of the Holy Spirit no longer bothers the person's conscience. If your conscience is still under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, then he has not left you. Cry out to him and he will receive you. “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word." Isaiah 66:2 Come while there is yet time, do not delay. God is holding out mercy and hope for you: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 Come!