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Summary: Addresses the need for repentance in order to turn the tide within the church. So as to attract rather than repel new visitors and converts.

2 Steps To The Door

Ps 51:10-13

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.

13 {Then} I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee.

(NAS)

Many churches are looking for ways to stop the revolving door at their churches.

Many churches have visitors who don’t return or regular attendees who quit coming.

Is there a solution?

I think so, but it’s not in the direction some of us want to look.

The writer of this Psalm summed it up in just a few short verses.

First of all corporate and personal repentance, and secondly, allowing God to renew the spirit of teaching within us.

1. Corporate and personal repentance.

The revivals that have started and flourished within this past decade are those that started with the church as a whole coming to a place of repentance.

Along with this corporate repentance was a deep personal repentance upon the clergy and laity as well.

We all know that revival usually starts with one person getting serious before God and then others begin to follow suit.

Have you ever thought about how serious your relationship is with God?

Is there some place where God could bring renewal in your life?

There are two things the Psalmist writes that he desires from God.

1. A clean heart --- a life beyond reproach, without shame or remorse from past sins.

2. A steadfast spirit --- the old preachers used to say the backbone of a saw log, a fire shut up within our bones, the keep on keepin’ on.

We need a renewal of our desires, and our hopes and visions and dreams, we need a cleansing of our value systems.

Along with that we need the faith to stick it out no matter what Satan may throw at us.

How do we get there?

On our knees physically and spiritually.

We need to see some old-time prayer meetings.

We’ve been to so many seminaars, and super Bible studies and these different conferences that we attend to last a lifetime.

We need some down to earth prayer time and getting serious before the God who made us.

We need some personal soul-searching and pleading before God for his direction within our lives.

How long has it been, since you had a good lengthy prayer time with God?

As the Wolf brand Chili man would say, "Well honey that’s been to long."

Do you ever just stop in the middle of everything and say I’m going to spend some time with God right now?

The only way for us to have a clean heart is for us to look inside of it.

Open the door and let the Lord turn his searchlight on and point to us the things that are there.

Prayer is the way we open that door.

A steadfast spirit is one that weathers the storms and still believes God is in control.

When our faith is weak one of the quickest ways to restore it is to humbly say Father forgive any and all of my sin.

Repentance and a contrite heart is a place that God loves to dwell.

The psalmist earnestly pleads that God would not remove him from his presence, nor take the presence of the Holy Spirit from him.

Where is the scariest place for a believer to be --- when that believer feels God’s presence is a million miles away from him.

There is an inborn sense within us that we need God’s presence.

Within each and everyone of us is an inborn craving for intimacy with our creator.

When we are in trouble who do we cry out for? --- God

If trouble comes our way who do we usually blame? --- God

God doesn’t bring the trouble, but the absence of his presence sure leaves the back door open ---

--- for other visitations from things we don’t desire to see coming.

We need his presence, and repentance will always open the door.

Why are we so afraid to go there, when we know it’s guaranteed to bring relief?

The Psalmist then asks God to restore Salvation’s Joy, and bring a sustaining willing spirit within.

The Word says, the Joy of the Lord is our strength.

Joy will go a long way in not only healing old wounds but also establishing new relationships.

The Word also says that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.

The medical community has proven that a merry and joyful outlook on life has a greater hand in healing than almost any other ingredient.

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