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Summary: “Refreshing My Guilty Times” will examine Psalm 32:1-11 which explains how to experience the blessing of God’s forgiveness and the refreshment of His presence in times when guilt makes us feel like we’re no good.

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The Crossing Community Church

Times Of Refreshing

“Refreshing My Guilty Times”

Pastor Jim Botts

August 25th, 2002

Introduction

In Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “The Tell-Tale Heart” the main character committed murder. Unable to escape the haunting guilt of his deed, he begins to hear the heartbeat of the victim he has buried in his basement. A cold sweat covers him as he hears the beat-beat-beat of a heart, that goes on relentlessly. Ultimately the heartbeat drives the man absolutely mad, not knowing that it was not coming from the body in the basement, but from the heart within his own chest. So it is with a guilt ridden, unforgiving conscience.

The title of today’s message is, “Refreshing My Guilty Times.” We’re in the book of Psalms looking for practical advice for getting “Times of Refreshing” for our souls. If ever we needed soul refreshment, it’s when guilt scorches our conscience. Psalm 32 was written by King David after a 1-year battle with blazing guilt and offers four helpful steps for finding refreshment for our souls in guilty times.

Read Psalm 32:1-11

There are four steps to experiencing refreshment in guilty times…

1. UNDERSTAND THE SOURCE (v1-2)

What is guilt?

**Harmful Guilt (CONDEMNATION): Psychological studies have shown that constant condemnation from false guilt can be counterproductive and rob a person from living effectively.

DEVIL’S personas: “The accuser of the brethren” who loves to remind God of the faults of His people. He reminds us too…

“You’re no good.” “How could God ever forgive you for that!”

You don’t have to live under condemnation.

Condemnation says: RUN AWAY FROM GOD

**Helpful Guilt (CONVICTION): The conviction of our conscience over things we have done, or about to do, that God says we shouldn’t. Guilt has its place, like pain, it is not pleasant but it is useful to indicate that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.

One psychologist describes guilt as the red light on our internal dashboard. When the red light glows, you have a choice to make. Pull over, get out of the car, open the hood and see what’s wrong; or you can smash the light with a hammer and keep driving. The first option leads to fixing the problem; it makes you aware of the broken water hose or the cracked radiator. The second option only relieves the symptoms, but leaves you stranded further down the road.

Cross out harmful guilt, (we’re going to focus on helpful guilt)

Conviction says: RUN TO GOD

Where is the source of guilt?

(v1-2) Four Terms That Reveal The Source of my Guilt:

1. Transgression: “to step out of bounds, cross the line.” The choice to take a step out of line, willful disobedience.

2. Sin: “to miss the mark of God’s perfection.” None of us is as good as God requires. He requires perfection and any person who is not as good as God is not acceptable to God.

3. Iniquity: “to incur guilt, be subject to punishment.” You can actually feel guilty because of your choices.

4. Deceit: “to practice falsehood or deception.” This is the disposition of heart (spirit) that disregards the truth.

All of us have stepped out of bounds, missed the mark of perfection, become guilty of sin and disregarded the truth at some point.

Reality of sin: The Bible says that we can miss God’s mark of perfection with our thoughts, words, or deeds. In commission (what we’ve done wrong) and omission (what we ought to have done right). Imagine if you’ve only sinned 10, no 5, no just 3x per day in though, word and deed (commission and/or omission). You’d be a walking angel. But that’s 1,000 sins per year. Think of your age right now, multiply that by 1000. That’s a lot of sin. What would happen to an habitual offender in a criminal court with that kind of a record.

§ James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (NASB).

How many cracks in a window make a broken window? ONE.

You don’t have to break every law in the book to have the police looking for you, one violation makes one a lawbreaker.

Underline the words “one point” and circle “guilty.” If you’ve ever sinned – you’re guilty. One violation produces guilt.

WE FEEL GUILTY BECAUSE WE ARE GUILTY!

Bad news, but there’s good news ALL IN FAVOR OF GOOD NEWS

**God wants to bless me with forgiveness; The word “blessed” means “How Happy Many Times Over.” Forgiven people are the happiest people, contrasted with guilty people. God has provided…

1. Forgiveness for my transgressions (write it next to the word).

God wants to cancel the debt that my transgressions incurred.

2. Covering for my sin (write it next to the word).

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