Week 12- A Broken and Contrite Heart

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

   1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

   3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.  5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.  6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

   7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

   10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

   13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.  14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will  declare your praise.  16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

 18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.  19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 51

What does this passage have to say about joy?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) This psalm was written by King David, after he was convicted of his sin of  adultery with Bathsheba.  Describe his mood, as you listen to his words.  What is he asking for (v. 1)?  Of what is he aware (v. 3), and what does he recognize about his sin (v. 4)?  What does he know will be necessary in order for him to again  experience joy (v. 8-9)?

2) Are you aware of and sensitive to the consequences of your own sin, or do you need others to call this to your attention?  (Before you think too highly of David, remember that the prophet Nathan had to confront him about the implications of his sin with Bathsheba, prior to his writing this psalm.)  When you disobey a   parent or coach, or hurt a friend or teammate (or even someone that you don’t consider a friend), against whom have you sinned?  Why is this recognition that your sin is first against God so important?  Will gaining the forgiveness of a    person make you right in God’s eyes?

3) When you fail as an athlete (by botching a play, being lazy, disobeying your coach), how do you react?  Are you saddened that you sinned against God, or are you just upset that you got caught or that people are frustrated with you?  Do you try to justify your actions and blame others, or do you seek forgiveness?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

4) Where does King David seek to find joy (v. 12)?  Will that come from people  respecting him again, or from his feelings of guilt fading away?  No, ultimately David looks to the only true joy — his salvation in Jesus Christ.

5) Do you find your joy in victories, the adoration and praise of others, and your own skills and achievements?  How can finding your joy in salvation impact the ways you compete?  How can your commitment to that focus help your team?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

6) David asks God to restore his joy, and he also asks for what (v. 12)?  For what purpose does he need this willing spirit?  What does David intend to do, in response to God’s grace toward him (v. 13-15)?  Does pride follow His being made right again (v. 17)?

7) What is your response to God’s forgiveness?  Do you take it for granted, asking and receiving — only to sin again?  As an athlete, do you repeat the mistakes you’ve made in the past?  Do you continue to disobey coaches who have forgiven your past disobedience?  Do you continue to hurt teammates that have forgiven your past wrongs?  What is the mark of a broken heart, of a person who is truly sorry for their sin?

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of joy, and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about joy this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about joy you’ve discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about joy this week...What does a joyful athlete do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of a joyful athlete, and to  determine what those qualities look like in action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “joyful athlete”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of joy — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding joy or anything else), and pray together.


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