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This Morning in the Word: Examining my Heart with a Chart of Contraries

February 17, 2011

Psalm 36

Examining my Heart with a Chart of Contraries

 It is not necessarily a “natural” inclination to ask for our flaws to be spotlighted. We usually resist such humbling. Only when we submit to the scrutiny of the Throne of GRACE is such examination guaranteed to be restorative rather than punitive. Bowing before Him, we will “find mercy and grace to help in time of need.”


 Because we are not yet totally sanctified and not yet free from sin, personal confession and repentance should be established and frequent habits for those of us who wear the name of Christ. Scriptures such as Psalm 36  help us examine what is at the core of ourselves and bring the refreshment and joy that is inextricably bound to repentance.

 Since those things written here are indicative of the wicked heart, my simple logic tells me that the opposite would be true of the righteous heart. So I consider them by using a chart of contraries. One side of the chart holds the description of the wicked (See verses 1-4 below.) and questions to ponder. The second side of the chart holds the same descriptive phrases, only this time they are turned right side out to describe the righteous. In this way, I pause to ask the Lord if I am “making peace with sin” or if I am in harmony with His wisdom and His way.


Read Scripture – Psalm 36

An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:

    There is no fear of God before his eyes.
    For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful;he has ceased to be wise and to do good.Even on his bed he plots evil;

    he commits himself to a sinful course

    and does not reject what is wrong.


Inquire of the Lord

Lord, will you give me wisdom concerning the sinfulness of my heart:

    At what points have I viewed you without a proper respect, awe and reverence, without “fear” before my eyes?Show me when in my own eyes I have flattered myself so much that I do not detect or hate my sin.Remind me of the times when my mouth has been wicked and deceitful;when I have ceased to be wise and do good.

    Keep me from plotting evil, even when I am laying down to rest;

    Show me where I have committed to a sinful course and

    where I have cooperated with wrong.

In Your mercy bring me to repentance for these sins.


Read Scripture from the “Contrary View” (Pray through it from the opposite perspective.) 

Concerning the godliness of the righteous:

    Holds a fears of God before his eyes.Does not flatter himself; detects and hates his sin.The words of his mouth are righteous and truthful;he continues to be wise and to do good.

    Even on his bed he devises plans for good;

    He commits himself to a godly course

    and rejects what is wrong. 


Entreat the Lord (Ask God to do a transforming work bringing forth His likeness.) 


    Cause me to see You “high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6): sovereign, holy, and just, the only One worthy of praise.Help me to be sober-minded about myself, desperately sinful but redeemed; keep me sensitive to sin and make it repulsive to me.“Let no corrupt communication proceed from my mouth, but rather truth that brings grace to those that hear me.” (Eph. 4:29)By Your spirit, cause wisdom and goodness to mark my life.

    On my bed, when I am wakeful, bring my mind to intentions of good, acts that will reflect You clearly.

    Give me courage and strength to pursue commitment to a righteous course and

    give we wisdom to assist and enable only what will bring a “Well done!” from your lips.

 Thank you, Lord, for the chance to walk with You, to know you and commune with You.


The words of a precious old hymn came to my mind this morning –

Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.

Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor;
Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.

He is my all, there’s nothing between.

I am resolved, there’s nothing between.

Watching with prayer … there’s nothing between.

[Nothing between my Soul and the Savior by Charles Tindley]

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat Lackey permalink
    February 21, 2011 3:46 pm

    What a wonderful thought “There is nothing between my soul and my Saviou”!

    • February 21, 2011 10:22 pm

      So good to see you here, Pat! Just seeing your name reminds me of your love of the Savior and brings a blessing to my heart. May you encounter His care in sweet, sweet ways.

  2. March 14, 2011 2:42 pm

    Greetings from Wordwise Hymns. It was your reference to some lines in Pastor Tindley’s fine gospel song that caught my eye. I posted an article on it myself this morning. It’s so easy to allow other things to creep in and hinder our relationship with Christ. The determiniation to “let nothing between” is called for. God bless.

    • March 14, 2011 9:03 pm

      Thank you for stopping by. May you sense His pleasure as you continue your faithful service for His Kingdom! Thank you for taking the time to affirm His work through the Word and the precious music that expresses our faith!

  3. March 25, 2011 9:43 pm

    Thanks for connecting, Andrea! What encouragement to see how God weaves us together! May you indulge yourself in His presence this day!


  1. Resolved to inquire of the LORD… « HOPEannFAITH

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