Berlin Sunday Service: Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

19 July, 2020 – The Tenth Commandment in Exodus 20:17, similarly to the First, is about the heart. It makes sure that we don’t fail to remember that the commandments are never merely about external sins, but that it is “out of the heart” that come all sorts of sins (Mt 15:19). “You shall not covet” tells us that our own hearts and desires are corrupted by sin. We were created by God who wants to be our loving Father, our provider, our true satisfaction. But sin makes us think that our desires can be satisfied apart from him, and so we covet because we don’t seek satisfaction in God. We break the First Commandment that tells us that “there is no other”, we are distracted from seeking God and run after things that disappoint and can even destroy us in the end. So it is essential that we heed the Tenth, that we fix our eyes on Christ, that we “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Mt 6:33), that we don’t run after what is lesser (Mt 6:31-32), what will be destroyed (Mt 6:20), because our heavenly Father knows what we need the best. We must “guard our heart, for everything we do flows from it” (Prov 4:23), we must not covet, but take hold of our heart and trust God first.

The society today says, your heart knows what’s best for you, just follow your desires, but they become consumed by their sins. They are not afraid to go as far as possible to get what their hearts desire but so often end up suffering irreparable damage. Before we listen to our heart and desires, we must listen to God who made us out of love and who planned wonderful things for us. King David knew very well how treacherous a man’s own heart can be. The great king’s covetous heart lead him to commit adultery and murder. The story is a humbling reminder that even “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14) can fall so deeply. But God showed him great mercy and because of that he became a great witness of God’s grace (Ps 51:31). David knew that what he needed most is a new clean heart (Ps 51:10) that only God can give. The Law reveals how deep our sin runs (Ps 51:3-6) and we might feel despair knowing that the most difficult thing in the world is to change our own heart. But God doesn’t despise a broken spirit and a contrite heart (Ps 51:17), he doesn’t reject a man who cries “what a wretched man I am” (Rom 7:24), he is quick to restore in us the joy of salvation, to grant us a new spirit and new heart (Ps 51:12), to wash us and make us whiter than snow (Ps 51:7) with the blood of the Lamb. Thanks be to God, who delivers us through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom 7:25)

After the service, members gave thanks to God that pastor Moriah’s family was able to join the service. The abundant grace and sheer joy were overflowed only by the fact that they could see one another in the presence of God. They are the living testimonies of the great works of God who endlessly and unconditionaly love His children. Members always want to remember what God has done for them and testify His love to the end of the world.