“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions.”–Psalm 51:1
Tyler’s grandmother raised him in a rough neighborhood. She urged him to stay in school and not get involved with the local gangs.
But Tyler was eager for the affection and protection of family that a gang leader promised when he was recruited.
One day, some guys robbed a bank. During the robbery, one gang member shot a security guard. Tyler stayed behind to save the dying man, but it was too late.
That’s how Tyler served life in prison at only nineteen. A few months into his stay, his grandmother’s church organized a prison ministry. The church group would share the Word of God with the inmates and encourage them each week.
At first, Tyler attended the meetings because it gave him an excuse to be out of his cell for an extra hour. But the more he listened, the more curious he became about Jesus.
He asked his grandmother’s pastor questions about God, how he had designed the world, and what it really meant to be a Christ follower. The other man listened patiently and answered Tyler’s questions.
One day after the church group had shared Psalm 51, Tyler asked, “Is my sin too great? Can God forgive even me, the murderer?”
The pastor smiled and shared the story behind that chapter of the Psalms. “It was written after David had an affair with a married woman. When he discovered she was pregnant, he had her husband killed in battle. Yet God still forgave David when he confessed his sin. There is no sin so dark that the blood of Jesus cannot cover it.”
When Tyler heard this, he became a Christ follower, too. He prayed with the pastor, gratefully accepting Christ’s gifts of forgiveness and eternal life.
God, thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for having mercy on me. Please blot out my sins and help me walk in your ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.