I will be adding stories & reflections as time marches on. Take a gander today!
The title of my talk today is: "Confessing Our Sins".
Did you know there are at least three Bible verses that couple the idea of confessing our sins with a promise?
Two of them have been a part of my life for a long time. The other, although I am sure I have read it before, did not really register for me until my son pointed it out recently. I will start with that one:
In Leviticus 26, we find God promising the Israelites if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, He will remember his covenant with with them, and will remember the land.
This old testament promise talks about God's people confessing not just their own sin but also the sin of their fathers.
Is there a connection between us and the sin of earlier generations? There might be. In modern counseling, they speak of "generational transmission". In Christian circles, they speak of "generational curses". Does the act of confessing both our own sin and the sin of previous generations afford us a blessing? Perhaps it does.
As I mentioned, this is a new idea to me but one I want to add to my arsenal. Why? Because I've had good results when I've acted on two new testament verses that tell us to confess our sins. One of these is:
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
The idea of confessing our sins to each other can be scary. When I suggested doing this to my sister, her reaction was, "I could never do that!"
There was a time in my life I was afraid if people really knew me, they would reject me. Then came the day I did a thorough moral inventory of myself. After I shared it with God, I shared it with another person.
An amazing thing happened: they did not reject me. A second result of that experience was I found myself, for the first time, truly able to love myself.
Of course, wisdom would dictate choosing a person you can trust. The verse indicates choosing a person who will pray for you.
One thing I know, confessing my sins to others has given me a freedom and a transparency I did not have before. Admitting our failings is the first step to victory over them.
And, who gives us victory over sin? God does.
Which brings me to a very important verse in the life of any Christian:
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
How do we change? How do we become more like Jesus? This verse holds the key. We confess our sin to God and look to Him to change us—to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So, what is sin? As I have relied on the truth in this verse, I have come to call anything outside of God's will for me "sin". By doing so, God is given free reign to change me and make me more like Him—and He will.
What if there is something in my life I don't want to give up, something I don't want to confess? Well, I start right there and admit to God. "God, I don't want to stop this." As I have done that, guess what has happened?
God has moved on my behalf and changed my heart. Where I could not change myself, He did. As I confessed my sin, He forgave me and cleansed me...
Confessing our sins to God and to one another and praying for each other is the secret to spiritual growth and revival.
~ ~ ~ JESUS is LORD! ~ ~ ~