I’ve shared with you before that, along with my daily morning Bible reading, I am also reading through Max Lucado’s daily devotional, “God Is With You Every Day”. The following is the selection from January 20.
The Final Word
“The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” Mark 2:10
If you are in Christ, your sin is gone. It was last seen on the back of your Sin Bearer as he headed out to Death Valley. When Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV), he entered the wilderness on your behalf. He carried your sin away.
He has the final word on your life. And his word is grace.
Jesus did his part. Now do yours.
Give God your guilt. Tell Jesus what you did. Hold nothing back. Be abundant in your confession, and . . .
Be concrete in your confession. Go into as much detail as you can. Healing happens when the wound is exposed to the atmosphere of grace.
Exactly what is it that you need forgiveness for? For being a bad person? That is too general. For losing your patience and calling your coworker a creep? There, you can confess that.
Confession, you see, is not a punishment for sin; it is an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.
Be firm in this prayer. Satan traffics in guilt. So tell his guilt where to get off. Speak to it in the name of Jesus. “I left you at the foot of the cross, you evil spirit. Stay there!”
And, for heaven’s sake, stop tormenting yourself. Jesus is strong enough to carry your sin. Did he not say he would do so? Believe him! He has the final word.
Max Lucado certainly has a way with words. I love that statement: “Confession…is not a punishment for sin; it is an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.” These are not just beautiful words. They are a beautiful truth!
1 John 1:9 declares: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness”. David proclaimed, “If I regard iniquity (sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). Don’t allow sin to fester in your heart. Confess it. Isolate it so it can be exposed and extracted.
What happens after confession of sin? David explains it in Psalm 51, his great psalm of repentance: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Beautiful restoration!
This Sunday, January 31, we will continue our New Year’s emphasis with “New Things from God” (part 2). God has given you New Mercies and a New Identity. Put aside your Past, grab hold of your Future and Rest in Jesus!
If you are not able to join us in person at 10:35am for worship, please join us online for the Live broadcast on Facebook. It will also be uploaded later that day to our website (honoluluag.org) and YouTube channel.
There are still two more sessions to go of our “Joy of Belonging” class about membership. Be sure to join us this Sunday at 9:30am in the sanctuary. This Sunday’s topic features a study of spiritual gifts and includes a simple “Ministry Gifts Survey”. Don’t miss this valuable teaching.
The Annual Meeting of the congregation is coming up on Sunday, February 14. It will follow the 10:35am worship service that day and begin with a potluck lunch. The main dish, rice and meatballs (BQ as well as teriyaki and pineapple!), will be provided. Please bring your favorite side dishes – salads and/or desserts, etc – to add to the table. Everyone is invited to stay for the lunch. Members are encouraged to be part of the Annual Meeting.
Aloha ke Akua!