Tag: confession

Want the key to God’s Heart?

PREPARATION

We live in a culture that honors self-determination and image as virtues. We are quick to admire people like Steve Jobs, who pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and rise above and beyond the circumstances of their birth. These independent and adventurist souls inspire innovation and hope.

They become more than role models; they are unsuspecting heroes, freeze-framed in an image of success. Failures and mess-ups are hidden and concealed. The image is everything.

King David had become a hero; he inspired hope and confidence with every victory. He was God’s King, but he was his own man. Just inside his heart was a streak of independence, after all, He was “The King.” His people admired him. They sang songs about him. They would die for him. David was untouchable, unshakable, and top-of-the-charts.

So, what happens when the King fails, when the hero falls, the role model messes up? Does he hide the sin; does he pretend? Does he lie and scheme and do whatever is necessary to keep his guilt concealed? Yes!

David wrote, “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” –Psalm 32:4+ NLT

There is only one who longs to hear our confessions, only one. Not those imitation confessions like, “I am sorry if you were offended by what I did.” No, God wants the authentic, broken-hearted, down to the bone  confession, “I have sinned, I did it. I am guilty. I am sorry. I deserve whatever happens.” God longs for us to confess our guilt, our need for his forgiveness, and our need for his presence.

Faith lives like God keeps His promises. And, when we turn to God, confess our failures, our mess-ups, and our sins, He is faithful to forgive. He runs to us, reaches out to us, hugs us, and welcomes us back. I think He must wonder why it takes us so long to finally come to him.

So, why do we pretend and hide and scheme? Because we are guilty!

INSPIRATION

Charlie’s whole family loved peanut brittle. You could eat peanut brittle on Saturdays, but only on Saturdays. It was a family rule.

Around 11 on Friday night Charlie got a powerful craving for peanut brittle. He rationalized his situation. He, after all, was the one who made up the rule. He considered it a technicality, since it was after 12 already in the Eastern Time zone. And, he knew how to get in the bag and reseal it so no one would know.

Once into the bag, he enjoyed every bite.

Next morning no one suspected a thing. He had gotten away with it. But his conscience tormented him. Late Saturday night he realized he would have to confess his sin, but when? After all, it was a little thing.

After church seemed like a good time, but he was distracted by the mysterious disappearance of a cake that his wife had placed in the refrigerator Saturday afternoon. Neither Randy, nor Elizabeth seemed to know anything about it. Then, more distractions happened Sunday night and Monday night he was gone for the evening. So, Tuesday night Charlie called a family meeting in Elizabeth’s room just before her bedtime prayers.

Charlie told the story of breaking the rule—eating the peanut brittle—and asked the family to forgive him. Quite a discussion about what kind of punishment he should be given ensued, followed by a surprising revelation by Elizabeth.

The sensitive 6-year-old quietly reached under her bed and produced what was left of the missing cake. She confessed that she had taken it for a spur-of-the-moment party for the new twins down the street. The new boys’ parents were so busy moving furniture and boxes into the new house, they had forgotten the birthdays.

“Mom, I’m sorry. I thought we would just eat a little, but then I couldn’t squish it back together. So, I hid it under by bed and I’ve been eating on it.”

Then she looked up at her dad and said, “When you told about the peanut brittle, I had to tell about the cake.”

MOTIVATION

Scripture is filled with stories of confession. It’s a major theme of the Holy Book.

And, God is still listening.

Make a list of the people you know who have a strong faith. Pick one or two and interview them about confession. Ask, “Do you have a confession story?” “Why do you think we have such a difficult time with confession?” “What part has confession played in your faith journey?”

When God forgives he forgets the sin and renews his presence in our hearts. It all happens because of God’s love and our faith.

Do it now: tell him about your doubt, your greed, your indifference, your defiance, your sarcasm, your anger, your ingratitude, your bitterness, your resentment, your impatience, your weakness, your jealousy, your self-centeredness, your pride, your unfaithfulness, your deceitfulness.

Jesus died to hear your story, your confession story.

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October 10, 2011 | 0 Comments More