Confess to Yourself

June 23, 2020

 Matthew 6:9–15

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

The Psalmist David said, “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.”

(Psalm 38:18) There is a process we must follow in when we pray, “Forgive us our debts” and it begins with being aware of our sins. David was aware, he was troubled by his sin.

Notice, David confesses his iniquity – these are the things he does, the sins. But he so recognizes the sin behind the iniquity and is troubled by it.

When I am rude and I say something ugly it is a sin. But behind the rude actions (sins) there is the sin of pride. If I am not troubled by the pride I will continue to commit the sins (plural) of pride. I may ask God to forgive me of the sins, but I am not dealing with the sin in me that is causing the sins.

There are some sins that we commit over and over again. Why? Because we are not troubled by the sin behind the iniquity. Or maybe we are not looking for the sin behind the iniquity.

Confession first begins with confessing to yourself. I need to be aware of both my iniquities and my sin. Why do I do the things I do?

Early in Christian teaching a list was made of the seven deadly sins. There is no “one place” in the Bible where these are found, but the Bible condemns all of these core sins. They are pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, and wrath. Are there more than these?

What about hate? Hate comes from the sin of pride, sometimes envy, but most certainly wrath. What about stealing? Stealing comes from greed or even sloth because I am too lazy to work. What about adultery? Adultery comes from lust, pride, greed maybe?

Do you see how the things we do (iniquity) come from the sin we harbor in our hearts? We need to confess our sins, but we need to confess to ourselves what is in our heart that is causing the sins and confess that too. We need to have an awareness of core sin, and be able to admit that to ourselves first.

There needs to be an examination of the heart. We all have blind spots. We don’t know what we don’t know. But we are to confess our sins and then allow them to lead us to the real sin behind the sins. Only then will begin to see real change in our lives.



Forgive us our Debts

June 22, 2020

Matthew 6:9–15

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

David says “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven.”  (Psalms 32:1)  and then he goes on to describe how, when he kept his sin quiet or hidden, there was an oppression from God that felt as though his bones were wasting away and his strength was gone. Can you live in that condition? Sure, but who wants to?

The word blessed in the Old Testament is a very interesting word. We tend to think of it in terms of what God might do for us… what he might give us? Better health, more money, nicer kids, better jobs, a parking place at the mall, these would be considered blessings. But the word actually means wholeness, complete wellness of being.

David did not say God quit giving him stuff, he says he lost his ability to enjoy stuff. Being blessed is not in the things God gives or doesn’t give, it is in our ability to enjoy life… when there is much or when there is little. It was David’s experience with guilt that cost him his “wellness” and made him miserable.

If you are in a college class and you get an F on a test you will feel horrible. But if the professor says, “that test will not count against your final grade” you immediately feel good about the test. Yes, you did poorly but it did not count. And the result, if you are smart, will be to study even harder for the next test and try to do better. You agreed with the test result and you acknowledged it and you took responsibility for it, but it will not go against your record.

As believers we understand that our sins are covered, and they will not go against us. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Then why confess? Doesn’t God already know what we have done? Yes, but it is a matter of fellowship. In agreeing with God about our sin we restore the close fellowship with him, remove the guilt and open the blessing to our lives bringing wholeness and wellbeing and peace with God.

There is no better feeling than to know that your sins have been forgiven and your conscience is clear before God and you have His blessing upon your life. That is a life you can enjoy.



Lead and Deliver

June 19, 2020

 Matthew 6:9–15

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Verse 13 says, “lead us not into temptation” and is sandwiched between “as we also have forgiven our debtors” and “but if you do not forgive men.”  Does that seem out of place? Or is there a special message about unforgiveness Jesus wants us to understand?

The word translated temptation is a word that mean a trial or a testing. When someone has hurt us, we are enduring a trial. But every trial that comes our way is also a test: How will we react to the trial? Will we remain faithful to God? Will we blame God for our troubles? Will we choose not to forgive and allow bitterness and resentment to build up and fester? Are we tempted to dwell in the pain and play the event over and over in our mind? These are all sinful reactions to the painful things people have done to us.

Jesus says, “Lead us…” God desires to lead us, to deliver us, not into trials and temptations but out from the bondage of the evil one. Satan desires to enslave us through our pain and our unforgiveness. Many people have fallen captive to the pain involved from a betrayal. Someone has hurt you and you can’t let it go. Maybe the sin was so severe, so harmful you can’t even talk about it? But you can’t get rid of the pain, it repeats over and over, relentless in its hold over you.

May I suggest to you that Satan has a hold on you that only God can lead you out of? He leads, not into temptation but delivers us from the evil one. How? The process begins with releasing that person to God for judgement. Forgiving the person who hurt you is the first step towards deliverance.

I watched the mother of a child who had been brutally killed forgive her son’s murderer during the sentencing phase of the trial. It is hard to understand the emotion she was feeling. The judge however did not forgive… and justice was done. In an interview with the mother afterwards she told the reporter, “He took my son… I will not let him take me. He will not own me for the rest of my life.”

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things we do. When we don’t forgive we are captured by the evil one. Let me just say that Satan reveled in whatever it was that hurt you. He revels in every moment of pain that is caused in the aftermath of destruction that follows. Don’t let him continue to enjoy your pain. Let it go… turn over that person to the highest court in all creation, to the God who leads us in deliverance.

 




Daily Devotions 2020