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Confession and Repentance

October 7, 2011

Confession and Repentance

In every church service,  we all take part  in a general confession  of all our sins  and forgiveness is proclaimed,  because of Jesus’ sacrifice……. and… because of God’s word,  which says in 1 John 4:10,

In this is love,  not that we loved God,  but that He loved us  and sent His Son  to be the propitiation  for our sins.

Propitiation means,  “favorably inclined  or disposed,… gracious,… that which favors  or furthers.”     In other words,  because of Jesus’ sacrifice,  God looks  upon us sinners  very favorably.     God no longer builds up judgments  against us,  but sees us  as purified  in the blood  of Christ — really pure and holy.

But,  what have we really confessed  deep down  in our hearts?

Are we secretly thinking,  “You know,  I’ve always been a very nice and kind person.     I’m tenderhearted,  compassionate,  love my family,  and all that — must have been born that way.     I’m very patient and thoughtful, too.     I really haven’t sinned all that much — at least not like  ‘you-know-who’.     But, I go through this confession thing  because it’s the proper  and orderly thing  to do  in church.     God knows  how good I am.     I’m sure  God is quite pleased  with all my efforts  to remain righteous for His sake.     After all,  I’ve done a lot for God.”

Such a  “confession”  does not lead to repentance.     To repent is to be contrite over our sinful condition  and strive to change our ways.

Yes,  indeedy!     We all  need to change daily.     In this life  our sinful,  self-righteous,  greedy,  bitter,  hateful,  judgmental,  spiteful  and selfish old natures  will always be sneaking up on us  and trying  to con us  into patting ourselves  on the back.

We’re no more righteous  than the man  in the moon.     Isaiah 53:6  says,  “All of us  like sheep  have gone astray,  each  of us  has turned  to his own way;  but the LORD  has caused  the iniquity of us all  to fall on Him.”

If we really  saw our sinful natures  like Isaiah did,  we would ashamedly  cry with him,  “All  of us  have become  like one  who is unclean,  and all our righteous deeds  are like a filthy garment.”    (Isaiah 64:6)

If we ever were  to see the likeness of God  as John did,  the awesome  fear  of our circumstance  would make us  faint away.     He wrote about Jesus  in Revelation 1:17,  “And when I saw Him,  I fell  at His feet  as a dead man.”

Ezekiel experienced  the same most humbling presence  of God,  so in Ezekiel 1:28  he says,  “And when I saw it,  I fell on my face…”

What makes us think  we could brave such  an experience  without the LORD’s presence  stripping us  of every tiny bit of self-righteousness?

It’s easy  to get rather  self-confident  and cocky  when  we’re strutting  around all by ourselves.     But  when  we have to stand  in God’s presence,  His all-seeing eyes  will show us  the ugliest depths  of our sinful natures.     We won’t  be able to  “worm”  our way  out of that one.     Don’t have the audacity  to think  we can hide  our sinful natures  from God.

We don’t stand a chance.     We will be judged  just  as we are:  egotistical,  proud,  shameless,  sinful — UNLESS,  we are cleansed and covered  in the blood of Jesus.

Now,  this cleansing  is God’s promise.     And God cannot lie.     If we refuse  to accept  God’s gift  of immediate full forgiveness,  then  we are calling God a liar,  because  we are claiming  we can work  our own way  to heaven.     That’s saying Jesus’  death  doesn’t mean anything to us.     That doesn’t sound very smart.

It’s only wise  and prudent  to look  at ourselves  for what  we really are — including  all those  flitting feelings  we experience daily — our innermost  reasons  for acting the way we do.

Then,  it’s only sensible  to realize  that the Almighty  LORD  is our Savior  and Redeemer  because  He has proven  over thousands  of years  that He keeps  His promises.

God will not renege  on His offer  of forgiveness.     It is  His gift  to us.     We need  to accept it  with humble,  thankful hearts.     Thankfulness  is shown  by changed attitudes  and living.

Don’t reject  God’s love  by thinking  you have to  “pay”  for it.     Just have faith  and love  in return — or you will die in your sins.

When we realize the immensity  of God’s faithful love  towards us,  we will fall before Him  and proclaim,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for faithfully loving us.”

Love,
Margaret

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods

Pray for our country

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The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.

Psalm 118:24

The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

Psalm 18:30

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

O give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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