Confession is Good for the Soul

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I John 1:8-10, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

It’s been said, “Confession is good for the soul.” Is this statement true? Is confession easy to do? To whom should we confess, anyway? I must confess, I find it hard and awkward to confess my sins to other people. I find it difficult to confess to God, as well.

Confession to God is serious business. Confession to God means we accept our sins, and we acknowledge that God can do something about our sins. Here are some reasons why people struggle to confess their sins to God.

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  1. IGNORANCE. You do not know what you do not know.  You don’t know what you did wrong. Sometimes you have to wait for a sermon or for someone to remind you of your transgressions. Some people do not believe their actions are sinful. They think their actions are just misguided mistakes, and errors. No need to confess, so they think.
  2. GUILT. This is the big one here. People struggle to face God when they are aware of the huge wall of sin blocking their view of God. They may feel bad, remorseful, and ashamed. They might wonder if the Holy God would want to hear from them. They envision God saying, “Not again. How many times are you going to keep sinning and coming back to ask for forgiveness?” Acknowledging your own sin is a humbling exercise. Facing God while you are in sin is embarrassing and shameful. Hiding or ignoring your sins does not make the sins disappear. Sooner or later, you are going to deal with those sins. It is better to confess them now, when grace is available, than at a time when it would be too late.
  3. BUSYNESS. A rushed life has no time for deep, thoughtful communication with God. When people are rushed, they tend to make general, drive-by prayers. They gloss over serious problems, and dismiss them as insignificant errors. Quality, unhurried time with God is conducive for serious reflection on the ugliness of sin, and the beauty of God’s abundant grace.

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Every time we confess how we have missed the mark of God’s love and truth, we open ourselves up to the mending work of the cross. Jesus’ wounds hold true life-changing power. This is the shocking reality that confession can open up to us.” (Adele Calhoun)

Yes, confession is good for the soul. It makes the soul right with God. God knows your sins. God is not happy with your sins. Continuing in sin places your relationship with God in jeopardy. You must confess your sins, not only to clear your conscience, but to clear the path to God.

Stop running, stop hiding, confess your sins to God, and God will cleanse you.

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Called to be Faithful

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“I recently read about an old man, walking the beach at dawn, who noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. ‘But the beach goes on for miles and miles, and there are millions of starfish,’ countered the man. ‘How can your effort make any difference?’ The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. ‘It makes a difference to this one,’ he said.” – Hugh Duncan, Leadership Journal.

Faithfulness makes a difference. When I hear the word faithfulness, I think of words and phrases like loyalty, stick-to-it, hang on, consistency, reliable, dependable, always there, never give up, and so forth. Faithfulness means loyal, unmovable allegiance to God, spouse, family, people, school, work, or a cause. For us as Christians, we are called to remain faithful to God, and in all our relationships and commitments. We face obstacles and temptations which seek to derail our faithfulness and allegiance to God. Yet, we are called to remain faithful through it all.

How to remain faithful

1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” From this verse we learn the following:

  1. Be alert at all times. Keep your eyes open. Be attentive to your surroundings and situations. The devil seeks to attack, frustrate, and destroy your faith. Watch out for people, things, and places which might derail you. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind.Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

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2. Stand firm, immovable, grounded, anchored in your faith. Establish your position and refuse to let anything move you. Say, “Not today, nor ever. Not in my house, devil!” Ephesians 6:13-14, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…” 

3. Do not be afraid. The enemy will huff and puff; situations will intimidate you, but do not be afraid. Stand your ground. Be bold. Be fearless. Isaiah 41:10, ““So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

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4. Be strong. Draw your strength from God through prayer. When you are weak, trust God to give you strength to persevere through it all. Joshua 1:6-7a, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous.” Yes, you can be faithful. Someone is counting on your? Your faithfulness makes a difference.

Bringing Our Pain to Jesus

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Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate our dear mothers. Mother’s Day can be a great day but can be a painful day for those whose mothers are no longer here with us.

The sun was about to bid the day farewell. It had turned into a big, tan ball lingering on the threshold of the sky and the earth; day and night. The warmth of the sun was diminishing as a cool breeze began to sweep over the earth. Darkness encroached ever so slightly, as light progressively disappeared. The good day was coming to an end. ‘Say “Hi” to everyone. I am going to wait in the room,’ Rutendo said, as she descended down the stairs. Our room was on the ground floor facing west just a few feet from the lake. The jetty (dock) went from the edge of the building extending into the lake. The dock sat above the lake as if it were floating, rather hovering above the clear, glassy lake.

I rushed up the stairs to the school office. The School For Youth Leadership building in Lake Munmorah located in NSW Australia sat at the top of a steep flight of stairs. I walked past a couple of fellow students. The receiver of an old phone with a curled chord lay on the desk. I picked up the phone and said, ‘Hello’. On the other end of the line was a familiar voice. It was my sister, Sunbeam. Her voice was muted, broken, and somber. I could barely hear her, as she started crying. She paused for what seemed like an eternity.

My mind raced, rather spun in circles, as I tried to figure out what news she was about to share.  My heart thumped hard as if it would break my rib cage.

‘Rutendo’s mother just passed away…’ she said. What? Suddenly, I went blind – I saw nothing. My head seemed to go into a tailspin like I was being tossed back and forth, spinning in an emotional tornado. I did not hear anything else she said. My knees buckled under my frame, tumbling me into the chair. This sad, painful news came to me almost like a spear had been driven into my core. I sat there motionless. I felt warm tears trickle down my cheeks. I wept. I wept for my wife. I wept for my father-in-law. I wept for my wife’s siblings. How would I share this difficult news with Rutendo? How would I let Rutendo know her best friend, her mentor, her confidant had passed away? How? My feet were heavy as I began the descent to our room to share the news with my wife. This was the most painful news I have ever had to deliver. That became one of our darkest nights together.

Family

Mother’s Day is a heavy day in our household. Mother’s Day is a reflection day in our household. Mother’s Day is a day of cherishing warm memories of my mother-in-law. Mother’s Day can be a painful day for those whose mothers are no longer here with us. If you lost your mother, you are not alone. Let this year’s Mother’s Day be a day to fondly remember and cherish the times you shared with your mother. Let this year’s Mother’s Day be the day you bring your raw pain to Jesus. Come cry at his feet. He will hear you and wipe your tears away. He cares for you. He loves you. You are not alone. Jesus is with you, through your darkest pain.

Embrace this Mother’s Day as a way of honouring your dear mother’s memory.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ (Revelation 21:4)

‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ (Psalm 34:18)