Confess the name of Christ
Romans 10: 9-10
We have spent the entire week talking about confession. Identifying our sins, taking ownership of our sins, and how we should confess our sins to God and to others. The Bible actually talks about another type of confession. The same way that we are to Identify, acknowledge, take ownership in our sins we should be taking ownership in God. Read Romans 10: 9. This scripture is telling us that we need to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. To say out loud that Jesus is the ruler of our lives.
This type of confession has the same characteristics as the type we have been talking about his week. When we confess that Jesus is Lord we are acknowledging him as God, owning Jesus (Aligning ourselves with him), and telling God and others that he is over everything.
Are you confessing that Jesus is Lord in your daily life?
Would other people know that Jesus is Lord of your life?
PRAY: Ask God to give you the boldness to confess with your mouth that he is Lord of your life
Confession in Accountability
Have you ever noticed that there are some things in life that are just to hard to do on your own. Take football for example. There is no doubt that Quarterbacks are under more pressure than any other position. They are responsible for running the entire offence. They could easily take the credit if their team and they are often blamed if their team loses. However, most quarterbacks don’t take credit. After the game it is pretty common for the winning quarterback to say something like “It was a whole team effort” or “The defense really won this game.” That is because they know that winning a football game takes far more than their performance. They have to have the support from all their teammates.
Living a life of confession is also one of those difficult things that requires the help of others. James 5: 16 tells us that we should confess our sins to each other that way we can be held accountable. Obedience to God’s word is not a solo operation. If you build a team around you that will help and give support you are much more likely to succeed. This is why God wants us to confide in each other. To tell others where we are struggling so they can help us stay faithful.
What are some things that you need to tell someone about so they can support you and help you stay obedient?
Who are some people in your life that you trust enough to keep you accountable?
PRAY: Ask God to show you someone that you can team up with that can keep you on the right path
Confess your sins to God
So far this week we have talked a lot about this week about Searching out sin, Acknowledging sin, and owning or sin those things can lead us to forgiveness but it is only when we confess our sins that true forgiveness happens.
Psalm 32:5 says this
Then I acknowledge my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord”
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
This week we have acknowledged our sins, taken ownership of them and not covered them up, now it is time to confess our sins to God. It is time for us to admit to God what we have done and to ask forgiveness.
Take the piece of paper that we have been working with and pray a prayer of confession. Confess that you have screwed up and ask for forgiveness. After you pray through those things get rid of that paper. Put those sins behind you and move on to a life of obedience. The guilt of sin is forgiven.
Own your sin
1 Kings 8: 33-34
I don’t know if it is even on TV anymore, but the show Cops is pretty entertaining and gives some insight to how messed up our world really is. If you have never seen the show the basic premise is that there are cameras men that follow real cops around as they go about their day. Sometimes it is just a small town cop that hands out tickets and handles domestic disputes. However, sometimes you get lucky and they are following inner city cops who are dealing with pretty crazy stuff. If you watch the show you will quickly realize that when the cops find drugs the people they find the drugs on are never the owners. It always happens like this, the cop pulls the drugs out of their pockets and the person immediately says “that is not mine.” They usually give some crazy excuse like these are not my pants, or I am just holding it for a friend.
Hopefully your life is not like a episode of Cops but often times it is human nature to not accept responsibility for the bad things we do. We like to point the blame to someone else. It is not a new thing even Adam in the Garden of Eden blamed Eve for his sin of eating the fruit of knowledge. In 1 Kings 8: 33-34 Solomon is praying that God will grant the people of Israel forgiveness when they finally own up to their sins. We like the Israelites have to first take ownership of our sins before we can be confess those sins and be forgiven. We have to realize that even though an outside source may have provided the temptation, or pushed us to commit the sin it was ultimately our decision to commit the sin. It is only when we realize that we committed those sins that we can truly be forgiven.
Take that piece of paper that we used yesterday and wrote out some of the sins that are separating us from God. Take responsibility for committing those sins.
PRAY: Ask God to show you areas where you have blamed your sin on other people or things and ask God to burden your heart with taking responsibility for your actions
“Acknowledge your sin”
1 Timothy 1: 12-16
If someone where to walk up to you right now and say, “How is it going?” Odds are that you would probably give the stereotypical auto pilot answer “Good, How are you.” We all do this, maybe because we don’t really want to talk to that person or we are busy or we don’t have time to get into deep conversation. Those may be valid reasons, but I would guess that most of us answer that way not because things are actually good but that things are terrible. We just don’t want everyone and their mom to know about how bad our lives are or the struggles we are having. If everyone who said that they were “good” actually were good the world would be a much different place. Life is tough and often it is easier to put on a smile and not acknowledge the bad.
Sadly this is often the way that we approach sin that is in our lives. We know it is there but we refuse to acknowledge it. We focus on the fact that we are not as bad as that person, or that we go to church. We focus on the good without identifying the bad stuff. We just sweep sin under the rug like nothing is wrong. In the Bible Paul was not the kind of person that just ignored sin. In 1 Timothy 1: 15 Paul says that God came to save sinners and that he was the worst sinner of all. Some translations interpret that as Paul calling himself the “Chief of Sinners.” Paul did not do this because he hated himself or that he though he was too terrible of a person for God to love. Paul looks at his own sin because it points out how great Gods forgiveness is. It is important for us to look at our sin because it is impossible to know that we need to be forgiven if we cannot see how much we do wrong. When we see our sin for what it is we will see how much we need Jesus.
Yesterday we talked about searching out our hearts for sin. Today I want us to acknowledge that sin. Take a piece of paper and write out some of the sin in your life that is separating you from God. Try to make then as specific as possible.
Hold on to your paper we are going to be using it for the next few days
PRAY: Ask God to help you acknowledge the sins in your life and not dismiss them
“Search my heart”
As you get older you will realize that there are a few essential items in your life that you will constantly be losing. For the rest of your life unfortunately you will be losing the remote to your TV and your keys. For some reason these objects have a way of disappearing and ending up in the weirdest places. I cannot tell you how many times I have found my remote in a different room that does not even have a TV in it. One time I lost my keys and searched all over my house. I moved every couch cushion, looked in every drawer, even the junk drawer, even looked in the fridge. I finally thought that they might be in my car. I went outside and tore my car apart looking for them. As I had finally given up hope I walked back inside and there were my keys still in the lock on the doorknob. Searching for things can be extremely frustrating and difficult.
Yesterday we talked about the sin that separates us from God. Sometimes this sin is not something that is easily identified. Sin is really good at hiding itself in our lives. It can camouflage itself so well that we commit sins every day without even noticing. Because sin is so crafty we really have to search for it. Just like losing your keys, searching out sin in our lives can be extremely difficult and frustrating. Even though searching your heart is hard it is a necessary part of our walk with God. How can we confess and ask for repentance from our sins if we are not sure what they are. In the book of Psalm David recognizes that there are probably some things in his life that are keeping him from God and he asks this
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting
Make that your prayer today.
PRAY: Pray and ask God if there are any offensive ways in your heart. Ask God to reveal any sins that you may have in your life that you need to get rid of. Don’t just make this a one-day prayer but set aside a couple times today where you genuinely ask God to search out your heart.
Sin Separates Us
Maintaining good friendships is extremely difficult. Especially when you are a student. There is so much going on in your life and finding time to hang out with your friends gets hard. No matter how much time you make for your friends there are still things that can creep into a friendship and really get between you as friends. I am sure that you have experienced this. You wake up one day and realize that you and your best friend are not as close as you used to be. Maybe your friend has started hanging out with a new group of people, or they spend a ton of time traveling to play their sport so you don’t get to spend much time with them. The ultimate wedge in a friendship is when you or your friend gets a serious boyfriend or girlfriend. You start spending all of your free time with your boyfriend or girlfriend and less time with your friends. Instead of texting your friends you are texting the person you are dating cheesy things like “even though I just saw you I miss you already” and adding little kissy face emoticons. When you put your attention into a dating relationship it can really separate you from your friends.
Your relationship with God is really no different. When we allow sin to creep into our lives it creates a wedge between God and us. Sin can separate us from Gods heart, will, and desire for our lives. If not dealt with sin can leave our relationship with God in shambles. Isaiah 59 1-2 gives us some great insight into this wedge between God and us. In verse 1 tells us that if there is a wedge between you and God, he did not put that wedge there. God is powerful enough to hear you and save you, but in verse 2 we see that we allow sin into our life and that is what separates us from God.
This week we are going to be talking about confession. Confessing our sins to God so that we can get rid of this sin that is separating us from God.
What is it in your heart that is causing separation from God?
PRAY: Ask God to break up the sin that is in our lives
The woman at the water well was in a face-to-face conversation with God, the creator of heaven and earth, and she was unaware of it for part of the time. She had good intentions though. She did some pretty bad things, but she wasn’t really a bad person. In fact, in verse 25, we see that she actually knew enough about God to know that he had promised to send the Messiah (Savior) to the world. We learn from this woman though, that believing in God and knowing God are two separate things. She believed in God, but she didn’t know him. Why didn’t she know him? Was it because she lived in Samaria and God couldn’t be found there? Was it because she had so much garbage in her past? Was it because she was judged by the people in her community? None of those reasons are right.
The woman at the water well didn’t know Jesus because she had yet to give her life to him. She was talking to him face to face, but she hadn’t realized yet what she must do to be right with him. Jesus tells her that the path to really knowing him requires two things: spirit and truth. The Spirit is that well of water springing up to eternal life that Jesus offered her. When the Spirit of God moves into your life, it is like water springing up. You can’t deny that it is there. With that spirit is the desire for truth. The woman at the well knew she shouldn’t have had 5 husbands, but she didn’t follow the truth.
How much of your life is lead by the Spirit of God?
How closely to the truth of God and His Word do you live?
We have options when it comes to our relationship with God. We can do what he wants, look for a way to get around doing what he wants, or avoid him all together. The woman at the water well responds to Jesus with her past experiences about God through the example of people who say they follow God. After Jesus brought her ugly sin into the light, she immediately acknowledges that there is something special about him. After all, someone from out of town couldn’t possible know so much of her dark past and present unless he had some special power. Jesus was spot-on in describing the woman’s ugly past and she had an interesting response to him.
The woman responded by vaguely agreeing with him about her baggage, but then she brought up the topic of worshipping God. To me, it appears that she is blaming others for her lack of closeness or obedience to God. She may be going as far to blame those bad examples for the choices she has made in her life. She says something about my people say you have to worship God in this certain place, but then your people say it has to be some place else. I’m hearing her say: “it’s not really my fault that I have made bad decisions. It’s other peoples fault for confusing me about God and where he can be found”.
Jesus offers something that is of real value to not only the woman at the well, but to everyone. He reveals to her that God can be found anywhere. In fact, the woman hadn’t realized that God was right in front of her. All she had to do was accept that God, in Jesus Christ, made a way for her to be right with him and experience incredible peace and hope.
Are you like the woman at the well and only expect to encounter God at church, or some other specific place?
What does it make you think about to consider that you can have encounters with God anywhere?
Do you think you have missed meeting God at different places in the past?
The Bible seems to have God showing up in unexpected places and ways. What can you do to better watch for him?
Here is the video from last Wednesday night on Prayer… Check it