Friday, April 06, 2012

A Good Grief

Be honest.  How would you react?  Even if you could guard your facial expressions, what would go through your mind and heart?

What if I told you I struggled with alcoholism?  Would you think less of me?

What if I told you I had an abortion when I was younger?

What if I struggled with outbursts of anger?  Would you want me to keep your kids?

What if I had a problem with gambling?  Would you trust me with your money?

What if I didn't tithe regularly? What if I didn't help the poor?

What if I were fascinated by witchcraft and evil subjects?
What if I merely read about it, and never really acted on it.  What if it were only in my mind?

What if I struggled with addiction?  Would it matter what kind?  Honestly?
Pain killers or porn;  tobacco or whiskey;   approval or food.  Is it all the same in your mind?

Same-sex attraction

Could you rank these vices on a scale of 1 to 5...
1 seeming almost harmless, and 5 being dreadful?

Would any of these struggles disqualify me from serving in the church?

What if I talked about others?  What if I judged others?

What if I were merciless and mean?

What if I struggled with an unforgiving heart?

Who is like our God, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of His children? He does not stay angry forever but delights to show mercy. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

There is no one righteous, not even one
 so, if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  By hiding our own mistakes and pridefully downplaying our sins, we make God out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.

However, if we confess our sins...if we'll speak the truth and dispel the darkness...if we'll walk and talk in the Light as He is in the Light...He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and He will purify us from all unrighteousness. 

God is love.

God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  (Here is the glorious timing of it all) While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Sacrificial love and forgiveness come BEFORE repentance and righteousness.

Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Happy are they.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.  God will NEVER count forgiven sin against us.  Never.  Oh, happy day!

Therefore confess your sins to each other...
Be open and honest.  Provide safe places where others can be open and honest.

And pray for each other so that you may be healed...
Pray for healing.  Turn to Jesus for a touch, a word, a promise to never count it against us.
And since He doesn't bother counting it, let us not.  Why not just keep praying?
Abandoning our preconceived judgements (our prejudices) and surrendering our agendas and sin scales and comfort zones at the feet of Jesus. 

The same feet that walked the road to the cross and trampled sin forever.
We are His righteousness.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Thank You, Jesus!

1 John 1:5-8, Romans 5:8, Romans 3-4, James 5:16, Micah 7:18-19