Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Unfailing Love

Time for a mini-sermon blog style??  I think so!  Seriously though, I am so grateful for the times when reading God's Word comes to life and you see things you have never seen before.  I had that experience the other morning and just need to share it here.

One thing I struggle with is finding quiet space with God.  It's something I've been very aware of lately and am consciously working on.  More on that another time...  But the other morning I literally argued with myself over whether I should eat breakfast in front of the computer while checking my email & facebook, or reading the Bible while eating breakfast.  This time, reading the Bible won the fight.  I can't say this happens everytime, but like I said, I'm working on it.  And out of that time of reading, I was just struck by three passages of scripture and the picture of God they present.

Psalm 32:3-5
3 When I refused to confess my sin,
      my body wasted away,
      and I groaned all day long.
 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
      My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 
 5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
      and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
   I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” 
      And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.  

1 John 1:8-9
 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 

Isaiah 1:18
18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” 
      says the LORD. 
   “Though your sins are like scarlet, 
      I will make them as white as snow. 
   Though they are red like crimson, 
      I will make them as white as wool. 

I read these three passages the other morning in this order - one reminding me of the next.  Three major amazing things stuck out to me from them (as a whole).

We are sinners.  
A lot of people think that God is an angry, wrathful God.  That God is just waiting for us to mess up so he can punish us.  But the thing is, we're already there.  Each one of us is already messed up.  It's not a question, it's a given.

God is not waiting for us to mess up, He's waiting for us to confess
We have all already messed up.  He's not waiting for that, not waiting to punish us.  He is waiting, dying for us to turn to Him, to confess our sins to Him, to stop running from Him.  He is not looking for us to be perfect, He is looking for us to be honest.  To stop trying to deny or hide our guilt.  

God does not hesitate in forgiving us.
In the Psalm passage, the writer is miserable trying to hide his sin, but when he confesses to God, God doesn't think it over, He doesn't hem and haw over what to do.  He forgives!  1 John passage, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us.  Isaiah passage, He is just itching to restore us, clean usup, even to the point that it feels like He jumps the gun a bit.  It is like He is so ready to forgive that He says to us - whatever it is you have done, I want to make you pure again, I delight in making you new and whole again.

When we confess, we are forgiven!  Yes!  But here's the thing - it's our choice to make.  In the Psalm and 1 John passages, when we choose not to confess our sins to God - we'll end up miserable.  We are lying to ourselves and it will have an impact on our emotional, physical and spiritual well being.  God is waiting with unfailing love, with open arms, more than ready to forgive us.  But we have to go to Him and admit it - I've rebelled against you, I have sinned, I am broken.  And when we do, that's when He goes - Yes!  My child, you are forgiven, let me make you new again!

Can we see His heart?  Can we hear Him drawing us to Himself, not with a tone of disappointment, but of love and longing?  

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