Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

Confession

Whether you confess to a priest, a minister, a trusted friend, and/or privately to God, repentance and confession are powerful things. The Bible references confession, including “When you realize your guilt in any of these, you shall confess the sin that you have committed.” (Leviticus 5:5), “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a), and ‘”[Jesus] … breathed on [his disciples] and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”’ (John 20:22-23). Stating our sins explicitly brings them out in the open, into the light. I believe Jesus knew that unconfessed sin was like an untreated wound; if not exposed and cleansed, it would fester.

Once, when I confessed resentment at being hurt or misunderstood, the priest advised, “Think of the hurt like a knife in your heart. You pull out the knife. Now you have a choice. You can keep dwelling on the hurt and/or stab the other person, or you can say to Jesus, “Jesus, I give you this knife and my hurt. You take it. I ask You to handle this because I cannot.”

I don’t always get such helpful advice when I confess, nor do I always have a dramatic experience as some do (for example, a radical experience of cleansing), but I trust that Jesus IS cleansing me and granting me the grace to grow in love for Him and for others.

[Perhaps I should add that wounds from others, or from our own sins, should not be ignored, but neither should we wallow in self-pity. Sometimes the wounds are so deep that we might need counseling from others, or serious therapy. But learning to let Jesus heal our wounds is a big step.]

Don’t be afraid to confess! Unlike with people at times, God will take you back, and all you confess and repent of will be forgotten in the ocean of His mercy.

The Existence of Evil Proves God’s Love

This came to me a few days ago.  A friend said that it was good as far as it went,
but that there wasn't enough about God's chastisement.  I added one sentence about
that later. At any rate, here it is.  Comments are welcome.

---------------------------------------------------------

The title statement may seem shocking or incomprehensible.  Evil brings much pain
and suffering to this world.  Bitterness, hatred, trauma, violence, and it goes on
and on.  History is littered with the consequences of evil.

But we need to know this:  Love is something that can never be forced.  You cannot
MAKE someone love  you.  You can attempt to make yourself more attractive to them
perhaps, but attracting the person doesn't necessarily mean they love you; they 
may be out for their own pleasure, or trying to fulfill a need.

God's love, however, is totally pure.  God IS love.  He will never force us to 
choose Him, and if He did, it wouldn't be real love; it would be a lie.  Therefore,
God allows us to accept or reject Him.  He doesn't want false love.  He knows that
real love is a totally free decision.

Don't confuse what people may have presented to you as God's love; there may be
a confusion in your heart and mind between how people may have treated you,
how some bad things have happened to you, and what you would consider love.  
Instead, go read the Bible and see how merciful God is to the woman caught in 
adultery (John 8:1-11), or the book of Judges, where over and over God rescued 
His wayward people, or the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, where God mercifully brings
back His people to Israel after a period of exile for their grievous sins.
Notice the story of Peter in John 18:15-18, 25-27 and 21:15-19, how Jesus gently
draws Peter back to Him after denying him three times.  You will notice that God
is always offering love, even when people are doing wrong things.  

You may not be aware of the things you are choosing.  It may even be that some 
people unconsciously choose or reject God's love.  I am not the one to judge 
whether you have accepted or rejected God.  But, I do believe that if you reject
His love, evil will grow.  Maybe you don't even realize you're doing it.

So, God allows us incredible freedom.  He gives us real love, and He wants only
real love from us. It is our choice to accept His love or not. [His love can 
include chastisement, but it's a loving chastisement designed to guide us back to
His truth.] The consequences of our choice are huge.

The Guide

One day I wandered down a road

Took the wrong way; didn’t know.

In life don’t we just do the same —

Don’t ask directions, go our own way?

On this road I met a man

He asked me, “Do you know the way?”

“Where’s your map and have you asked

The way, the distance, for the task?”

I pondered this inside my soul

I didn’t really have a goal

How could I know where I was going;

My goal, my purpose hardly knowing?

He gave to me The Book and said,

“This have I long and often read.

This will guide you, as you’ll see

If you but oft’ its words do heed.”

And in The Book I met Another

His heart most tender, like a Lover

And with His presence and The Book

My wayward travels soon forsook

And when I wander now and then

He gently brings me back again

I often do His presence seek

And then in silence find my peace

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