Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘repent’

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.

Are You a Hopeless Case?

Do you feel like you’re a hopeless case? That no matter what you do, you can’t do it right? That no matter what, your circumstances will never improve? THEN REJOICE!

WHAT ?!?!?!

Yes, I said “REJOICE!” Because God delights in rescuing and healing hopeless cases. Some examples:

1) The Israelites were stuck between Pharoah’s army and the Red Sea with nowhere to escape. BUT GOD, through Moses, parted the Red Sea waters, led the Israelites through, and then let the waters return to their place, drowning Pharoah’s soldiers (Exodus 14).

2) Naaman, not even a believer at the time, and stricken with leprosy, followed the advice of a young Jewish servant girl and visited Elisha, who instructed him how to be healed, and he was (2 Kings 5:1-19).

3) When Elisha and his servant were surrounded by an enemy army, God sent an army of angels to rescue them. Elisha had to ask God to allow his servant to be able to see the army. (2 Kings 6:15-19)

6) Moses, although murdering someone in anger, eventually became the person who led the Israelites out of Egypt. (Exodus 2:11-15)

7) David, though having committed adultery and indirect murder, repented and was “a man after God’s heart.” (Acts 13:22)

8) A woman who had had five husbands, and living with a sixth man, had a deep encounter with Jesus. (John 4:1-30, 39-42)

9) Mary Magdalene who had had seven demons, was healed by Jesus (Mark 16:9)

So, pray that God will show you how to allow Him to change your heart and be willing to receive Him.

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