(1 John 1:8-10 NIV) If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
This morning we continue our series entitled, “Re-Energizing Your Prayer Life,” by continuing with our 10 Steps to Preparedness in Prayer. Yesterday I gave you Step 1: Separate Yourself. Today we will discuss Step 2: Appropriate God’s Grace.
The word appropriate means to take exclusive possession of. In other words, when you appropriate something, you take possession of it for yourself; you make it yours. Most believers know that God’s grace is available to them, but not all believers take possession of it. Before we can pray with confidence we must be convinced that our sin has not created a gulf between us and God. In John’s first letter he said, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” This picture of God being completely pure is valid, but it is incomplete. If all we do is see God as completely pure, we will inevitably see ourselves as something less-than pure and therefore not worthy of intimate fellowship with Him. But John goes on to say, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). The blood of Jesus is the equalizer. Without the blood of Jesus we could never intimately fellowship with the Father. However, with the blood of Jesus, we are cleansed from all sin. It’s a good thing to start your prayer off by appropriating the blood of Jesus; by reminding yourself and God that Jesus died for your sin. This will remind you that you are righteous, because He MADE you righteous and it will help you pray with confidence.
John continues, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” If we were not born condemned to hell, then we would have never needed a Savior. If we did not have sin, then we would need grace. The person who does not acknowledge the fact that they are ONLY righteousness because of the blood of Jesus will never appropriate grace, because they are too self-righteous to call on God. However, the person who is so personally condemned by his or her sin that he can’t see himself calling on God for help will never appropriate God’s grace either. Listen, we all sin, we all miss the mark, and we all make mistakes, but John goes on to say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. If you claim to be without sin you are self-righteous and you will never fellowship with God that way.
2. If you allow sin to separate you from God then you will wallow in condemnation and you will never fellowship with God that way either.
3. If you acknowledge your sin, confess it before God, and then repent, you will receive forgiveness of sin by the blood of Jesus and you can have intimate fellowship with the Father.
4. When you appropriate God’s grace, and you receive the forgiveness of sin by the blood of Jesus, you are able to pray with confidence, knowing the Father will freely commune with you!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for Your grace. It is by grace that I have been saved. Jesus paid the price for my sin and I accept His finished work on the cross. Jesus is my Lord and He is also my Savior. I am not self-righteous. I know that I have been declared RIGHT with You because of Jesus’ blood and it was nothing I did in and of myself. While I am not self-righteous, I also refuse to wallow around in condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts me, but He does not condemn me. When I sin, I quickly acknowledge it, confess it, and repent of it. I appropriate Your grace and I come to You with complete confidence that You will hear my prayers and commune with me in the time I have set apart for You! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!