(Prov 28:13 NLT) People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
This morning we continue our “Unlocking the Power of Proverbs – Walking in the Wisdom of God” series. The statement Solomon shares with us here is both evangelistic and practical. From an evangelistic perspective, we must all come to the realization that we were born sinners in need of a Savior. If a person never acknowledges the fact that they are a sinner, born with a one-way ticket to hell, they will never call out to Jesus to save them. However, if they make that acknowledgement and call upon the name of the Lord, the Father will snatch them like a brand from the burning and translate them into the Kingdom of His dear Son (see Romans 10:9-13 and Colossians 1:12,13).
From a practical perspective, you will never address (in order to conquer) what you acknowledge. Accepting Jesus as Lord and being Born-Again doesn’t mean you will be sinless (although you should sin less). Believers are not exonerated from the temptations and challenges of sin. John said, “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” If John would have stopped there, it wound have sounded like John was saying that being a Christian means you never sin. There is no darkness in God; therefore there should be no darkness in you. While that is true, and that should be our goal, the reality is that many Christians struggle with sin and other challenges from time to time.
John went on to say, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” Now that gives us hope. Not that we should accept sin, but it is good news to know that the only person to ever be sinless was Jesus the Christ. The rest of us have sinned and from time to time, we may miss the mark of God’s best. So John continues, “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. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (see 1 John 1:5-10). Glory to God! If we acknowledge our sin and shortcomings, the Father is right there to forgive, help us, deliver us, and bless us!
So what does this mean to you today? Two things:
1. Acknowledge your sin: If you have secret sin in your life and you know you need to address it, bringing it before God to forgive you and help you to overcome it, but you keep putting it off for another day, you are only hurting yourself and prolonging your bondage.
2. Acknowledge your shortcomings: While you should never lose hope and optimism for your future – because God does have awesome plans for your life (see Jeremiah 29:11) – you must, at the same time, be brutally honest with yourself if you are every going to acknowledge and address your shortcomings.
Closing Confession: Father, I am Your child and I am no longer a sinner. I may sin, but I don’t practice sin. Sin is no longer my way of living. Whenever I do sin, I quickly acknowledge it, repent, seek Your forgiveness, forgive myself, and move one. I refuse to allow condemnation to keep me in bondage. The Holy Spirit will convict me, but He will never condemn me. The enemy wants to keep me condemned, but there is no condemnation to those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Not only do I acknowledge and address my sin, but I do the same for my shortcomings. I am honest with myself about the areas I need to work on, because if I never acknowledge them, I will never address them or overcome them by faith. Every year I want to get incrementally closer to the person You ordained for me to be. I will get closer by having the courage to be honest enough – with You and myself – to address my sin and shortcomings. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!