Theme of the Week: Suffering
Bible Verse: “The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 CSB
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 53:6, Proverbs 28:1-14
Human beings are masters at self-justification.
Even though we have ample evidence that we are all fundamentally broken people living in a fundamentally broken world, many of us are reluctant to admit our own sinfulness. So we redefine morality on our own terms and reject any absolutes that contradict them. We easily see the faults of others, and in introspective moments we’ll admit our own—to ourselves. But we’d prefer to live in denial, and many of us are very good at it.
Rejecting the idea of sin does nothing to get rid of it, however. Deep inside, we know the world is broken, and we know we’re part of the problem. As the prophet Isaiah wrote , we have all strayed like wayward sheep. We’ve followed our own paths and taken pride in doing things our way.
An approach to life that seems normal to us is actually scandalous in the kingdom of God. He designed us to be like him, and we chose not to. The Father sent the Son to die for our betrayal.
Jesus’ death atones for our sin and brings us back from our rebellion, but we have to participate in it by faith and taste its self-denial if we want to leave our fallen nature behind. We can’t liberate ourselves, even when we understand the source of our captivity. All we can do is recognize our need and depend on the sacrifice of Jesus to free us. We have no power; we can only participate in his.
Humility and confession are essential keys for participating in his power. While the world tries to get past guilt by denying it, Jesus helps us get past guilt by facing up to it. Go ahead and admit it, he says. All those mistakes we wondered about—those things we hoped were justifiable—really do fall short of our original design. The world says, “How dare you call me sinful!” and stays enslaved. We say, “Yes, I’m that and more,” and are set free. That’s the only way to freedom.
Strayed sheep cannot maintain their independence and still experience the love and protection of the shepherd. We must recognize our straying tendencies and submit to the shepherd’s voice. Every single one of us is wrong about our own inherent goodness but not about our value. That was made clear at the Cross. We are thoroughly loved, forgivable, and destined for divine fellowship.
Freely confess your sins, faults, flaws, and weaknesses. Then walk in your freedom from them forever.
Content taken from The Promise of Lent Devotional: A 40-day Journey toward the Miracle of Easter by Chris Tiegreen. Copyright ©2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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