Life races by so stinking fast. I find I want to do a Bible study every day and spend time with Jesus. I attempt to set aside time every morning. Doesn’t always work. Multiple morning meetings in a row. My ADHD exerts influence (I find this more of an excuse, but there is some truth behind it). And I find I miss my time in the Bible. Yes, there is some guilt, but not as much as there could be. I am really just missing being able to calm down and read, and learn, and grow, and listen, and learn, and take a breath, look for my still pastures. Yes, there are a LOT of things on my list I wrote this morning, but I am going to sit with Jesus first and do this Bible Study. My rant before I read is now over. If you are reading this, thank you for joining me.
For such a short chapter, only 11 verses, there is a lot packed into it. (Ha, size matters not.) This chapter is a great insight into the Joy of Confession. And as normal, I have never really thought about it in quite these thoughts before.
Before I reach any chapter in the Bible, I like to read the overview of the chapter in the study notes at the bottom. This one started out great. (They don’t always help, but this one definitely did.)
A grateful testimony of joy for God’s gift of forgiveness toward those who with integrity confess their sins and are receptive to God’s rule in their lives. –Zondervan Study Bible
Nice. My OneWord right out of the box. I am often thankful for God’s gift of forgiveness, but I have not really tied it to the need for confession. But it makes perfect sense. In verse 2, it speaks to not having deceit in our heart. Basically, only those that are honest with God will receive the gift of forgiveness. God already knows our heart. He knows what we have done, what we say, and how we lie to others and ourselves. So confessing to God with utter and complete truth allows us to receive the gift of forgiveness. It sounds easy, but it is horribly difficult.
We lie to ourselves constantly. We justify our actions with a variety of reasons. Too many people believe that the ends justify the means. And they are led down a dark hole away from God. The person that can come to God with no deceit in his heart or head will received glorious blessings. One of the gifts is internal peace. A great sense of joy.
In my/our journey to read and learn more about God, to get closer to God, I have found myself being more honest with myself as I talk to God. It’s scary, terrifying, exhilarating, frightening, sometimes startling roller-coaster ride of emotions. And it is also an awesome experience to be wrapped in the peace of God’s blessing of forgiveness. I find that I still will grab some of those sins back as I fall back and fail, but the fall is not as hard, and it is easier to give it back to God the next time. Eventually, some of my fears, my sins will be completely gone. Never to be grabbed again. It’s a great experience. And I crave more of it. More of a relationship with Jesus. And I am a better man for it. Most of the time.
Knowing all this, I find I can rejoice a bit more every day, because I understand God more a bit every day. Okay, almost every day. But I am trending in the right direction. I started this year’s OneWord journey with the understanding that faith is the root of joy. This journey continues to reinforce that understanding. To confess to God with deceit, to be self -aware of all my sins, requires more faith than I realized. It’s not easy being completely honest, even when we are alone with God. And no one will ever know our sin, our confession. But He will. He doesn’t condemn, he forgives. And therefore, I rejoice in the Lord and I am glad.