the confession

the confession:
1. admit your sin/action was wrong
2. believe that God’s grace is enough to cover your sin
3. confess: say you are sorry specifically of your actions to God
4. If it involves other people ask forgiveness from the people/person you offended
5. Forgive yourself, God has forgiven you
6. Remember that God has “forgotten” the sin, separated it as far as east is from west
7. acknowledge that on your own power sin will overtake you again
8. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit when temptations come again

True confession involves several elements. The first is the act of confession itself, which recognizes the act as a sin with the acknowledgment of guilt. The second step is the feeling of regret and Repentance on the part of the sinner for having been guilty of the offense. The final element in true confession is the resolve not to repeat the sin. Without the third steps the confession is of no value from a religious viewpoint.

The 6 steps of confession to God.

  1. Examine your conscience by inviting God to identify any specific sin(s).

    Periodically use some private worship time to invite God to convict you of anything that needs confession, then spend a few minutes in meditation so he can direct your mind. Don’t settle for generalized guilt, expect God to identify very specific sins. Refuse to get sidetracked into subdividing the blame to other people, keep the focus on your own areas of responsibility.

  2. Look through the eyes of God at the sin long enough to feel sorrow.

    Sorrow is abhorrence at committing sin–a deep regret for offending the heart of the holy Father. Think of how you feel when you realize that you have betrayed or embarrassed a spouse or close friend. Since God loves us even more than they do, I’m convinced he feels even more sorrow when we betray or embarass him. Look until you can label the specific sin: “intolerable.”

  3. Determine to avoid that sin in the future.

    Sure, we need God’s help to resist temptation. We also need our own resolve. The mindset of being conquered and ruled by God is essential to confession.

  4. Determine what you can do to help restore the relationship.

    Talk to your pastor about how you can build a healthy relationship with God, or read Celebration of Disciplines by Richard Foster. If your sin caused damage to another person you will also want to think about how you can restore some of their brokenness.

  5. Articulate or write down your confession, including each of the steps 1-4.

    Suppose you are at a local store and hit a parked car, denting their fender. Nobody saw you, so you just drove off. You have sinned against the other car owner and against God. Your confession might sound like this: “Holy Father, I realize that I sinned by ducking responsibility when I damaged the car. I claim to follow you but I failed to take responsibility for bending a bit of metal, while you took responsibility for all my sins even to the point of death. I see how my intolerable behavior embarrasses you. Please forgive me. I promise to take responsibility for such behavior in the future. I will talk with the store owner to see if he can help me find the owner of the car I damaged so that I can take responsibility.”

  6. Let go of the guilt, it’s over, live in the freedom of God’s forgiveness.

    Confession includes sorrow, but ends in joy. Scripture teaches “redemptive remembering.” This means we do not sit around remembering our sin, but we remember how God redeemed us from our sin.

Thoughts on Forgivness

From Oswlad Chambers:

“Forgiveness means not merely that I am saved from hell and made right for heaven (no man would accept forgiveness on such a level); forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a recreated relationship, into identification with God in Christ. The miracle of Redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One, by putting into me a new disposition, the disposition of Jesus Christ.”

So much of Christianity is about what God does for man and it is crazy because we men want to do something in return but it is not about us. It is so not about us, it is about Him. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord! For there is nothing I can do. Lord take me and change me.
Amen.

HomeWord Devotional that stuck out to me

Grief and Reconciliation
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
Psalm 23:1-3

We buried my dad recently. After two weeks of battling complications from surgery, his body was tired, worn out and ready to rest. It is said that there are only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. I’d rather pay taxes today, tomorrow, and everyday than lose someone so near to my heart. If you’ve lost someone close to you, you understand this, too.

Grief and sorrow are painful links in the chain of life that bind us together. Even though we come from different generations, different ethnic groups, different socio-economic backgrounds, or different educational backgrounds, there are some things that bring us together. Sorrow and grief do just that. They are universal experiences, universal emotions. C. S. Lewis, one of the greatest theologians of modern time, penned A Grief Observed after the death of his wife. In it he says, “There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in….I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”

Grief brings with it an unbearable pain, even to believers. In his most well-known Psalm (Psalm 23), David bares his soul and expresses his devotion to God even when things around him are dark, frightening and confusing. He hangs on to the promise of the Shepherd: to look after His sheep. This picture is continued in John 10:14-15 as Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father –and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

In times of grief, it is easy to feel lonely, isolated and misunderstood. We need to give ourselves permission to feel the fullness of these emotions. Even Jesus grieved over the deaths of close companions like John the Baptist and Lazarus. It’s the paradoxical truth that love is accompanied by pain. But what would life be like without the opportunity to love deeply? I was fortunate. I had many good years with my dad. Like many, we had some rough times to navigate through, but we took the time to heal some deep wounds and to renew a relationship that ended with no regrets.

Perhaps you are hurting today. Have sorrow and grief replaced the joy you shared in a relationship with someone? Why not make today a day of reconciliation? Yes, you may have to put aside your pride, admit your own wrongs and take responsibility. Or you may need to lovingly confront someone who has hurt you. Today is a new day and a new opportunity to begin again. Perhaps the person you need to forgive, or need forgiveness from, is already gone. Take some time and write a letter, granting forgiveness or asking for it. God has a way of transcending time and bringing healing even when the person is no longer present .

There is no better time than today. Live your life with no regrets. Love deeply. Forgive often.