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Devotions for Life

I Blew It!

“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die'” (2 Sam 12:13 NASU).
 
When Nathan exposed David’s adultery and murder, David’s guilt came crashing upon him like a tsunami. It overwhelmed him, and he confessed and cried out, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
 
David is not the only one in Scripture to confess the words “I have sinned.”   At least nine individuals confessed these words. Some were not sincere such as Pharaoh, Balaam, or Saul. Some were either caught and wanted an easy way out of the consequences, or the words sprang from just a passing pang of conscience that led to no change. Judas expressed these words when it dawned upon him that he had “betrayed innocent blood.” True repentance would have led him to seek forgiveness, but instead he ended his life.   God never intended our guilt to destroy us, but to motivate us to do the right thing. It is a God given-blessing to have godly remorse.
 
The Prodigal Son first said to himself, “I have sinned,” rehearsing what he would say to his father upon his return. He then met his father, and with deep conviction and remorse uttered the words, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:21 NASU).   The words, “he came to his senses” (v. 17), suggest a drastic change in the thinking every sinner must traverse before he admits “I have sinned” against the Lord. But for those words to mean anything to the Lord, they must be followed with true repentance, and a drawing nigh to the Lord with confession and commitment.
 
David, among all those who disclosed these heart-wrenching words, “I have sinned,” uttered them four times.   This doesn’t mean he was the worst sinner, but that his sins never hardened his heart to the point of no return. Twice he was convicted and cried out to God. Twice he penned two psalms with his confessions (Ps. 41:4; Ps. 51:4)
 
I am sure, like me, you have felt your confession of sin has not always been sincere, for it did not lead to a change of life. I am sure we have confessed sin to get out of a bad situation. Maybe we just had a passing pang of conscience. But I am also sure everyone reading this devotional wants to be as sincere as the Prodigal and David.
 
Let’s examine our hearts and sincerely confess the sin in our lives because He is faithful and righteous, and will forgive us all our sins (1 Jn. 1:9).
 
Hymn: “Amazing Grace”
 
Dear Almighty Father full of grace, we humble ourselves before You, seeking Your favor. Look deep into our hearts and reveal to us our sin. Help us to acknowledge our sinfulness and to feel its conviction. Forgive us if You find us sincere. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 
Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA
rredden604@aol.com

 



He’s Worthy

Revelation 5:1-14

Read

 

No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.

Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
 
Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth. (Revelation 5:3-6)

Reflect

In John’s day, books were written on scrolls—pieces of papyrus or vellum up to 30 feet long, rolled up and sealed with clay or wax. The scroll that John sees contains the full account of what God has in store for the world. The seven seals indicate the importance of its contents.
 
Jesus is pictured as a Lion (symbolizing his authority and power) and a Lamb (symbolizing his submission to God’s will). One of the elders calls John to look at the Lion, but when John looks he sees a Lamb. Christ the Lamb was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. He was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll by living a perfect life of obedience to God, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, and being raised from the dead to show his power and authority over evil and death. He conquered sin, death, hell, and Satan himself. Therefore, he can be trusted with the world’s future. Christ the Lamb won the greatest battle of all. But as the Lion, he’ll return in victory to lead the battle where Satan is finally defeated (Revelation 19:19-21).
Respond
 
Which of Jesus’ roles—Lion or Lamb—brings you the most comfort? How has Jesus been victorious in your life or especially comforting to you recently?

 



Gifts of Love

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16a).
 
Valentine’s Day is a special day, one of professing love. Just about everyone from little children to senior citizens give cards that say “I love you.” Lovers give all sorts of gifts from diamonds to chocolates.
 
Valentine’s Day is named after one of three early Christian Martyrs. The one I like is the one who continued to perform weddings for young couples when the Roman Emperor forbid marriage for military aged men. That story to me is the love connection.
 
We like to express our love with material things to loved ones. Of course, we like to be on the receiving end as well. However, love is best expressed in self-sacrifice for another. One writer explained when he knew that his wife really, really loved him. Unbeknownst to her, he watched her pouring the soda into their glasses at supper. One bottle was old and flat, the other new. She poured the flat soda into her glass. That little act spoke volumes to him about her love for him.
 
God loves His creation, especially people. But we chose to turn our back on Him. God still loves us with a love that is beyond anything we have experienced in this world. He loves us even when we hate Him (Romans 5:6-8).
 
The Father sacrificed His beloved only begotten Son. God demonstrated His love by that sacrifice, his gift of love to each one of us. It is a gift that calls for our response to love Him back. It is only when we understand the cost and our need of redemption that we respond with love and gratitude.
 
Song: “The Love of God” by Lehman
 
Loving Father, God, I am humbled and awestruck by the extent of Your love for me. Sometimes I fail to love You back. When I do, remind me of Your sacrifice of Your Son, the gift of love that You gave me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
 
Ed Wittlif, Denver, Colorado
es_witt_504@yahoo.com