Wed. March 20

Wednesday March 20, 2019

 Today’s Focus                                              How people are to be taught to confess   

Today’s Scripture Reading                                     1 John 1

 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,[a] whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.[b]

This is the message we heard from Jesus[c] 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 we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 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. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

 Daily Reflection                                 Luther: “How people are to be taught to confess”

What is confession?

            Confession consist of two parts.  One is that we confess our sins.  The other is that we receive the absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself and by no means doubt but firmly believe that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.

Which sins is a person to confess?

Before God one is to acknowledge the guilt for all sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer.  However, before the pastor we are to confess only those sins of which we have knowledge and which trouble us.

Which sins are these?

Here reflect on your place in life in light of the Ten Commandments: whether you are father, mother, son, daughter, master, mistress, servant; whether you have been disobedient, unfaithful, lazy, whether you have harmed anyone by word or deed; whether you have stolen, neglected, wasted, or injured anything.

Some questions for reflection

  • In Scripture we hear “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.”  Why do you suppose people “fool themselves” and don’t live in the truth?  Are there good reasons for this?
  • Luther believed that confession was critical to a believers life. Our Lutheran faith shares both public confession and absolution and individual confession and absolution; why do you suppose that we have lost our tradition of sharing in individual confession and absolution?

Today’s discipleship challenge

Write about a “sin” which you participated in.  After you are completely honest with yourself and with God about this sin; ask God to be able to feel the effects of forgiveness.  Either share this with your pastor, a close friend, or offer the sin to God and burn the piece of paper making a burnt offering to God.

Today’s prayer

            Gracious God, You are rich in mercy, You have loved us even when we have committed grievous sins, You have made us alive together with Jesus Christ.  In Your great grace we ask that we might feel the power and strength of Your forgiveness dwelling in our life.  May we be strengthened with power shared by the Spirit, that Christ might live in our hearts through this day.  Amen.

3 thoughts on “Wed. March 20

  1. Pastor Jerry

    This seems to always be a “work in progress!” The more we confess and/or think about our wrong doings, the more I seem to sense just how many things I do wrong! Sometimes I think people have “selected” memories, or we tend to “spin the truth” in order that we have some kind of stability in our own lives. I do know this, when we are able to openly and honestly confess our sins and that person shares a word of forgiveness, a huge sense of relief follows. Recently I was reminded of this quote… the greater the sin, the greater the sense of God’s mercy.” My hope and prayer is that if we are able to keep God at the center of our lives we will be able to sense God’s presence in the many moments of our days and allow ourselves to feel God’s washing whenever needed.

    Reply
    1. Lisa M.

      Last week in bible study you said that if you have a sin or a burden, write it down. Give it to God. And then burn it. Quite frankly, I thought you were nuts.

      Then yesterday in the reading something came up about writing down your sins and burning it. And when I went to work I confessed a burden I have been carrying for MANY years to someone who suggested the exact same thing. Write it down and then burn it.

      OK. Three times in one week that the same message had come up….maybe I should do it. So I came home, wrote down how I was feeling, prayed about it…and burned it! I really believe that God has a sense of humor, as the breeze kept blowing the fire out. Or I couldn’t light the lighter. But after it finally burned I just looked at the ashes. For some reason I wanted to save some to remind me of this time, but the breeze kept blowing and scattering the ashes everywhere!

      I can honestly say that I feel a sense of relief…like a weight was lifted off me. I can’ explain it….

      Sing praises to our God!!

      Reply
  2. Mel Olenwine

    If we say we have no sin, then the truth is not in us. A friend of mine recommended a podcast to me called Denton Bible Church. She is a fundamentalist and I am always open to anyone’s truth, and willing to give anything a listen. I think I was five minutes in when the pastor said that he feels sorry for “those churches…the Pentecostals, the Methodists, the Lutherans….that have come so far from Christianity that they wouldn’t recognize it”. Because “they” accept the mainstream beliefs and “they” look the other way and “they” allow them in the church, despite what is says in the Bible. What DOES it say in the Bible? Often I can’t make heads or tails of the Bible. I simply reached over to my car speaker and turned it off. I had heard enough. I don’t know why it bothered me so much all day, but it did. How dare he “feel sorry” for us? Shouldn’t he feel sorry for himself? For his judgment? For his own sin? I am not ever 100% sure that my beliefs are the right ones, the only ones, but they are the right ones and the only ones FOR ME. We all live as children of the same God, and I have always believed different religions exist because people are all different…like snowflakes. Unique and beautiful. And yes, sinful. If we say we have no sin, then the truth is not in us. That confession every Sunday really hits home most of the time. Try again. Try again this week. Start over. So confess the sin. And be forgiven. Again.

    Reply

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