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Admitting Our Need for God

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25:46

Watch Session Five: Raise the White Flag

It’s midweek. We are sitting in a nearly empty church sanctuary, meditating and reflecting. Several rows ahead of us, two men sit on opposite ends of a pew. We recognize the first man, an esteemed religious leader in the community. We also recognize the second man, a loan shark who owns a loan store in the neighborhood. Disrupting our silent meditations, the two begin to pray out loud.

The religious leader prays first. “God, I thank you that I’m not a sinner, like other people, including this loan shark beside me.”

We try to hold our gasps as the leader continues his prayer, loudly. “I fast several times during the week and I give much money to the church.”

We look at the loan shark to see how he will react. His head is downcast. He continually hits his chest. “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Recognize this scene from Luke? Jesus’s parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector is a powerful illustration of how we are to come before God.

confession begins with humility

This week, we will discuss the necessity of confessing our sin and need for God. From today’s Scripture reading, we see that confession is part of following Jesus. Confession is a public acknowledgement of our sins and our decision to turn to God.

True confession is always done with humility. We cannot parade our accomplishments in front of God, no matter how noble, to win him over. None of our efforts at righteousness will give us favor with God. The Pharisee in Jesus’s parable was blind to this truth. He proudly itemized his acts of righteousness, thinking that his religious activities made him acceptable to God. “I fast often,” he said. “I give my tithes.”

What noble things do we do to try to earn God’s acceptance? We can give to the poor and support mission trips. We can attend every Sunday service and participate in every program offered by the church. When we rely on our own merits to gain acceptance with God, we deny the truth about ourselves. We are sinners.

“Be merciful to me, a sinner,” the tax collector cried out to God. When we confess, we publicly admit what is true of ourselves and what is true of Jesus. The tax collector knew he did not possess the mercy needed to forgive his sins. So, he turned to the only one who could grant him mercy. The truth about Jesus is that he is the Son of God who loved us so much that he died for us. The truth about Jesus is that he is Lord, above anything and anyone.

When we come to God, confessing the truth about ourselves—that we are sinners in need of his grace—he will not turn us away.

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Daily Question

Think about the tax collector’s simple but honest prayer. Have you acknowledged your status as a sinner and your need for God? If you haven’t, what’s the biggest challenge preventing you from confession. Is it pride? Fear?

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Comments (14)

I know I sin. I really do. I am human and I sin. I am not perfect but I guess I have a hard time recognizing the sin I make. The ones that I can see quickly are in my head. I think unkind things about other people. I place judgement on them. I’ve decided to ask God to show me my sin so I can repent with a sincere heart.

I have confessed, but my issue lies in when I try to revoke that confession. Although it isn’t and shouldn’t feel like it is, sometimes confession can feel like self-loathing, or lead it to. In trying to combat miserable self-talk, I can try to take back that acknowledgement; "ok, ok I won’t say that. I’m a wonderful person. I’m doing great."

I acknowledge my status before God. It is when I am interacting with other people, that I forget my status. I seem to forget who is in charge and fight to be #1. It is here I forget my love for God and His people as I try to assert my dominance.

I am a sinner and I know it. I am so grateful that I am forgiven. I know that I am loved. God won’t give up on me, even though I seem to mess up all the time.

I know I am a sinner! I know I need God! But I have failed at confession. I am prideful for sure. I have a difficult time showing any weaknesses that I may have. But today is a new day and a new start for me. Thank you Jesus for that!

I think my biggest struggle is the with abandonment. I have always been afraid to be alone. When I follow Jesus, tithe and confess my sin and yet I feel alone or forgotten, I grow distant. I experience that season of doubt. It’s the struggle I have with wondering if God has really heard me. Why do I not have answer to prayer? Am I praying incorrectly? Am I praying for the wrong thing? Have I not repented and confessed sin that I can’t see? Do I lack belief? Those seasons of my life I need to choose to follow Jesus. I need to open my bible and drive into his word. I need to allow Jesus to unlock the cell of sin that I find myself in.

I have confessed my sins to God, on multiple occasions. Mostly because by being in sin I am a sinner evryday. What I have not done is brought my Sins to the light by bringing them to a religious leader who can help me to begin the process to absolve them. The fear of this saying out load of my sins is very real. Like I am admitting them for the first time, regardless of how many times I’ve brought them to Jesus in prayer.

When we confess our sin to God and ask his forgiveness ,believe His son Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sin (my debt of sin that I owed), and rose from the grave defeating death once and for all- I can be saved!
We will continue to battle sin because we live in a fallen world, but because God has placed His Own spirit in me- I now have HIS power to help me turn away from sin, to instruct me on how to live, and convict my heart when I have sinned.
But thanks be to my Savior Jesus Christ HE paid for my sins when I accepted his free gift of salvation! I could
never have paid for my sins! Christ Alone! I’m so glad that I can completely trust in what HE did so that I don’t have to confess to a priest or accomplish good things to receive the gift of salvation

I tell God every day how sorry I am for whatever sins I have committed but I also thank Him every day for saving me, for dying on the cross to save me from my son’s and this world full of sin.. F ear does get to me at time, zz

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