Week 21: “Confess Your Sins to One Another”
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
Matthew 5:23 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.=
King Saul liked to do things his own way while, at the same time, pretending he was obeying God. The final straw that cost him his kingdom was when he decided God needed an “offering” from him more than obedience. Samuel confronted Saul regarding his rebellion and Saul essentially said, “Yeah, I knew what God wanted, but I had a better idea. Rather than destroying all this good stuff, I kept it as a sacrifice for God.” Samuel replied, “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22). Jesus would echo the same principle when he taught that if you were making an offering (a sacrifice) in worship and remembered that you had sinned against someone, then stop what you are doing! Go and do your best to be reconciled to your brother or sister, then come back and make your offering. God does not want your worship or your sacrifice unless he has your obedience. Why? Because if he is not seen as sovereign Lord, then it’s really not worship. If he is not obeyed, then he is not seen as sovereign Lord. Saul saw himself as a ‘sort of’ junior partner to God. This would be humorous if it were not so blatantly wrong. God does not need our help, or our advice, or our sacrifice. He needs nothing from us, but he wants obedience from us. Living in healthy relationships with one another is bottom-line obedience to God. As far as it is within your power, maintain clear relationships with one another. Only then will your “offerings” be acceptable to God. Because only when he is fully obeyed are we actually perceiving him as he really is. He is the Lord of heaven and earth and he needs nothing from us, but there are things he wants from us. Forgiving one another is one of those things.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.