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We will never be cleansed until we confess we are dirty. And we will never be able to wash the feet of those who have hurt us until we allow Jesus, the one we have hurt, to wash ours.
TUESDAY – Own Up to Your Sin
Big Point: Confessing sin frees you up to be spiritually transformed.
When was the last time you had to own up to something you did wrong? Maybe you broke something that you borrowed from a friend, or you “forgot” to complete an important task because deep down there was no desire to do it. Eventually, the truth comes out and two things happen. First, it feels like a weight has lifted from your chest. Second, you start to wonder what your confession will do to the relationship.
There are different ways relationships can be altered by confessions. Sometimes it creates a rift between people. Other times, it causes irreversible damage to the relationship. Sometimes the fact that you were honest brings you closer together. But, almost always, the relationship changes. The humbling and wondrous thing about God is that there is no need to guess at what confessing our sin will do to our relationship with Him. Owning up to it will never create a rift between you and God. It will always draw you closer to Him. That is why it is so important to actively examine your life. You need to expose the sin that lurks within.
There are some sins that are obvious: murder, adultery, drunkenness, stealing. More concerning though, are the subtle sins, the ones that don’t necessarily seem to qualify as sins, at least not immediately. People tend to forget that talking negatively about someone qualifies as gossip, that being aggravated at someone because they’ve inconvenienced you falls under unrighteous anger and that little white lies are still, in fact, lies.
Examining your life and confessing your wrongdoings will cleanse you. It will free you. It will allow you to extend that same grace and forgiveness to others. Most importantly, however, it will make it possible for God to spiritually transform you in ways you could never imagine.
READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
1. In the following passage, we revisit the story of the Prodigal Son. If you remember, he had disgraced his family by demanding his inheritance early, leaving home and squandering it on sinful and materialistic things. The following verses occur directly after the son admits that he’s starving and needs to make a change.
Question: What confession did the Prodigal Son make? How did this free him?
Luke 15:17-18 (New Living Translation)
17 When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you…”
2. The scripture that follows is a prayer from King David. He is asking God to show him any sin in his life that he may not be aware of in order for him to be able to repent from it.
Question: Why is praying a prayer like David did in Psalm 139 vital to spiritual transformation?
Psalm 139:23-24 (New Living Translation)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
3. Jesus made it possible for you to go to God directly to ask for forgiveness. James, who wrote this verse, was the brother of Jesus. He didn’t start believing in Jesus as God, however, until after Jesus had risen from the dead. As a leader of the early church, he understood the importance of confession to a faith community.
Question: What results can you expect from confessing your sins?
James 5:16 (New Living Translation)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
LIVE… What will you do now?
What sins in your life are you ignoring? How might you be covering them up?What actions can you take to move away from your sin and toward God?
Who is someone trustworthy in your life to whom you feel comfortable confessing sins? What makes them a good choice? If you can’t think of anyone off hand, pray that God reveals a mature Christ-follower to you.
PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?
Thank God that He is able to spiritually transform us through confession. Ask Him to reveal the sin in your life that you may be ignoring or of which you are not aware. Listen as He provides guidance and forgiveness.
Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:
For the duration of the Transformed series, we are asking groups to use the provided materials rather than a video from our teaching pastors. To download discussion questions or to participate in the Tuesday night iCampus discussion, visit our iCampus page.