I am a pitiful sinner,
But Jesus Christ,
Over Satan is the winner.
My soul You did redeem.
My life You did set free.
And now, O God, I am filled,
With Your Spirit,
With Your life,
That I may know true glee.
Sustain me now in this life,
And keep me close by Your side,
That all may know,
And never go,
The way of eternal strife.
The following is the article I submitted to The News Tribune (Tacoma) for Sunday. To God be the glory!
Let’s get right to it – we are all sinful and thus we make mistakes every single day. We say and do stupid things. We hurt people with our words. We sin through omission. We sin through turning a blind eye or deaf ear to an injustice. There is no getting around it. We all find ourselves in moments where confession is warranted and, for the most part, forgiveness is expected.
We see this over and over again through the media. Some out-front personality makes a mistake. They say something offensive and social media goes wild. After some time, an apology is issued. Immediately the words of the offender are critiqued: Is the apology sincere? Are they only apologizing because they got caught? Did they actually apologize, or did they just craft some words together to make it look that way? Sometimes the apology is simply overlooked as people continue to fixate on the offense. So really, it is not about the apology, but rather for the offender to admit their offense so they can be further punished through the court of public opinion – a court that rarely shows mercy. Soon the offender loses sponsors, business ties or even their job because these businesses fear the court of public opinion. They do not want to be the next victim. Does this sound familiar? If not, just wait, I am sure that the next offender will be coming along anytime now, and the court will be in session to judge and convict. It almost makes a person paranoid. We do not want to be the next victim in this merciless court. But praise be to God that His mercy is boundless.
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son (Jesus), much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” [Romans 5:10-11]
This is the Good News: You were enemies of God, but Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins that you may now have peace with God. The world may not necessarily want peace with you, but God was so serious about peace with you that Jesus suffered on the cross. That is true love and grace. Even if the world befriends you, it will eventually turn its back on you. But once you are in Christ, that is forever. He will never turn his back on you and thus you never have to worry about a merciless court or God throwing you under the bus. Our amazing God desires reconciliation and thus He desires your faith-filled, humble confession so He can announce to you forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
So go ahead – confess your sins. Confess boldly before the Lord. Confess even your darkest and most embarrassing sins to God. Confess, and rest assured that through faith in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Amen.
God’s forgiveness of our sins is amazing when you consider what we deserve. We deserve death and condemnation, but through faith in Christ there is forgiveness. Wow! But to go about one’s life, refusing to forgive others means you really don’t understand God’s forgiveness of your own sins. That’s why clear, consistent and frequent Gospel proclamations are so necessary, lest we forget what God has really done through Jesus Christ. With that, I present the following poem. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…
The command is given
The sign is clear
Do not do this
and do not go amiss.
But yet I disobey
I just ignore
the command I discard.
And now I deserve wrath
from God my Lord
For it’s God I’ve betrayed.
Punishment is certain
for my trespass
I deserve it
for that I must admit.
Oh God, please forgive me
in Jesus name
for my trespass
would Your wrath please surpass.
Your grace is amazing
Your love complete
my soul You’ve spared
even though I have erred.
So now may I forgive
and show much grace
as You have done
to show how You have won.
Oh God You’re amazing
Me a sinner
Jesus my King
Oh God, what a nice ring.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9 ESV
One of the things that I am trying to teach my children is to be honest when they do something wrong. Too often, when confronted with their sin, my children are adamant in their denial. I didn’t do it. Even though it is obvious that they are guilty. I reassure them that I am not mad but rather I just want them to be honest. I reaffirm my love for them and say that there is nothing they can do that will change that. I remind them that I will always forgive them even though there may be consequences. But for a child, the fear of punishment is strong and thus their adamant denials and failed attempts to cover up their own sins.
But isn’t this a commentary for the Christian?
There may be sins in your life that you are afraid to admit. There may be sins that you are afraid to even voice in your own head when praying to God. You may bury the sin deep in your memory, hoping that time will heal and the wrong will be mended. Or…you may even deny that a sin is a sin, attempt to justify the sin or try to divert God’s attention to “worse sinners”. But daddy he broke your ________.
The fact of the matter is that we can not hide our sins, we can not deny our nature, and we can not divert God’s attention. God knows our sin, but God is a God is grace. His love is not diminished because of your sin. God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, don’t be afraid of your sin, but confess your sin and know the forgiveness of your loving heavenly Father. Don’t deny who you are and don’t deny who God is. You are a sinner, but God is a God of grace. Let Him heal you and love on you.
From the sermon this morning. This can not be said enough. So I am going to just leave this right here…
My friends, through faith in Jesus Christ, your sins have been forgiven and thus you have been justified in the eyes of God. You cannot justify yourself. But your filthy rags have been removed and the white robe of righteousness has been placed on you. Jesus has personally dressed you with the wedding garment and has seated you at the banquet table. Through his death and resurrection, you have been made new. This is not from you. This is not something you can obtain through self-justification for you are unclean, dirty and filthy; always falling short of the glory of God. You are sinner. The justification that places you in God’s holy courts; His kingdom, is pure gift. It is all grace. Confess that you are a sinner and know a love like no other.
In the morning I do wake
In this day that You did make
Joyful for the life I live
Joyful for the Life You give
For my sin You did convict
In my sin we have conflict
But Jesus died and rose for me
Therefore I will live with glee
Father God, my sins to you I must confess
For my life here and now is a total mess
Created in beauty but still I transgress
Holiness I seek yet I seem to regress
Your holy judgment of death I acquiesce
But Jesus Christ is my Lord, that I profess
And so, in his name, I ask that you may bless
For Jesus is risen, that I will express
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” [1 Samuel 2:2 ESV]
there is indeed no one like You — not even close.
There is no one or no thing that can come close to comparing to You.
Creator of all.
You are my God and thus I worship You.
You, oh Lord do I worship.
for You and You alone are worthy.
But what am I?
As the psalmist say, I am but a worm.
I am only worthy of condemnation and destruction.
Oh Lord, my God, have mercy on this worm,
Have mercy, Lord, have mercy, in Jesus name.
May I sing Your praise day and night.
May I proclaim Your glory.
May I shout of Your salvation.
May I dwell in You.
For You are indeed my Rock and Salvation.
…there is no god like You,
for You are my Rock and Salvation.
You are my God.
hear me as I pray
and keep me in the way,
always and forever, each and every day.
A sinner I’m a runaway,
but be close to me today.
Forgive me as I go astray.
In Jesus may I stay.
So send me now without delay,
that others won’t dismay.
Always and forever, I am Yours, hooray.
Morning has dawned,
The sun has risen.
Me a sinner to which I’m imprisoned.
Filled with sorrow
Oh God my Lord, please remove my large debt.
Christ Jesus died
and rose for me.
My faith I place completely in thee.
Restore and renew
that I may rejoice.
And of Your glory I’ll give a loud voice.