Your Secret Past

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Prayer:

Lord God, you are both judge and the one who justifies. Point our eyes to our Savior who has taken our punishment so we might have peace with you. Amen.

Devotion:

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

A few years ago I attended a retreat and we did a painful exercise. Imagine that you’re writing a resignation letter. Why did you have to resign?  The exercise forced us to think about the things that could destroy us and our ministries.  We had to dig deep with each other, come clean, confess, and be transparent.

We’ve been looking at Judah’s past for the last couple of days. But what if people dug into your life like we have Judah’s life?  What if the FBI came and raided your house and put you under surveillance?  What if they dug through the search history on your computer or looked at your Netflix watch list?  What if we started looking at how you spent your money? What if they recorded every word you spoke?

In this psalm, David invites God to test him and see if there is anything sinful in him.  I’m not sure that I want to invite God to examine me like that.  I’m not sure that I want God to look that closely at my life and to examine me because there isn’t anything that I can hide.  Early in the psalm David says, “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:1-2).

God knows your secrets.  He knows all your secrets even if no one else does.  He sees what sites you visited on the web.  He knows what snaps you’ve sent.  He hears what you’ve said to your friends.  He knows all your secrets.  All of them.

So, confess your sins to him.  Tell him, “Lord, I have sinned against you.”

He will forgive you.  Every single time.  No matter how evil it was.  He will always forgive you for what you’ve done.

Additional Reading: Psalm 51; 1 John 1:8 – 2:1; Psalm 130

Family Questions:

1.     Why don’t we want people to find out about our secrets?

2.    How do you feel when people learn those sinful things about your lives?

3.    God knows about your sins. Psalm 130:3-4 says: “If you kept a record of sins, Lord; O Lord, who would stand?  But with you there is forgiveness?”Is God keeping track of all your sins?  Why or why not? 

Don’t forget:  Identify, Intercede, Invest, Invite. 

Going Deeper:

1.     Why is it hard to confess our sins to other people in our lives?  Why is it so hard to come clean about it?  What are we afraid of?

2.    How does a failure to confess hurt us?

3.    Read Psalm 51.  What is the blessing that we receive when we do confess?

4.    Look up 1 John 1:8-9.  What is the blessing that we receive when we do confess?

Prayer:

Lord God, we confess to you our many faults and failures. We have tried to cover them up, pretend they are no big deal, and tried to justify them. But we lay all our sins before you and plead for your mercy. We trust in the life and death of Jesus to be our righteousness before you and our promise that we have life and peace through him. Amen.