Pastor’s Corner: “Caught on Camera”
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
Imagine accumulating thirty-three speeding tickets in a span of three hours. A man visiting Dubai decided to rent a Lamborghini for a couple of days. If I rented one of those cars, I’d plan on speeding… He did too. He wasn’t aware that there were speed sensors and cameras placed throughout the city. Now he knows!
This story made me laugh but it also made me think of something else. What if cameras and sensors were placed throughout our day recording our actions? Would we be found guilty? Our lives are not always what we portray on Sunday mornings when we’re sitting in the pews all polished and perfect. We’d like to convince ourselves and others that we are sinless. We’d like to believe we are saints, free from all wrong doing. But even if we could, God would know. He has a birds-eye camera view to our every act.
We love the Lord and we belong to Him. We want to be a reflection of His love and mercy. Unfortunately, that’s not always our reality. We do sin and to say otherwise would indeed be a lie. We don’t have to worry about cameras but we do have a God who knows everything about us.
This morning He may have seen us calling the guy who cut in front of us on the freeway a jerk. He may have seen our frustration at the store when the older woman with a walker took up the whole aisle. He may have seen the way we took out our bad day on our waitress or other innocent people. Unfortunately, this list can go on and on and on…….
The Good News is that 1 John 1:8 is sandwiched between two verses full of promise.1 John 1:7-9 (NLT) – 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
The word confess does not mean to ask for forgiveness. Christ’s work for us upon the cross has already done all that is necessary to forgive us. What God wants us to do is to look at the sin before us and call it what He calls it. That means to agree with God about it, and that is what the word confess means: Fess comes from a root which means to say, and con means with. To say with God what He says about something is confessing sin.
Confession of sin is an invitation to experience the love and mercy of God. Too often this is misunderstood. Confession for most people, even some Christians is believed to be the airing or publicizing of our dirty laundry, supporting all of the reasons why God should withhold His love and affection from us. This is false! Confession is the deliberate decision to place our sins at the foot of the cross. In confession, we pledge our lives to the God of love and mercy and yes this can be uncomfortable. Confession acknowledges the messy parts of our lives. This is done, however, in service of opening us to the love and mercy of God. In letting go of our sins, we are freed to grasp more tightly the loving presence of Jesus. Consider what occurs when we withhold our confessions. When we keep our sin within us, refusing to voice it to the God who knows it all anyway, and the sins of our life play spiritual havoc within us.
The Good News is we don’t have to walk in condemnation! These scriptures show us even though Jesus’ light exposes our sin, just like that camera did, He willingly forgives us when we confess them. Both the man in the Lamborghini and we are guilty of wrong doing. He paid a hefty $45,000 in fines. Our penalty once we admit our sins, is paid in full through Jesus Christ.
In His Grace,