CONFESSION

I SIN KNOWINGLY BUT NOT WILLFULLY

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.25.35 AMFATHER, I grieve especially over the sins I commit knowing full well I’m disobeying You. Can You forgive me for such in-Your-face, blatant, rebellion?

 The book of Leviticus describes sacrifices for sins. But the sacrifices are only for unintentional sins (Lev 4:2). The writer of Hebrews says:

“…if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” (Heb 10:26 NKJV).

Yet, I, as well as other Christians, knowingly sin—even King David prayed that You keep him back from “…presumptuous sins…(Ps 19:13 NASB). FATHER, help me understand that I may sin knowingly, as King David did but that does not mean I sin willfully. Sinning willfully means sinning willingly. Sinning willingly means I sin out of my own glad choice with no intention of repenting. Adam Clarke’s Commentary brings meaning to Hebrews 10:26:

“A man may be overtaken in a fault, or he may deliberately go into sin, and yet neither renounce the Gospel, nor deny the Lord that bought him.” Adam Clarke (ref#15, [Heb 10:26]).

But, “if we sin willfully] If we deliberately…renounce the profession of the Gospel and the Author of that Gospel,…the…case must be utterly without remedy.” (ref#15, [Heb 10:26]).

When I do sin deliberately, my “case is dreary and dangerous but it is not hopeless; no case is hopeless but that of the deliberate apostate who rejects the whole Gospel system,…” (ref#15, [Heb 10:26]). And, all thanks to You, FATHER, that You have cemented in my heart never to reject the Gospel.

How I thank You, FATHER, that You give me the grace of confession. Yes, You have put in my heart the desire to repent. You have closed the gate behind me. Because You have made me Yours, I will never again sin willfully.

Though FATHER, drive me to fear sinning against You deliberately. Such actions remove me from Your presence. My iniquities always make a separation between You and me. My sins hide Your face so that You do not hear me (Isa 59:2).

LORD, I take hold of Your grace of repentance and use it to bring myself back into Your presence. And, FATHER, during this activity of repentance, sober me into remembering that even though I will never sin willfully, sinning knowingly is dreary and dangerous.

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SUPPLICATION

NON-SAVING FAITH

“All people are naturally inclined to some form of religion, yet they fail to worship their Creator…” R.C. Sproul (ref#56, p1613, “Mankind’s Guilty Knowledge of God”).

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.38.05 PMFATHER, I fear ____ has decided on (his/her) own to follow You because (he/she) finds it convenient. It’s quite possible (he/she) has a belief like the crowd described in John 2:23 NASU: “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name…” 

 The crowd’s belief in JESUS was not a life-changing belief. They were quick only to acknowledge Him as a teacher, or a great prophet, or someone who could make their life better. The Amplified version sums it up, they …[identified themselves with His party]…. Surely they figured being close in proximity met He would save them from…whatever they wanted saved from.

FATHER, I fear ____ has found comfort in a faith that does not save. (He/She) may be content to know about JESUS, like Him, and conclude (he/she) identifies enough with Him that (he’ll/she’ll) go to heaven when (he/she) dies.

“To believe, for Paul, involves knowledge of the gospel’s content, mental assent to its testimony about Christ (Rom 10:14), and obedient trust and reliance on Him as Savior and Lord (Rom 1:5)” R.C. Sproul (ref#56, p1617, [Rom 3:22]).

I pray You give ____ ears to hear the Gospel. Convince (him/her) that (he/she) has no righteousness of (his/her) own and needs CHRIST’s righteousness. Be graphic about revealing (his/her) danger of perishing. LORD, give (him/her) a need to look for someone to save (him/her) from Your wrath. And then motivate (him/her) to make the effort to understand that CHRIST cannot save unless He becomes LORD of (his/her) life.

FATHER, give ____ opportunity to understand and grab hold of the faith that saves. By exercising (his/her) faith and by obeying, You will cause (him/her) to joyfully worship You. (He/She) does not need to be punished with everlasting destruction being forever away from Your presence and from the glory of Your power either in the rest of this life or in the life to come (2 Thes 1:9).

THANKSGIVING

THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE

“…the word of the Lord remains forever…’” (1 Pet 1:25 ESV).

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.25.56 PMFATHER, Your Bible does not and cannot have errors: the sinless CHRIST cannot error. He says the Bible is Your Word, therefore the Bible cannot error (ref#95).

CHRIST, GOD INCARNATE, in Your earthly ministry You advocated what had been written of the FATHER previous to Your coming. Time after time You preface Your subject with the words, “it is written” (Matt 4:4,7,10). You did not come to abolish what had been written, but to fulfill what had been written (Matt 5:17-18).

You say Yourself that the Scriptures cannot be set aside or annulled (John 10:35). Even the hard-to-believe Scriptures You confessed as true. Jonah was indeed three days in the belly of a great fish (Matt 12:40). Your FATHER’s word is truth and without error (John 17:17).

“My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right” (Ps 119:172 ESV).

The Bible does not and cannot have errors: OMNIPOTENT, HOLY, PERFECT FATHER, You cannot error. You say the Bible is Your Word, therefore the Bible cannot error (ref#95).

The sum of Your Word is truth and every one of Your righteous rules endures forever (Ps 119:160). You never lie (Titus 1:2); it is impossible for You to lie (Heb 6:18).

You are true even if we are all liars (Rom 3:4)—even if we are faithless, You remain faithful for You cannot deny Yourself (2 Tim 2:13). Your Word is Truth (John 17:17). The audacity of Your creatures to accuse You of allowing an errant book to represent You!!

You revealed Yourself in words and resided over them as they were written in an earthly Book for all generations to read. The Bible is the prime testimony of Your compassion and caring.

CONFESSION

…REFORMING MY FLESH OR KEEPING IT DEAD

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.13.23 PM…FATHER, I know that my natural disposition must be crucified with CHRIST (that is, my flesh must die). The word, “flesh” means my human nature which is “under the control of animal appetites” and is sensuous (ref#150, NT:4559). “Flesh” is defined as my earthly nature apart from divine influence (ref#150, NT:4561).

Flesh is the part of me I must inactivate—kill by neglect. But I am anchored so in it I naturally choose to reform it instead of kill it.

It is intuitive to me to want flesh tamed. Therefore I strive to educate my flesh—teach it to be righteous. I happily give myself over to rules and methods (ref#33, p92). Intensive church activity is a way of attempting to reform flesh. It is frightening to realize that my own flesh can produce acts that appear Christian (Matt 7:22-23) yet they are without the help or consent of You, FATHER (ref#63, p706).

While teaching my flesh to be righteous I concentrate on one sin or a file-folder of sins. I fall into using my flawed self to try to become more like CHRIST. By doing this, I am in the business of trying to conquer and refine my old-nature flesh. I try to get flesh and SPIRIT to cooperate!

But, I cannot, and You, FATHER, will not reform my flesh—even the priceless blood of JESUS can’t cleanse the flesh. The HOLY SPIRIT does nothing to improve flesh; in fact, He will not even dwell in the midst of sinful flesh. The SPIRIT will abide in me for only one reason and that is for warring against my flesh (ref#33, p94).

O LORD, continually bring me to understand the difference between operating by my flesh and working with the SPIRIT—the difference between reforming my flesh and killing it by neglect. It is only by faith and dependence on the SPIRIT that I can put to death the deeds of my flesh (Rom 8:13).

CONFESSION

CONVICTING SPIRIT

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.40.19 PM…FATHER, the discovery of my sin is a part of the wisdom that is hid in CHRIST and made known to me through the SPIRIT (Col 2:2,3). If I am not attentive to the SPIRIT I only have a sense and knowledge of sin that is revealed by my conscience; it is the general knowledge of good and evil. But, it’s obscure so I notice my own faults only if they are very obvious or I sin in such a way that they are particularly embarrassing to me (ref#35, p200).

Familiarizing myself with the laws set down in the Old Testament helps me recognize more of my corruptions. But even laws do nothing to make me see my deep personal sin (ref#35, p202).

The work of conviction, from Your SPIRIT, gives me the best knowledge of sin. This knowledge is so useful that it reveals sins that I, on my own, do not have the ability to detect; these sins must be made real to me by Your SPIRIT—a source not connected with my native nature (ref#35, p202).

I thank You FATHER, for Your SPIRIT’s conviction. I am not offended when I recognize His voice, instead, I’m humbled. He has the ability to convince me of sin in such a way that I’m unable to deny His words and am ready to repent. I thank You, FATHER, that Your SPIRIT not only is able to point out my sins but has the ability to accomplish in me the sorrow for sin which leads me to the obedience You require. So, search me, O GOD, and see if there is any grievous way in me and then lead me in the right way (Ps 139:23-24).

SUPPLICATION

PHYSICAL SICKNESS  Life Threatening

GLORIFYING GOD IN PASSIVE SERVICE

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 1.01.42 PM…FATHER, aid ____ now in glorifying You passively rather than in an active consecration to Your service. Cause (him/her) to flourish in the graces that were perhaps dormant until now. Develop and exercise these spiritual gifts to their utmost capacity.

“Patience is to be cultivated, resignation is to be exhibited, faith is to be exercised, love is to be tried, and example is to be set” Ocatvius Winslow (ref#61, Aug 12th).

Help ____, in (his/her) helplessness. Show Your presence, FATHER, when (his/her) conscience accuses (him/her) of sin or when (his/her) mind is harassed by foreboding thoughts or when (his/her) eyes are held awake by personal anxieties (ref#76, p165). You alone, LORD, will make (him/her) dwell in safety; You alone will give (him/her) peace to lie down and to sleep (Ps 4:8). You have “a balm for every wound, a solace for all anguish, a remedy for every pain, a peace for all disquietude” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p165).

FATHER, I pray that ____ approach Your throne of grace with confidence, so that (he/she) may receive mercy and find grace to help in (his/her) time of need (Heb 4:16). Open (his/her) eyes to see Your hand in trouble. Prayer is the window that (he/she) will be able to see Your wise ends in trouble. Prayer drives away unbelief, saves from doubt and delivers from vain and foolish questionings E. M. Bounds (ref#64, p54). FATHER, teach ____ to glorify You now passively.

THANKSGIVING

GOD’S POWER

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.38.34 PM“O the depth of the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments, and how untraceable the paths He takes…” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p372,373, [Rom 11:33]).

 FATHER, the book of Nahum declares that You are slow to anger yet great in power (Nahum 1:3). How is it that You see Your enemies yet do not rouse Yourself to wrath but hold Your anger?

Remind me, that Your power is not a power that has to prove itself over and over. It is so great that no challenge comes close to overcoming You. It is Your greatness that brings me grace and goodness (ref#34, Feb 22nd PM).

“When Moses said, ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory,’ God replied, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee’ (Exod 33:18-19). Not, ‘I will make all My power, My majesty, My holiness pass before thee’ but ’I will make all My goodness to the weak, the sinful, and the undeserving pass before thee’… His glory is His grace (Eph 1:6)” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p32).

FATHER, I naturally desire You show Your power—how often have I prayed, “LORD, show everyone how great You are by miraculously healing so and so.” I always want You to exalt Yourself. But isn’t that so “I” can be proud of You? “You are ‘my’ GOD who has great power.” Thus “I” boast and in so doing “I” give myself glory.

“Glory in a man’s eyes is always that which exalts him…God’s glory consists in the very reverse—not so much in His ability to exalt Himself and humble man, but in His willingness to humble Himself for the sake of man; not so much in a mighty display of power that would break in pieces those that oppose Him, but rather in the hiding of that power and the showing of grace to the undeserving when they turn to Him in repentance” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p31,32).

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isa 57:15 ESV).

GREAT GOD, You are unsearchable in Your judgments and Your paths are untraceable. Yet You make Yourself approachable!

CONFESSION

DISCIPLESHIP

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.23.55 PMALL-WISE FATHER, I do not need to know how to disciple others. I only need to know how to be a disciple myself. My life lived out teaches others of what it is to be a disciple.

“Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him….The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Sept 4th).

“…the only men and women He will use…are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

FATHER, forgive me for not taking seriously enough Your constraint on me as CHRIST’s disciple. Let me put my energies toward exclusively becoming personally, passionately and devotedly yielded to CHRIST. May I desire not to rejoice in successful service, but rejoice that I’m rightly related to CHRIST (ref#7, Oct 27th).

JESUS said, “…’All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go…and make disciples…” (Matt 28:18-19 ESV). Do I believe that when I “go” JESUS does the work of making disciples? This is my challenge. If I believe “that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim,…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 27th) it is because I have commissioned myself with my natural talents to make disciples.

Making a relationship with You, LORD, is my work. And, relationship-making is difficult work. Because I desire such a relationship, satan may no longer tempt me to simply do wrong things.

Instead, his temptations will be along the same line that he tempted JESUS. His temptations will be crafted toward separating You from me. He hopes to discourage me so I give up on all the grace You have put into me (ref#7, Sept 18th). Satan attempts to keep me from being obedient to You. He wants me to cease being Your disciple (ref#7, Sept 18th). Therefore, FATHER, enlarge my desire to muse on CHRIST and enjoy His presence above all.