Sin: Hidden or Forsaken?

Proverbs 28:13   (KJV)   13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Hiding or concealing sin has an adverse effect or consequence: it causes some kind of failure. Conversely, confessing and forsaking sins has a positive or favorable consequence: mercy—withholding of corresponding punishment or penalty.

Proverbs 28.13 - Sin - Hidden or ForsakenInstead of regarding or hiding sins in our hearts and being more concerned about effectively covering them to avoid being caught, we confess them quickly and sincerely. There may be discussions as to the extents of the meaning of “not prosper,” but regardless of anyone’s interpretation, we would like to avoid it at all cost. We sin—that alone is always heartbreaking as believers, why linger there?

For others to come to a point when they would rather cover their sins than confess them is a proof that they’re already treading a very dangerous ground in their Christian walk—it’s a clear indicator that there’s a part of their walk where they are already off-course—they’ve been derailed and need to do everything to get right back on track as quickly as possible. We don’t hold on to sin; we discard and throw away every sin from us because they weigh us down and sidelines us. We don’t want to miss out on anything that our good God has for us. We desire the prosperity He wants us to have.

The more we’re tempted to cover our sins, to sugar-coat them, the greater the need for us to get rid of them as quickly as we would a burning coal or a ticking bomb in our hands. Mercy is a better choice than failure. Some people feel like they get away with it because they’re still succeeding even as they continue secretly sinning. But they don’t know what much greater benefits the Lord would have poured out on them had they chosen to walk faithfully instead. Besides, there really is nothing hidden; men may not see everything, but God sees all things. He already declared that there’s nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and that our sins will find us out. Why risk it?

Truth be told: we don’t ever want to find ourselves with a slightest inclination of covering our sins. We’d rather live in His pleasure.

Justified

Romans 3:24   (KJV)   24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

We all have hope of forgiveness, cleansing, and salvation—this despite the truth that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard of holiness. It’s a Romans 3.24 - Justifieduniversally acceptable cliché: “No one’s perfect.”  We don’t take that truth for granted, and it’s important to see its more serious side.  We make mistakes; that’s part of our imperfection; not all mistakes are sinful.  But we’ve all sinned, and we walk away from God when we sin—we separate ourselves from Him—knowingly or not. That’s a consequence that can lead to a terrifying eternal condition. We don’t underestimate the unimaginable horrors of such existence.

Hope—that’s what we find in our precious Lord Jesus—hope that has become a reality for those of us who have placed our full dependence on Him for our salvation, us who have surrendered to His Lordship. How blessed we are really for having our offenses not counted against us, for having our sins forgiven.  Happiness—or even joy, can’t describe what we feel in our hearts.  Imagine having the Son of God paying the ransom price for our freedom.

We can stop imagining. This isn’t a wishful thinking either.  It’s more real than many people think.  We’ve sinned; we still do, but to be counted just as if we’ve never even sinned is a blessing beyond measure.  Don’t get me wrong; the Bible never teaches a time when God ever stopped being just; He won’t ever because He can’t not be Himself.  Being just is His nature. He can justify us freely despite our sins because our precious Lord Jesus paid for all of them.  Yes, our sins didn’t go unpunished.  We may have gotten “off-the-hook,” but only through the loving-kindness, mercy, and grace of Him who took the punishment (even death) in our place.

Guilt-Free Life

Psalm 32.2 - Guilt-Free LifePsalm 32:2   (KJV)   2 Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

The blessedness of a guilt-free life—nothing can describe it sufficiently.  Guilt-ridden or guilt free—there is no denying the humongous difference.  Praise God; in His great love, mercy, and grace, He forgives us of our sins. We don’t have to pretend to be sinless, perfect, and pure.  We come to Him with humble humility, acknowledging our wretchedness, rebellion, and disobedience—our neediness—our need or a Savior, and He unfailingly comes through for us.

Cursed at but Blessed

Psalm 109:28   (KJV)   28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.

We bless others; not all of them reciprocate that.  There are people who dislike us despite the good way we treat them.  Others would get hurt when cursed at; it weighs heavily on them.  We pray for them that they’d handle things better.  It’s good to be treated well, but Psalm 109.28 - Cursed at But Blesssedwhen we believers are cursed, we’ve learned not to get hurt;  what matters is that God blesses us.  And His Words are more potent.

We glory in the Lord; in Him, no one can really hurt us.  God has an effectively powerful way of protecting us.  Although we don’t rejoice in other people’s pain—even those who mistreat us, often, the harm they intend for us boomerangs on them, and they’re the ones who suffer from their own actions.  Here again, it’s made clear why we can heed the Word’s admonition for us to rejoice in the Lord always.

There are many reasons why others curse us; they probably hate us for reasons we don’t know or reasons unfounded.  There are probably many reasons why God blesses us, but there’s one I know for sure:  He absolutely loves us.  He’s never an absentee God.  Even in those moments when He’s seemingly very quiet, and the slanders, accusations, and lies of our enemies abound, God is blessing us. Even in the middle of the worst treatment from others, we’re at the very center of the the best treatment from God.  It’s a fact of our Christian journey:  people will repay us evil for good, hatred for love, and slander for praise; we’re fine; our joy’s intact in the Lord.

 

Love is

1 Corinthians 13:5   (KJV)   Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

1-corinthians-13-5-love-isJust because we can be rude to those we love doesn’t mean rudeness or inappropriate behavior, conduct, or manners are acceptable expressions or acts of love.

Our actions neither defines nor justifies what true love is. Love is a standard through which our actions are measured.

Love has desires and expectations, but it never insists or forces.

When our expectations aren’t met, we often get irritated, annoyed, or provoked. Love says no to all these.

The more people fail to live up to our expectations, the more our love is challenged, the more opportunities we have to show how real our love is. This is magnified if they fail not only to live up to our expectations but when they literally do us wrong.

When those we love wrong us, we’d choose to erase rather than to record.

 

Good News for All

Acts 8:13   (KJV)   13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Simon was a sorcerer acknowledged by the people as someone great. But even this great man was captivated by the manifested or visible power of God. He believed; He got baptized. No one is beyond the reach of the Gospel. Leaders and followers, rich and poor, acts-8-13-gospel-for-allyoung and old, man and woman—people from different walks of life, spheres of existence, and status in society have been and are being saved through the Gospel. God woos them; He shows He’s real, He cares, He’s present, and He’s powerful through miraculous signs and wonders.

God’s love reaches all. Not all are saved, but all are loved, and He desires all of humanity to be saved and come to repentance. From the very first fall of the very first human beings, until now, our just yet absolutely loving God has continually and persistently reached out to us—rebellious humanity. Through the repeated cycles of sin, repentance, and restoration, our gracious and merciful Creator repeatedly and willingly corrected, disciplined, judged, forgave, and restored.

We’re never without a chance. There’s none of us exempt from His love and His salvation. We walk with confident knowledge and assurance that we’re loved. As an apt and natural response, we love Him too, and we desire to grow more passionately in love with Him. We also naturally love everyone; we don’t discriminate; the Lord never does; we ought not to. In love, we sow the seed of the Good News. Though not all soils or good, we get know which is which after we’ve sown the seed.

Way Worthy of Love

Luke 7:47   (KJV)   47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

The reason why we love the Lord so much is because we’ve been forgiven so much. Love is a natural response to forgiveness. True, we may be drawn to someone inexplicably; that’s why people use the expression “falling in love.” We’ve also heard the saying “Love is luke-7-47-way-worthy-of-loveblind.” Those are ways we explain how love happens irrationally. I just don’t know if someone gets flattered with the thought of someone loving and married them due to love’s blindness.

Eventually, love is reasoned. And we have ample reasons for us to love Jesus. His forgiveness alone merits all the love we can give. But forgiveness isn’t the only thing He so generously gives us. He opened our blind eyes; we no longer need to grope in darkness. We clearly see the beauty surrounding us. We were paralyzed by sin, fear, and shame; He extended His strengthening hands and pulled us up on our two feet. We’re no longer tossed to and fro by every wave of fad.

There’s more. We were bound; He set us free; we were lost; now we’re found; we were lied to; now we know the truth. His love overflows in and through us; He gives us an inexhaustible fountain of joy; He gives us peace that transcends all understanding. We may be sheep among wolves, but we’re undaunted; He prepares a table before us in the presence of our ravenous enemies. The enemies who rise up against us keep increasing, but He continues to be our impenetrable Shield.

Time and space won’t suffice for us to mention all the reasons for us to love Him ever-increasingly. But there’s no debate about it. He is altogether way more than worthy to be loved.