Starting over again today

The Bible reminds us over and over that people are sinners.  I am.  You are.  When we say “people” it can make it less personal.  I think back on Francis Chan saying that we often say, “Money does strange things to people”.  We never hear anyone say, “Money does (or has done) strange things to me.” People can be rude.  People can be thoughtless.  People don’t look where they’re going with their carts at the store.  I rarely say or hear anyone say those sentences replacing the word “people” with “I”.  I can be thoughtless.  Ouch…

Some people don’t like to be called sinners.  Other people readily admit they are.  I readily admit I am.  However, there is a danger we run into when we readily admit that we are sinners.  There I go again – using we.  There is a danger for me, there is a danger for you, who readily admit that you and I are sinners.  Sometimes we use the fact that we are sinners to excuse our sin.  Sometimes it is almost as if we say, “Oh well, after all, I am a sinner.”  That attitude can too easily lead me to give myself permission to sin.  I’m a sinner, God knows I’m a sinner, God forgives me, so any effort to refrain from sinning is pointless if I’m nothing more than a sinner and I am forgiven anyhow.  It reminds me of, “Oh well, I already blew my healthy eating plan by eating those McDonald’s french fries.  I may as well stop at the bakery and get some donuts.”

I do not live a holy life.  I do not pray enough.  I do not read the Bible enough.  I spend too much time on Facebook.  I gossip.  I do not trust God completely.  I am prideful.  (Some of you need to insert “I do not see myself as worthy of love.”)  I am selfish.  And rather than accept those things as “just how I am”, I plan to ask God to help me every day so that today I am not the person that I was yesterday, and today I am not the person He can help me be tomorrow.

If it is to be, it will begin with prayer.

God, I’m not sure what you were thinking when you sent Jesus to die for me.  I do not appreciate His sacrifice like I should.  I take it for granted that you just forgive me when I continue to spit in Jesus’ face with my indifference toward you.  I do not have a contrite heart.  I too often find sin satisfying and too often find you a convenience, keeping you there in the corner waiting to be called upon when I need help.  Honestly, I think my ways are better than your ways.  This and so much more I confess to you.  Change my heart, O God.  I believe if I died today I would come to be with you, but I want more of you in this life.  I want to be more satisfied with you and less satisfied with my own desires, until my desires become what you desire.  My biggest confession is that I need you to help me to accomplish this prayer.  I will fail once again if I am on my own.  But I am not on my own.  I know you are near, as close as my next heartbeat.  Help me seek you with all my heart.  Help me to make much of you in my life so that I may glorify you for the change that is needed in me.  I ask you this because of your grace and mercy and I believe you hear me.  Help me.  Assure me that you forgive me, again.  Thank you, Father.  I ask this in the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.

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