We were having an ongoing problem in our home and my assumption was that the culprit was a particular child. For months as the problem continued, I would reprimand this child and he would vehemently deny it. I didn’t believe him and the more he denied it the angrier I became. We recently had an impromptu devotion with the children because we all needed a spiritual tune-up. I shared Proverbs 28:13– “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” After reviewing this scripture with the children, I invited everyone to confess their sins to God. Right before bed, I was reminded of the reoccurring problem we had been having for months. I approached the one I assumed was the culprit and before I could finish my accusations, another child began to confess that he was the guilty party. All this time, he kept his sin hidden. It shocked me. I could see the shame on his face as he confessed, and I could tell he was expecting a negative response, but the grace of God overwhelmed me, and I responded accordingly. I told him that even though his actions were wrong, I was happy that he confessed his sins. I encouraged him to apologize to his brother-the one he allowed to carry the blame for all these months. What happened after that warmed my heart. The other brother who was accused all this time responded with grace. He let his brother know that he forgave him and just like that he carried on playing with his Lego. He didn’t take the time to relish because he was finally vindicated. He forgave and moved on.
I had a few exchanges with them and went to my room and uttered a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father. I want my children to know Jesus, like for real know Him. I want them to respond to the convictions of the Holy Spirit. I want them to confess their sins. I want them to know the beauty of forsaking sin and receiving God’s forgiveness. I want them to experience the grace that comes from true repentance. I also want them to freely forgive others and not hold on. The struggle with sin is real in our home, that I won’t pretend! But this incident was a sweet reminder that God is at work, and He is greater!
I encourage you to, confess your sins when needed. Our sins not only impact us but it can impact others, so when necessary apologize to those who have been affected by your sin. If you are the one that has been offended, be merciful and receive the apology and move on, no need to remind the person of what they have done! In other words, respond with mercy- the way God responds to us when we repent.
I was recently crying to God and telling him about an ongoing area of struggle. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was thinking, “isn’t God tired of me coming and crying about this?” His answer to my unspoken question was Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” I didn’t receive it as a rebuke instead I knew it was a loving reminder of His loving-kindness and mercy toward me. He was letting me know that He was pleased with my willingness to bring this sin before Him. I wasn’t trying to hide it. I wasn’t trying to make excuses for why it was there. I didn’t categorize it as a not so serious sin. I came clean before the Lord. My repentance and brokenness over this sin ushered in a flood of God’s mercy.
Do you have sins you are trying to conceal? I want to remind you you cannot fix or deliver yourself, that is God’s job. We will always have areas in our life that we need to work on. However, pride will convince us to hide those areas. There is no prosperity there, it will only leave us weighed down and stagnant. However, when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, turn away from them, God’s mercy meets us!
Don’t just read the word of God, take the time to study it and when you do, the word of God will read you. Allow the word to turn the pages of your heart and reveal the areas that need a spiritual makeover. We are being perfected so there is always something to work on. We rush through reading the bible and instead of having a bible study we have a quick drive-by bible reading. We then lament that we are in the word, but we are not seeing any change. Could it be that we just need to slow down and digest what we read? Could it be that we need to take the time to meditate and answer questions that allow us to connect with the material before us? When I was in school, for me to grasp the material, I had to read it more than once. I took the time to look up words in the dictionary to ensure I understood what I was reading. I highlighted certain sentences; I jotted down notes to summarize what I just read in my own words. Whenever I took this approach, when it was time for the test, I did well. Why? Because I took the time to study the material instead of just reading it, so the material was in me. I try to take the same approach when I study the word of God.
Below are a few practical ways I study the word of God.
-I pick a specific scripture that addresses an area that I need to work on. For example, I have been studying Proverbs 29:25 because I have had an on and off relationship with the fear of man. Proverbs 29:25 NLT says, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.” For the first few days of my study, I focused only on that verse and allowed the Lord to speak to me. I looked up the verse in different translations.
-After a few days, I googled this exact phrase, “cross-references for Proverbs 29:25.” This search led me to many scriptures that carry the same theme as Proverbs 29:25. I chose a few of those scriptures/passages and read them over the course of two weeks. I took my time to digest them. I highlighted key phrases, I took notes, I sat and reflected on what I read. I prayed prayers connected to those scriptures.
-At the end of the two weeks, I took some time to jot down all I learned. I did not open my bible to gather the information; I wrote what I remembered on my own. I then asked myself the following questions for this study, “What are my symptoms, How do I fear man? I took some time to reflect on my areas of struggle and wrote honest answers to these questions.
-I concluded this study by praying for deliverance from the specific things I wrote. I suspect that this will be more than a one-time prayer.
I encourage you to slow down and spend time studying the word of God. You will not regret it. I would love to hear from you. How do you study the word of God?
Psalm 119:11 NLT
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Recently I went to a party to celebrate a good friend. My intentions were to have a good time and lighthearted conversations. However, in having a conversation with one attendee, the Lord gave me some words of correction to share. I didn’t want to appear as a killjoy, but I knew I had to obey the voice of the Lord.
I felt bad when I woke up the next morning and wondered what the person thought of me. The Lord immediately convicted me and asked me if he could trust me to deliver His message. In that moment, God spoke to me and told me I should not place my reputation above obedience. Many times, we hesitate to speak the truth that could offend because we want others to like us.
As a servant of God, my responsibility is to deliver what He gives me without fear of the response. I cannot alter the message; I must deliver exactly what He gives me. My mail man doesn’t get caught up in my response to the package he delivers, nor does he try to change the packaging. None of that concerns Him. He just knows that his boss is expecting him to deliver the mail. I want to be faithful in delivering all the messages God gives me. How about you?
Romans 1:16 NLT: For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
I woke up on my 41st birthday and one of the first things I did was rub my hand on my head looking for the sign He had finally answered this longstanding prayer request. I told Him that this would be the best birthday gift. I thought He told me He would do it, that this was finally my time. I was wrong. Sadly, the familiar bald spots created by alopecia and scattered hair met the touch of my hand. I felt the disappointment trying to overtake me, but I fought against it. I thought on the goodness of God, and where He has brought me. No, I’m not a millionaire but at 41 years of age, I am a rich and fulfilled lady.
I am living on purpose.
I am at peace.
I have true joy.
So I got up looked at my mostly bald head reflection in the mirror and a sang a song of rebellion against disappointment! Restoration of my hair will come, of that I am certain. In the meantime, this song will become my anthem because I will worship as I wait.
What will I do As I wait on you?
I will worship
I will worship
Time does not change your mind
You are not a man that you should lie
So I will worship
I will worship
The doubts are trying to silence me
Lord help my areas of unbelief
By faith I declare
I will see what you have promised
Because you are God!
You are faithful!
I can trust you
So I will worship
I will worship
What are you waiting for? What are you doing as you wait?
With time, I get a greater revelation of my purpose. More doors of opportunities are opening for me to flow in that said purpose. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. However, for me, walking through those doors is the only option, even if I have to do it afraid. The word of God has transformed my life and brought me to a place of wholeness. I have a deep passion to teach the word of God to others, praying they will receive and allow it to transform them like it transformed me.
With that said, a friend invited me to do a mini teaching on Jehovah Shalom and help lead prayer for her phone prayer group. Please click on the link below to hear most of the teaching. My battery died, and I missed the last ten minutes of the talk but I trust what I captured will bless you! Do you know your purpose? Are you embracing it?