By Lionel Fletcher
The following story is a chapter from a book published in 1931
called "Mighty Moments." We were really encouraged by this
touching story of a young man's faith and his determined love for God.
We hope it will inspire you in a mighty way as well.
One of the mightiest moments I've ever lived was during a series of meetings I was leading in the north of England many years ago. I can never speak about it - or even write about it - without feeling deep emotion.
I was the guest of my brothers in the ministry. They were anxious for me to be God's harvester in their fields which were ready for reaping - especially among the youth. Although very careful plans had been laid and serious and determined prayer offered, I wasn't expecting anything sensational.
However, early in this series of meetings I noticed an older, very rough-looking man sitting in a pew near the front of the church. He arrested my attention because his face showed such obvious signs of the ravages of sin. I also noticed that he did not sing, and he did not look at the hymn sheet which had been given to him.
Sitting all around him were people from pleasant and comfortable backgrounds, mostly young men and women from good homes. Although surrounded by others this man was alone. I could feel that, and I was conscious that he could feel it too. I was glad that he'd come, and I hoped that if he was unconverted, he might open his heart to the music of the Gospel of Christ.
When I invited those who wanted to accept and confess Christ as their Saviour to come forward, he was the first to grip my hand! Soon he was at the center of a line of people who were standing in front of me making their commitments to God. I could now see more clearly that he was dressed poorly, and that his face was lined with deep furrows. I was glad he had come, and yet sad because there was a gloom resting on him which affected me strangely.
At the end of the service I invited those who had made commitments to Christ to join me in a side room so I could instruct them in the first steps of the Christian life. But as we walked through the door, one of the ministers took me by the arm, and at the same time grasped this poorly dressed man's arm, and led us both into another room.
I was not very pleased at this delay because I wanted to be with the new Christians to be sure they received the attention they needed. But I soon discovered that the minister wanted to tell me this other man's history before I gave him any spiritual advice. And what a history it was! This man's name was Jack, and I ended up listening to a cold recital of drunkenness and cruelty, among other things. Nothing was veiled. But what broke this poor man's heart was the story which was told to me about how he had treated his son – who we'll call "Charlie" for the purpose of this story.
Some considerable time before, Charlie had received the Lord in this minister's church. He was only 16 years old, and small for his age. When he returned home that night, he bravely announced that he was going to live his life for Christ. His father, who was drunk, instantly seized him by the neck and beat him with his leather belt. He told him that he intended to beat him every time he dared go to that church again.
The next Sunday Charlie went to church. When he got home, he was beaten again - but this time with such severity that his back was bruised and bleeding because the brass buckle on his father's belt bit into his flesh. Undaunted, the brave young man continued to serve Christ and go to church until his father became a raging madman and nearly carried out his threat to kill him. One bitter winter night, after a most terrible beating, Charlie was thrown out of the house. He ended up in the sty with the family pig, and was grateful to find a heap of straw to lie upon.
Charlie's father then ordered his wife to bed. After lying there in silence for some time, he demanded, "Where is Charlie?" She told him she didn't know, but he'd seen her creeping out of the house just before coming upstairs and knew she was lying. Jack knelt over her, gripped her throat and swore he would choke her to death unless she told him where the boy had gone. Trembling with fright, she told him he was in the pigsty, and pleaded with him to let the boy sleep in his bed. His only answer was to get out of bed and throw on some clothes. Arming himself with that dreadful belt, he went downstairs and out into the night.
It wasn't long before Jack had dragged the battered little boy from his straw pile. He threw him into a cold cellar where the coal was stored saying, "Try to find some warmth there!" But all through that weary night the young Christian suffered for his Master, and prayed for his father's salvation.
For months this unequal contest went on. Then a week before I began my meetings, the minister who was telling me the story met Jack face to face in the street. Full of guilt, Jack hurried out of the minister's way shouting, "He's beaten me! He's beaten me!" The minister thought Jack was drunk, but now in this room, he realized what he'd meant. The minister looked at Charlie's father and said, "Jack, did you mean that Charlie had won the contest, and that he's brought you to Christ to ask forgiveness for your sins?"
The penitent man, who was now sobbing like a child, just nodded his head. We knew that we were faced with a mighty miracle of grace which proved the truth of the Gospel: Christ died that sinful men might find the salvation of God. I took Jack's arm and shared some words of comfort with him, and then the three of us went into the room where the others were waiting for us. Then came the climax of that wonderful night.
The ministers and those who had made their confession of Christ were all standing in front of me. I was about to pray when the door burst open. Suddenly standing before us was a white-faced boy with blue eyes peeping out from under a shock of bright red hair. He had clogs on his feet and a thick scarf around his neck. He was breathing very heavily, for he'd been running as fast as his legs could carry him from the chill, which was nearly a mile away.
I knew it was Charlie, although I had never seen him before. His dramatic appearance arrested the attention of everyone. Although only a few of us knew the story behind this, everyone felt that something out of the ordinary was happening. The fact was that two of Charlie's friends had been in the service, and to their astonishment saw his father there. They later saw him go up to the front to acknowledge his sin and claim Christ as his Saviour. These two boys then left the church and burst into the mill with the astonishing news: "Charlie, your father's converted! Your father's converted!"
Charlie was too amazed to comprehend the truth of what was being said, so they repeated it, "Your father's converted! Run! Run! Go to him!"
"But I can't go to him," replied Charlie. "I have my work to, do and can't leave the mill." But they insisted with all the enthusiasm of youth, and the joy of boys who loved their friend. "Run! Run! We'll do your work till you get back." And so Charlie jumped into his clogs, and putting a scarf around his neck, ran for dear life - while the two boys in their best clothes did his work in the mill.
In the silence I looked from the white face of the boy to the flushed face of the man, and I saw great tears splashing down both faces. Neither said a word, and then the boy's arms came out as if inviting an embrace. He seemed quite unconscious that anyone else was in the room but his father, and his eyes were devouring him. The man made a slight movement and with one jump Charlie was across the carpeted floor, flinging his arms around his father's neck. He kissed him and they wept together.
I was very close to them, and I saw Charlie's hand slip up to his father's face as he began to pat it, as if he were a man patting a child. I heard him say in his broad dialect, "Father, how I love you... How I love you."
When the manager of the mill heard the story, he changed Charlie's working hours for the rest of those meetings. And night after night those two sat side by side, looking as if the light of heaven had dawned on their faces. Jack soon picked up the choruses, and their two voices would reach me in the pulpit as they sang:
"What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and grief’s to bear,
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer."
They were the last to say goodbye to me after the closing meeting, and I went away thanking God that I still believed and preached the Gospel of His redeeming love.U
(By Melody Green)
I think the main reason that God is letting me share a little bit with you about the problem of gossip is because I'm no stranger to it. I have not only listened to gossip . I've also spread it and been the victim of it ... and let me say it's all equally as painful to the Lord.
When I told people things I shouldn't have, I usually justified it by saying, "We really need to pray for so and so, they're having this terrible problem .." But we usually didn't pray, we just "talked it through." Then, of course, it was great fun to listen to the latest tale about someone or some ministry. I again justified it by thinking, "Well, it's important to keep up with what's happening.
Besides, I need to know how to pray …….” which again, I hardly ever did. (In fact, if I had spent as much time on my knees talking to God as I did on my couch talking to friends, I would really be quite the woman of God by now.) My awareness of the problem started early in our ministry when we first began our community. I realized that with so many close relationships forming, we had become a real breeding ground for gossip to grow and spread …….infecting all who participated.
I became very concerned about it, looked up a lot of Scriptures, and gave a few very convicting Bible studies for the girls. But God didn't really open my eyes until I found myself and our ministry on the receiving end of some rumours and exaggerations that wounded me deeply. I was so stumbled! I started becoming very bitter, and wondered how people could say such things. But I think I was even more hurt over those who listened and just accepted the information as confirmed fact.
I begged God to please make them stop! Well, it didn't take long for Jesus to take action, and boy, did He show me sin -but guess whose it was? Mine! He reminded me of all the times I had received and then spread rumours, not only about people I knew, but about many I'd never even met. Jesus showed me how I had planted poison in the body of Christ and done real damage to many reputations. At the time I didn't think I was hurting anyone ... but now I knew differently. Jesus allowed me to see how it felt, and it was just awful. He also showed me that He was more grieved than anyone when His people were so unloving to each other. To say that I have totally conquered this sin through this experience would not be true. I am still tested almost daily, and sometimes I fail; but I can honestly say that there is a day-and-night difference in my life, and that I know Jesus is faithful to complete the work He started in me.
WHAT IS GOSSIP?
When we become Christians, we give up the "biggies" like lying, stealing, drinking, cheating, drugs, and fornication. We start spending time with our newfound friends, talking about the Lord, our lives, and what's going on around us in general. Harmless stuff ... or so we think. But let's take a closer look. Many times these conversations are full of judgements, rumours, and hearsay ... all tucked neatly away behind a concerned Christian smile.
Did you know the Bible talks a lot about gossip? It's not just a "little sin" as some of us like to rationalize. It says, "The Lord hates a perverse mouth" (Proverbs 8:13) ... and He commands us, "You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people. " (Lev. 19:16) God also says, "And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not." (1Tim. 5:13), and in Psalm 101:5 He says, "Whoever secretly slanders his neighbour, him I will destroy."
God also has the notion that those who gossip do not acknowledge Him and are given over to a depraved mind. He lists gossips together with those who are untrustworthy, unloving, unrighteous, full of envy, strife and deceit, murderers and haters of God. Then He says those who practice such things know they are worthy of death, but it doesn't stop them from participating or encouraging others to do the same. (Rom. 1:28-32) These are pretty heavy Scriptures, and I cringe to think of their implications.
By the way, something doesn't have to be a lie to make it gossip. Many of us think, "Well, it's true ... so I can tell anyone I want to." Not so! Telling the truth for the wrong motive can be even more destructive than telling a lie. In fact, here's a definition of gossip that's quite revealing: Sharing anything about someone, when the act of sharing it is not part of the solution to that person's problem.
"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." (Matt. 18:15). I think the reason God put this in the Bible is because He knows how weak we are, and He knew we needed some real solid guidelines.
If we are offended or see someone in sin, we are to go to that person and no one else! Let me give you a few examples: If someone is in sin, what good does it do to go and tell someone else? What can they do about it? If we start running around talking about this "awful thing" we see in someone's life, and asking others if "they see it too," then we are causing them to form judgements and ultimately to be stumbled. Instead, let's restore that brother or sister to fellowship with God. You may be showing them a real blind spot that the Lord wants desperately to deal with. If he does not listen, then there are further steps to take. Be prepared for this, although it usually doesn't get to that point. Believe me, I have done my greatest growing when someone has come to me in genuine love and concern over an inconsistency they see in my life. I am thankful that they love me enough to confront me with it and give me a chance to change. "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." (Gal. 6:1)
"TAKING UP AN OFFENSE"
Sharing our hurts and bitternesses, and listening to others share theirs, is another area where we need to be very careful. If someone is rude to your best friend, and your friend shares their hurt with you, then you're probably going to "take up the offense." This means you get hurt too, maybe even angry at the person who caused your friend pain. Later, they might make up and all may be forgiven and forgotten.
But there's only one problem ... you're still bitter! And the next time you see the person who hurt your friend you realize that you haven't forgiven him. Unless you go right away and clear things up, you may carry around a subtle bitterness that comes to remembrance every time you see him or hear his name. Why? Because God did not give you the same amount of grace to forgive as He gave your friend. You were not the one offended. God gives grace to the humble and the afflicted (James 4:6), and you were neither. You just "happened" to become involved in something you shouldn't have been told about in the first place. The strife that one small incident can cause can be far-reaching and long-lasting, depending on how many people hear about it. So you see, it is totally irresponsible to involve others in your hurts and judgements. As far as I can see, we have no right to go to anyone except God and the offender, unless we are really at a loss as to what we should do. And then we need to go for counselling, not to our "most favourite person to talk to."
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNSELLING AND GOSSIP
Much gossip and slander goes on under the guise of "getting counselling." There is nothing wrong with counselling if you are indeed talking to a counsellor. A counsellor is someone who is mature in the Lord, exhorts you to godliness and reconciliation, points out your sin in the situation, will not repeat the matter or be stumbled by it, and is seeking God's will first and foremost-not yours. (A person like this is usually in a leadership position in a church or fellowship.) I'm afraid this leaves out 95 percent of the people we usually run to with the latest problem. If we really need counselling, we should get it. But most of the time when we share with someone, we are not really seeking a solution. We just want a sympathetic ear to agree with our point of view.
It seems we don't care how much division we bring, as long as we get people on "our side." We are too selfish to worry about the damage we are causing those we tell or those we tell on. "These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Many of us like to believe that "just listening" to gossip is not really as bad as spreading it. This is not so. God says, "An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue." (Proverbs 17:4)
In I Samuel 24:9, David exhorts Saul, "Why do you listen to the words of men who say, 'Indeed David seeks your harm'?" Well, why do we listen? Why are we so ready to believe the worst? The Bible says, " .... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1Cor. 13:7) Why don't we gently but firmly say, "I'm sorry, but you're telling me something I really don't think I should be listening to. You need to take this to the Lord, and those involved ... not me." A few exhortations like that will stop most gossips in their tracks. At least it will stop them from coming to you with their treachery, and maybe give them something else to think about besides other people's business. The Bible warns us not to associate with gossips. "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips." (Proverbs 20:19)
"A MARK OF MATURITY"
"And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgement." (Matt. 12:36)
With every word we speak we are making a choice. We are either choosing to bless God or grieve Him by rebelling against His Word. "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Eph. 4:29)
Again, sometimes we do not take seriously enough God's command for us to have control over our tongue. This is one of the true marks of a mature man or woman of God. James says, "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless."
We all know that the heart is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9), and so it may seem easy to rationalize our behaviour … but look how high the price is. I get convicted just writing this! I certainly don't want my walk with the Lord to become worthless because I'm not mature enough to control the words that come out of my own mouth.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT
Gossip and slander are Satan's tools. He knows that if he can get us to divide and fight each other, we'll be far too busy to unite and fight him! We need to stop and think before we speak, and purpose in our hearts to never receive or repeat gossip again. We can do it by the grace of God and a determination to make the right choices. You pray about it. There may be people you need to repent to and bitternesses that need to be confessed and healed. Go to God first and get your heart right.
He will give you the power to do the rest. "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." (Rev. 19:7) It may seem like a monumental task ... but God is calling a holy bride and we need to do everything we possibly can to "make ourselves ready"! U
DIRTY LINEN IN THE THRONE ROOM
(by Jack Hayford)
Honesty is indeed a prerequisite to effective prayer. But it can also be cleverly guided on a boomerang path by our arch opponent.
“How can L pray when I know I’ve failed God?” I may ask myself. The awareness of recent sin or even a remote memory can hunt the mind and cripple all confidence in prayer.
Further I will never feel guilt but that Satan, whom God's Word labels as the accuser as well as the adversary, will hound my mind with added evidence of my unworthiness and, therefore, of my hopelessness if I do pray.
"You've botched it up so badly, how can you seriously expect a hearing from God. You don't deserve anything. You know it, and He knows it! Forget it!"
Some of us will even press beyond that lying attack to the point of praying something, somehow, but the words - when the mind is bombarded by guilt and condemnation - have a way of falling to the floor. Absent is that sense of the creative power when we speak boldly in simple trust to the God of all the heavens. We feel instead like someone who seeks an audience with the head of state of a nation whose flag we have just trampled.
Fat chance of a favor!
Thin hope of a hearing!
The devil's right. Forget it.
But wait a minute.
Think clearly for a moment. What suddenly changed Satan's nature that he would defend God's glory by urging you to keep your dirty distance?
He's consistently opposed to my union and yours with the Father.
When the devil contests a believer on seemingly righteous grounds you can count on it that there's a trap in the system somewhere. Truth starts to surface. The God of all glory is also the God of all grace.
We need to learn how to handle our biggest obstacle to effective prayer: guilt - the sense of having failed and thereby being disqualified for bold approach.
How can I handle my dirty linen when I want to come to the throne room of the Almighty?
Sin is, on the face of it, an obstacle to communion with God. But, if we look more closely, we'll see that just the opposite is true because of Christ's sacrifice.
My sin creates the possibility for His grace to abound.
My sin is a powerful reminder of my absolute dependence on Him.
My sin, when confessed, will occasion another display of His mercy.
My sin, when dealt with, brings me to the fountainhead of power: the Cross, where Jesus' blood is found again to be eternally effective in dissolving bonds and releasing from guilt.
My sin, when forgiven, will defeat my adversary, who said I would be excluded from a hearing by reason of my failure.
The Apostle Paul was actually accused of encouraging sin. It was untrue and he clearly denied the charge. (Rom. 3:8; 6:1,2)
But it is understandable that the charge was made. For any correct teaching of God's infinite mercy has a way of sounding to the presumptuous like a license for sin. But we don't enter God's presence by presenting an admission card certifying our sinlessness. Nor does one stamp into the throne room with muddy feet and a glib, “Sorry about that.”
A proper balance of humility and boldness is needed. Sin, by whatever description, cannot be skirted. Neither should sin be honored by allowing it to inhibit our praying.
Here's how to handle the problem:
First, understand God's posture. He's on the side of sinners. Jesus' critics puzzled that He was so frequently in the company of people who lacked religious pedigree and moral status: "This man companies with publicans and sinners!" The amazing thing was not only that He was willing to move among the sinful, but that He affected them and not the other way around.
God never condemns sinners, and He never condones sin. "My little children," John begins, "these things 1 write to you, so that you may not sin." (1John 2:1) The message registers, and could produce a guilt feeling just by casual reading... except for the next sentence: "And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." (vs. 1-2) In other words, the Word of God says: "Absolutely, do not sin," then turns right around and says, "But when you do..."
Although the heavenly Father does not hold a casual attitude toward sin, He is not shocked by it either. He has made provision for it, not as an invitation to sin, but to receive His freedom from its guilt.
Second, we make a serious mistake if we think God's mercy is the result of some "smile-and-forget-it" bent in His nature. Humanistic theology features the Father as a somewhat doddering, near senile, harmless old man, who forgives because He couldn't do much else in His defence anyway. Or it says that God forgives whenever He is asked "simply because it's right and He ought to." It's a part of a gentlemen's agreement: We'll forgive God for letting the world go on in the generally messed up condition it is, if He will be fair about it and forgive us for those times we've contributed to the mess.
Most people never express such ideas or, for that matter, bother to discover what they do think about forgiveness. But to experience the full peace of forgiveness we must understand the key to its power.
God's forgiveness is available and adequate because it cost an infinite price: the blood of Jesus.
Blood is the only price adequate to cover payment for sin. (Heb. 9:22)
Jesus knew and announced that His death on the cross was that instrument of payment. (Matt. 26:28)
It was the Father's plan and the Son's agreement to this redeeming event that produced Calvary. (Acts 2:23; Matt. 26:39)
This message was foretold by the Old Testament prophets and confirmed by the preaching of the New Testament apostles. (Is. 53:4-6; Jn.1.29; 1Cor.15.3, 1 Pet. 1:18,19)
Both justification (acquittal for our sins) in the present and eternal blessing in the future are granted through the blood. (Rom. 5:9)
Therefore, peace of mind and a clear conscience before God are available through the blood. (Eph.2:13,14; Heb. 9:14)
Forgiveness is abundant, but it isn't the splash of a supermarket display. It's the overflow of the cornucopia of His love designed to prompt our praise and thanksgiving... and our bold approach to His throne, even when we have sinned.
That's the third point:
Handling dirty linen in the throne room is not accomplished by attempting to hide it, but by openly spreading it before God. That's what confession means: acknowledging exactly what we know to be so.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1Jn. 1.9)
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:16)
"In time of need." That's the time we are most encouraged to come. But when need arises - and is compounded by our own sense of sin and failure - that is the time we're least inclined to come boldly.
But it's the time we're most invited!
Has your desire to pray been blocked p by a sense of guilt?
Be done with that blockade!
Let the truth about the Father's mercy, set you free!
I can come and be cleansed by the miracle of His creative working through the blood:
"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Ps. 51:7,10)
Welcome to the throne room of heaven, sinner.
"God's forgiveness is available and
adequate because it cost an infinite price:
the blood of Jesus."
How to Find God
by General William Booth
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, lived and worked in England in the late 1800s. He led countless tens of thousands of hurting people into a clean and fruitful relationship with the Lord. The following steps are not the untested ideas of a fanatic, but rather the wisdom of a man who deeply loved God. William Booth loved others enough not only to tell them about Jesus, but to go out into their misery, filth, and darkness to share in their pain - that they, in return, might share in his joy in knowing God. It is possible for anyone who has a sincere desire to find God, to enter into that joy and peace He so freely gives to those who love Him. It's our prayer that you will read this with an open and searching heart - and that you will enter into a deep and loving relationship with your Father in heaven.
BEFORE YOU START
These seven steps are for the use of those who have a serious desire to receive the mercy of God, which alone can deliver them from their bad habits, from the powers of darkness, and from the wrath to come. To those who read this, I give the following instructions:
Set apart a special time to read and consider these things - going away, if possible, into some quiet place where you can be alone with God.
Earnestly pray and ask God for the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit which He has promised to all who seek Him. God will give you the Holy Spirit if you ask.
With all your heart, on your knees before God, take one step at a time. Be careful not to leave the first step for the second until it is clearly understood, fully accepted as true, and solemnly decided upon. Do the same with the second and third steps, until the last step is reached.
After reading this carefully and thoughtfully from beginning to end, go through it again, following the same instructions.
If this course is followed, I feel quite sure that no sincere person will fail to reach not only the mercy seat of God, but the loving arms of the Savior and the knowledge of the forgiveness of their sins.
Discovery of Sin
Romans 14:23, James 4:17, I John 1:8
Sin is anything I do that displeases God - and a sinner is anyone who practices those things. Any time I consider myself, my ambitions, or my feelings as more important than God, or do something that I know is wrong, I am practicing sin. I know I am a sinner. I have sinned against my God, against my neighbor, and against my own soul. I have sinned in my thoughts, in my feelings, in my conversation, and in my actions.
I have sinned in the world, in my business, and in my pleasure. I have done many things I should not have done, and I have left undone many things that I should have done. I freely admit it. I will not cover up or make excuses for my sins. My sins are more than I can count, and they have caused pain to God and man far beyond possible estimation. They have dishonored my Heavenly Father, treated the sacrifice of Jesus my Savior as worthless, and have had a bad influence not only upon the members of my own family, but upon my friends and acquaintances as well. I now realize that I fully deserve the everlasting displeasure of God, and I see that if I should die in my sins I would be eternally separated from God, falling into the damnation of hell. O Lord have mercy upon me!!!
Sorrow for Sin
II Corinthians 7:9-10
Not only do I see that I have sinned against
God, causing Him great pain - but I am truly sorry that I have done so. I hate
my evil ways, and I hate myself for having followed them. I am grieved on
account of my sins - not only because they have
exposed me to punishment, but because they have been committed against my Heavenly Father, Who has continually loved and cared for me. If I could undo the past I would gladly do so, but I can't! The sins I have committed are written down against me in God's book, and He knows and remembers all of them. No prayers that I can offer - no tears that I can shed - no expression of sorrow or mourning that I
can make - no good works that I can perform - will remove that terrible record. My only hope is in the forgiving mercy of Jesus Christ, Who has said, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)
Confession of Sin
Proverbs 28:13, James 5:16, 1 John 1:8-9
Not only am I sorry for the wrong things that I have done, but I freely acknowledge and confess my sins before God. I have no excuse to make for them. It may be true that much of the evil I have been guilty of has been done in ignorance. I did not know God or my duty to Him or the greatness of the love of my Savior dying for me. I was ignorant of the evil influence which my conduct and example were often having on others. But this ignorance is no real excuse, because I should have known better. I should have read my Bible and listened to those who would have tought me. I should have thought about my soul, and cried to God for help. But I didn't, and now my mouth is closed before Him. And I do here and now confess myself before God to be a guilty sinner, without excuse, deserving His anger now and forever.
Not only do I make this confession in private, but seeing that I have sinned in the presence of my family, and in the presence of the people around me, I am perfectly willing to openly acknowledge my sinfulness and my sorrow on account of it. As far as I have the opportunity, I will admit my guilt before Christians, before my own family, and before the world. Not having been ashamed to sin in the presence of others, I am now willing to acknowledge my sin in their presence also.
Putting Away Sin
Luke 13:3, Acts 3:19; 26:20
Not only do I see myself to be a sinner and hate my sins and confess them before God and man, but I do now, by God's help, renounce and give up every one of them. Whatever pleasure they may have brought me in the past, and whatever earthly gain they may promise me in the future, I do here and now, in the strength of God, put them away and promise that I will never take them back again.
Asking Forgiveness for Sin
II Chronicles 7:14, James 4:10, l John 1:9
Feeling ashamed for having turned away from my Heavenly Father by despising and rejecting His love, breaking His commandments, and influencing others to do the same, I do here and now on my knees humbly submit myself to Him. I pray that He will have mercy upon me, a miserable sinner, and I beg Him for Christ's sake to forgive all my sins, to receive me into His favor, and to make me, unworthy as I am, a member of His family.
Romans 6:13; 12:1
I promise God, here and now, in His strength, and with all my heart, that if He will forgive me and receive me into His favor, I will from this day forward be His faithful servant, promising to spend the rest of my days doing what I can for His glory, for the advancement of His Kingdom, and taking the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him.
John 6:28-29, Galatians 2:16,Hebrews 11:6
I believe that Jesus Christ, God's Son, in His great mercy and love, died for me and in my place, bearing my sins in His own body on the cross. And believing this, I do here and now welcome Him into my heart as my Savior from sin, from selfishness, from the power of the devil, and from hell itself. Jesus Christ said in the Bible that if I will go to Him, He will not cast me out. (John 6:37)
And I do come to Him with all my heart just now, as a poor, helpless, guilty sinner, seeking salvation. I know that He will not reject me. As well as I can, I believe that He does at this very moment take me in. He forgives me now. His blood that was shed at the cross washes all my sins away. He was wounded for my sin; He was bruised for the wrong that I did against Him and others; the punishment I ought to have endured was laid on Him; and with His suffering I am healed and brought into a right relationship with the one true living God. I am forgiven at last. Praise to God - Jesus saves me now! U