TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, July 12, 2019:
A feeling of responsibility or remorse for a wrong doing or for committing an offense or a crime; shame.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:9.
O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
The verse we have put above from Ezra comes from a problem that the Jewish exiles from Babylon had to face when they returned to Jerusalem. The leaders came to Ezra, God’s prophet, and admitted that the Children of Israel had sinned against God by marrying pagans. The sin of these intermarriages was that not only did they break God’s commandment not to marry pagans but they adopted their pagan religious practices of worshipping false gods. Even some of the Priests and Levites were guilty. When Ezra was informed about what was happening he was deeply grieved and ashamed for them. Ezra was so appalled at the faithlessness of God’s people that he fell on his knees and prayed asking God to forgive them of their sins. And he acknowledged how great their guilt of sin was against God. Ezra 9:6 (above) is the opening of Ezra’s prayer.
Guilt is a result of sin. Until Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden they did not know what guilt was. The question we need to answer today is, “How can I get rid of guilt that I am carrying in my life?” Guilt that results from the sin of disobeying God is under the banner of forgiveness.
The first thing we must do is recognize that guilt has come from some sin in our life so we need to identify that sin and ask God for forgiveness. The Bible is very clear of what sin is and what is not. Society today regards many sins as acceptable that are not acceptable to God. We must identify sin based on Biblical standards, not on the worlds. We must turn from continuing to overlook the sin and ask the Lord for forgiveness.
The second suggestion we have is to make amends. If you have wronged another person, do not try to substitute a request for forgiveness by doing kind deeds for that person. Ask God to give you wisdom in identifying an appropriate way for you to make amends after you have confessed. You should also ask God to give you the courage and fortitude to follow through on your commitment. First of all, to talk to the person and then honor your commitment to make amends to that person.
And finally accept forgiveness. If you have sinned against God and have asked for forgiveness you can be assured that God has forgiven you, (see the verse we have put at the top from I John). If you have sinned against a person and he or she forgives you accept the words and do not try to second guess whether they are sincere or just words.
If you ask someone for forgiveness and they refuse to accept your request just move on because at that time the person who refuses the act of asking for forgiveness bears the responsibility for failing to forgive. As you have opportunity show them kindness and caring. Continually pray for them and ask the Lord to bring reconciliation. God can do what we cannot.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Philippians 4:13.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Help me to remove guilt from my life by confessing my sin and asking for forgiveness. Give me the courage to go to those that I have hurt in some manner and then give me the loving words and courage to ask for forgiveness. Thank You for the assurance that You give me that when I forgive, you also forgive me.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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