Friday, March 09, 2012

Exhortation- Road to Encouragement

It is true that we come to church for encouragement. We come out of obedience but it is an expectant obedience. We come to worship because it is right but in doing right we have expectations of reward. This is good. God expects us to do right but it is not merely out of duty. He teaches us that if we do what is right, He will bless us. It is also true that we cannot always tell what that blessing looks like. Sometimes, blessings come in the form of what call hidden blessings. Trials and tribulations produce in us the good fruit of patience, perseverance and even peace amidst the storms. These trials then become the means of all sorts of other blessings. So, the expectation of reward does not come without the reality that the reward is often the result of enduring great difficulties.
         In this sense, I want to encourage you through this difficult time we call Confession of Sin.  Trials often cause us to examine ourselves. Sometimes our trials are a result of our sins, for example, a financial meltdown caused by negligence. Other times our trials are no fault of our own, say unforeseen health issues that we face ourselves, or in a spouse, parent or child. But whatever the trial, we often look at ourselves to examine our hearts, motives and actions. And this is good. We seek to be pure vessels through which God can pour out His grace, mercy and blessing.
         So, this time of confession is just that. It confronts us with our own failures and sins but is a means through which we open ourselves up to the searching wisdom of the Holy Spirit, seeking to forsake every evil way, currently known by us or not, and asking God to cleanse us and bless us through this purging. Nobody wants the pain of the searching but we all want the result of the blessing. But first things first. Be open. Be honest. Confess. Repent. Be forgiven. Be a vessel of honor, ready for blessing and reward.

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