Do you even shed a tear?

I remember being told as a child to remain quiet out of respect to the mourners. I wasn’t supposed to laugh or joke, or run around with other kids at the funeral. I was to mourn with the family who had lost someone special. I’d like to share something with you about the time of mourning that each of us must have in our lives. It’s a command in scripture, a command I think we often forget.

In James 4:6-8, God gives a recipe for revival. God explains that if we want to grow close to Him we must humble ourselves, resist the devil, and purify our lives of sin. Okay great! Sounds simple to me, if we will just do these things, then we will be coming close to God, He will come close to us, and we’ll have a great relationship!

But, it doesn’t end there. Verse nine gives another command, or ingredient if you will. The verse reads, "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." That’s not a verse I like to spend a lot of time in. It’s not something that we like to talk about. Weeping over sin. Mourning our loss of service to God. Coming face to face with the seriousness of the sin that separated us from our loving Savior. It’s not fun. But there is hope.

1 John 1:9 reads, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God says that he will forgive us and cleanse us if we simply confess. Isn’t that amazing? But what is confession? Is saying that we’re sorry really enough?

Many people think that confessing our sin is simply saying, "Oh, I lied, please forgive me. I stole, forgive me God. I was lazy this afternoon, forgive me." The word confession means "to say the same as." So, in essense, God wants us to say the same thing about that sin that he would. Do we speak of sin, or think of it, as God does? When you make a decision to turn from sin, do you take it seriously? God isn’t interested in His servants having a flippant attitude towards sin, sin that was so serious, that it’s atonement could only be brought about His death on the cross. Sin is serious.

My friends, do you take sin seriously? Or do you acknowledge your sin and make a half-hearted decision to change later. I am very guilty of treating sin as something of no consequence, but God commands us to view sin as He sees it. He tells us to mourn over it. Do we mourn? He tells us to weep. Do we even shed a tear? When you confess your sin, take a moment to realize the greatness of your offense and what it cost Christ.

I’ve said it multiple times now, but sin is a serious matter. When you repent, it’s a time to mourn, it’s a time to weep. Take the time to mourn. Don’t simply mention how you’re sorry and then pretend like nothing happened. Realize your guilt, and acknowledge it. Then, afterward, rejoice in the Lord. God promises to forgive you once you have confessed your sin. You don’t have to live in guilt. Weep, but realize that joy comes in the morning, and your God will always be ready to forgive and cleanse a contrite heart.

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Are you wiping your mouth?

We will always be wronged by someone. Our friends are human. They will mess up just like we do. One thing that we do expect from our friends is an apology. I mean, they don’t need to apologize for everything, but sometimes we can’t have a good friendship until they recognize that what they did was wrong. It’s the same thing with God.

God wants us to have fellowship with Him despite how much we mess up. God does want us to recognize when we do wrong. Proverbs 28:13 says, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." If your friend decided he would just avoid the issue and never bring up how he wronged you, you would most likely have a problem with it. However, if he came to you and told you that he was sincerely sorry for what he did and asked you to forgive him, you probably would. Your friendship would most likely be repaired.

We see this truth so plainly in our earthly relationships. But how often do we fail to recognize the guilt we have in our relationship to our heavenly Father? Many times, we sin and try to continue our relationship with God as if nothing happened. God abhors evil. It is His enemy. How could we go on with our lives and expect to have a good relationship with God if we are consistently going back to sin? Do we really know how much God despises sin?

God often refers to us as the bride of Christ. In the old testament especially, God refers to sin and idolatry as adultery. He compares unfaithful Israel to an adulterous wife. Now let us look at Proverbs 30:20. It says, "Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness." If we continue in sin, and try to have a proper relationship with God, we are like that adulterous woman.

However, if we come before God in a broken heart, asking Him to forgive our trespasses, He will forgive us. When we understand how God hates sin, that promise becomes so much more meaningful.

1 John 1:19 says, " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

You can never have perfect fellowship with God until you confess and turn from your sins. Will you confess your sins to God today?