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The Word For Today

Confessions of a secret sinner 5

'The Lord looks at the heart.' 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

Pastor and author John MacArthur says:

'Jesus' exposition of the law is a devastating blow against the lie that image is everything. Secret sin is especially abhorrent because: (1) God sees the heart. In fact, if we realised he's the only audience we'd be less inclined to write it off. It's folly to mitigate sin by keeping it private... it's double-folly to think you're better than others because you sin privately... and it's the height of folly to conceal it. "He who covers his sins will not prosper" (Proverbs 28:13 NKJV). (2) Sinful thoughts originate from the same source as sinful deeds. When Jesus said hatred carries the same guilt as murder, and that lust is essentially adultery, he wasn't saying there's no difference in degree... he was saying that a lustful person has no right to feel superior to a fornicator. The fact that somebody thinks such thoughts proves they're capable of immoral acts, and someone who hates his brother already has murder lurking in his heart. (3) Hypocrisy compounds hidden sin. Why? Because it means covering it up. Jesus called hypocrisy "the leaven of the Pharisees" (Luke 12:1 NKJV) because it compounds itself like leaven. It sears your conscience and paves the way for other character-damaging sins... When somebody tries to tell you appearances are everything - don't buy it! Your secret life is a litmus test of your character: "As he thinks within himself, so he is" (Proverbs 23:7 NASB). If you want to know who you really are, look at your private life. Then gaze into the mirror of God's Word and let him disclose and correct the thoughts and intents of your heart.'

Soulfood: Ecc 10-12, John 10:34-42, Ps 102:12-17, Prov 30:21-23


Confessions of a secret sinner 4

'You forgave me! All my guilt is gone.' Psalm 32:5 NLT

David said, 'I confessed all my sins to you... And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone' (Psalm 32:5 NLT).

Julie Ann Barnhill writes: 'If you're tired of pretending you have it all together, it's time to act. For too long Christian women in particular have believed they're the only ones dealing with shameful issues, agonising regrets and skeletons in their closet. Once we open up to God, ourselves and others, we experience exhilarating freedom and peace. A woman wrote to me: "I had an abortion when I was 18. Nobody knows. For years I marked the date on my calendar and grieved for the child nobody knew about, and the young woman who bore the guilt alone. No more! Now I know I'm not alone, and for the first time in my life I truly believe God is bigger than my secret - and he's willing to forgive." Secrets only hold power when they're hidden. Once they're revealed in the light of God's love they lose their control.'

Julie Ann continues: 'However, there are some things to consider before opening up to someone: (1) If that person repeats things others have shared in confidence, guess who's up next for discussion? (2) Beware of someone who's apt to offer unsolicited advice, then take offence when it's ignored. (3) Stay away from somebody who tries to "fix" you, and tells you not to worry about your secrets. Instead, look for someone who: (a) has good sense and knows when to "back off" and/or move forward when you're upset; (b) is up-front about their own struggles; (c) is quick to listen and slow to speak; (d) undergirds their words and counsel with Scriptural truths.'

Soulfood: Ecc 7-9, John 10:22-33, Ps 102:1-11, Prov 30:18-20


Confessions of a secret sinner 3

'You will rebuild those houses left in ruins for years.' Isaiah 58:12 CEV

Lie number two: God won't use you now. Julie Ann Barnhill continues: 'Women long to have their lives count for something more eternal than their jean size, or updated qualifications on a CV. Yet many times we judge ourselves by these superficial standards. Think of all the times you've gazed in a mirror and despised the woman staring back at you; times you've bought into the lie that because of your failures God can't use you. I'm living proof that he can and does use us despite our past mistakes. David said when "I confessed my sins... You forgave my guilt" (Psalm 32:5 NCV). The worst sins in Scripture can never drive a wedge between you and Christ's love, if you confess them and seek forgiveness. God's truths can dispel the enemy's deceit.' Take hold of his promise that you will rebuild the ruins of your life (see Isaiah 58:11-12)

'Lie number three: When people find out what you've done, they'll never love, understand, or forgive you. Some you considered friends may leave... It happened to me... Friends dropped me when they learned the depth of my messes. And I once dropped a friend after learning some uncomfortable details about her life. Friends come and go, but a true friend sticks by you like family (see Proverbs 17:17). I wasn't faithful to my friend, but Jesus always is. Time and again he promised never to leave us.' Even 'if we are not faithful, he remains faithful, because he cannot be false to himself' (2 Timothy 2:13 GNT).

Soulfood: Deut 9:13-29, Dan 1:3-21, Luke 4:1-13

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