01 March 2012

A Walk in the Garden – CONFESSING OUR SINS

"Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in
me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me"
- Psalm 51:9-10

Our Journey to the Cross continues.

Where do you go to seek God’s presence?

I don’t know about you, but I love to walk in a beautifully manicured garden. The sweet smells, the beautiful colors, the wonder of nature makes me feel close to Him. I admit that I do not have a green thumb, but I definitely appreciate the peacefulness amidst nature’s beauty. This past week there was another “garden” in my thoughts ... the Garden of Gethsemane. Located east of the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem, on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, I can only imagine that it was a beautiful place too - a peace-filled place, where Jesus went quite often to seek God’s presence.

I hope you’ve been able to find some quiet time this past week ... a time for reflection ... a time to examine our hearts, and pray about the things that hinder our relationship with God. Now we have to step out of our comfort zone and cry out to God, just as David did in the words of Psalm 51.

Easier said than done!

Most of us are more comfortable with the idea of giving up something for Lent, or just focusing on the upcoming celebration of Easter morning. But the hard fact is that we need to walk through the darkness that comes before the light ... the confession that comes before the joy.

As Easter approaches we need to be honest with God. We need to lay our sins and burdens at the foot of the cross. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us from every wrong.”

Remember ... there is nothing that will surprise God – no sin too bad, no secret too dark. God is a God of light and darkness cannot survive in his presence. Nothing can keep us from His mercy and grace when we confess our sins with a sincere heart.

For our God sent His own Son in to the darkness, to die on the cross ... for US. He took our place. He was our substitute, so that we may live in the light.

PREPARING OUR HEARTS: Meditate on the words of Romans 5:6-11, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

This week take time to pray about what it really means to take someone else’s punishment in their place. What are the results of Christ dying for us while we were still sinners?

Counting down to Calvary ...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

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