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Tuesday, April 5, 2016
"The Blessing Of The Rebound"
Message Summary: Have you stumbled? Have you fallen? Perhaps you are even down right now as you read this. God has provided a means for spiritual rebound with no additional conditions or limits. Just a straightforward promise based upon His character of forgiveness. When we confess our sins "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This really is good news and the best kind of rebound with the bonus of eternity spent in heaven. Joyfully accept His cleansing and forgiveness today.
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"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Last night's NCAA basketball championship game had a tremendous finish with Villanova, the winning team, sealing the championship with a buzzer shot. That is, the buzzer ending the game went off as the ball was in the air before the ball swooshed through the hoop. (See here for 24 second video). For sport's enthusiasts these are the best types of games (unless you favor a particular team, in which case you don't mind your team having a blow-out victory!)
The buzzer winning finish in basketball has a parallel in spiritual things but we certainly don't recommend it! Essentially we might call it a deathbed conversion. We recommend living faithfully for Christ so there's no drama or suspense at death, rather peace and serenity as the angels escort your spirit to heaven.
But there's another parallel in basketball to the Christian life. In a basketball game solid play is required all through the game to keep it close enough for a buzzer finish. One key component is the rebound. In basketball a rebound refers to the ball being retained after a missed shot and the offensive team having another opportunity to score. Or on defense it's getting the ball back after your opponent misses a shot. Because even the best players miss shots, rebounding is an important component to having a good basketball team.
Thank God for another kind of rebound. If you've been a Christian for a while hopefully you've memorized the daily verse: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). It's one of those remarkable truths in the Christian life that form a fundamental principle we'll call "the rebound principle." It describes the wonderful means that our gracious God has provided for us to rebound or bounce back after we stumble or when we fall. We may fall but we are not cast down. By the grace of God we can get back up, for the Lord upholds us with His righteous right hand (Psalm 37:24)!
But we also rebound in life. In fact in some way everyone reading this has rebounded.
Have you ever fallen? Of course you have! You did so a lot when you were learning to walk. Just ask your parents. We've all fallen a few times after being fully grown and how embarrassing that is! Or worse, it's painful and requires a long recovery period and sometimes surgery. Some of us will remember the low budget, rather cheesy TV ad from the late eighties with the elderly person calling out the memorable line, "I've fallen and I can't get up." It became the catch phrase for many years and was used jokingly in many settings. Not such a joke when you're the incapacitated person, young or old!
All of us have stumbled and fallen physically, but as believers we've also fallen spiritually at different times. The Apostle James says, "We all stumble in many ways" (3:2). Sometimes we fall "big time", but more commonly in "small ways".
The seasoned believer will quickly distinguish the difference between a small stumble and a plummeting fall. The persevering believer has an ongoing testimony of overcoming spiritual falls.
The apostle John is writing late in the first century, perhaps sixty years after he had walked with Jesus. Peter, Paul and many of the other notable apostles died about thirty years prior to this writing. He's surely very mature now. If anyone was ever expected to have fully made it in their spiritual journey and earned the right to point his finger and use a preachy "you" it would have been John. But I find encouraging significance in the personal pronoun he uses throughout the passage. It's known as the first person plural. John does not say, "if you confess your sins" but "if we confess our sins."
Have you stumbled? Have you fallen? Perhaps you are even down right now as you read this. God has provided a means for spiritual rebound with no additional conditions or limits. Just a straightforward promise based upon His character of forgiveness. When we confess our sins "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This really is good news and the best kind of rebound with the bonus of eternity spent in heaven. Joyfully accept His cleansing and forgiveness today.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I lay my sins on Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God. I'm so thankful for Jesus who bears them all and frees me from the accuser's condemnation. I confess my sins to You, both big and small, so that my crimson stains are washed white in the blood of the sinless Lamb of God and not a stain remains. Thank You for being the Sinbearer that redeems me from the slimy pit of mud and mire. You are the Solid Rock on which I firmly stand. Upon my confession, You are faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. You put a new song in my heart and a hymn of praise and thanksgiving on my lips. It's through Jesus' wonderful name that we can pray to You, Father. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"1 John 1:8,9" Video Scripture Memory Songs
"Joy Unspeakable" Video Homecoming Singers "What a wondrous blessing I am saved from the awful gulf of sin!"
"Confession Song" Video Crossroads Community Church It appears that this is a video produced by a local church. Here's a blog post. It is our contention that the music we are familiar with (that becomes famous) is only a small part of the wonderful giftings that God is giving His people. My nephew, Patrick, has written some very nice songs used by a congregation in eastern Pennsylvania.
"Only By The Blood" Video Mount Pleasant Easter Choir directed by Brooksyne.
There's no treasure on earth that could move heaven's heart
and purchase a pardon for me.
No jewels or gems that I'd bring could start to pay my penalty,
Even silver and gold are offerings too poor to take away guilt but the truth is, my Lord,
It's only by the blood You poured out for me.
It's only by the blood I can stand redeemed!
All the riches of this world could never be enough to take away one sin,
It's only by the blood.
To the temple they came and the altars ran red, year after year after year.
Yet for all of the loss and all the life shed, still no true peace was near.
'Till you came to us as the one perfect lamb,
with thorns on Your head and nails in Your hands.
Words and Music by: Mark Harris and Tony Wood
"I Give You My Heart" Video Olso Gospel Choir
Landis Homes Resident Choir Video Mike Martin, a friend, sent me this video of a choir in one of our large retirement facilities here in Lancaster County. His Mom and Dad are part of the choir!
"Photographing The Seasons" is the photo blog by my cousin Georgia. I believe today's stunning butterfly and orchid photo was taken in the Southwest.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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