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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cleaning idea
Photo taken at "Your Heart's Delight"

"The Peril Of Hiding Sin"

Message summary: Today we urge you not to hide sin but rather confess it which results in one of the greatest promises in the entire Bible. "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

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"Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion" (Proverbs 18:13). "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).

On Tuesday mornings we visit "Your Heart's Delight" a company that sells home decor items to the wholesale market, the kind of items you find in gift shops. Many of them are inspirational and thought-provoking. The employees have a brief devotional gathering for all who choose to attend and I share a brief message often using a prop from an item sold by the company as an illustration. Yesterday I held up the framed print of our lead photo. "My idea of cleaning is just putting stuff in less obvious places." In this photo it looks like the chickies are gathering messy straw in their "living room" and stuffing it down the farmer's boots!

Well, for some of us there is certainly a lesson here. We have several overnight guests coming in the next several weeks and we'll be preparing our home for the visits. We especially deal with constantly growing clutter in the office area which tends to be the catch-all for everything coming into our house. Sometimes when we don't manage to organize thoroughly I offer to help Brooksyne "clean up". Now my way of a quick "clean up" is to grab an empty laundry basket, pile all the "extras" in it, and tuck it away in a less obvious place until we can get to it later. That's not a very good way to clean up since it's not really clean up at all. It's really a concealed buildup of that which needs to be dealt with. Procrastination typically leads to more clutter and sometimes very important matters are forgotten about in the process which can come back to bite you later!

Even as I confess my default style of concealing clutter I want to apply a spiritual lesson as well. Consider the plainly spoken phrase in our second daily text.
"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper." We may seek to clean up our lives by concealing or hiding our sin from others and from God. Of course this is very ineffective. The Scripture says it well, "Be sure your sin will find you out." Somehow concealed sin has a way of oozing out through our attitudes and actions. Sin is always destructive; it has a way of destroying ourselves and destroying others. God sees and knows all things and we can't conceal anything from Him.

Rather than conceal and hide Scripture tells us to "confess and forsake,
"But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."

One of the great texts of the New Testament are the words of John in his first letter. Many of you have memorized it and practice it regularly. 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).

Precept Austin commentary observes, "Confession results in experiencing divine compassion in Proverbs 18:13, divine forgiveness in 1 John 1:9. Secret sin without open confession leads to personal anguish (Psalm 32:3,4). Before sin entered the world, the only description given of Adam and Eve is in Genesis 2:25 where we read that "the man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed." No sin. Nothing to hide. No shame. Genuine confession cannot totally recapitulate the sinless state of the Garden, but can come as close as is possible on this side of heaven. Confession of sins instead of seen as a "bad" thing, is in fact the best thing for a sinner to practice. Don't miss your opportunity to experience the blessed state of no shame that comes from confessing your sins to God, who faithfully forgives and cleanses!"

Today we urge you not to hide sin but rather confess it which results in one of the greatest promises in the entire Bible. "
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Merciful Father, we confess our sins to You. You are the One who cleanses our hearts so that we stand righteous before You through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is not in ourselves that we are made righteous, for our righteousness is as filthy rags. It is in Jesus’ death and resurrection that we are forgiven of our sins. It is not by works of righteousness; it is not by doing that which is seen by others as commendable, but it is according to Your grace and mercy that we are saved, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Last Friday morning we took a guided walking tour of the colonial section of Lancaster.

Cannon barrel repurposed ar downspout
Cannon barrel repurposed as downspout. A DIY idea if have any old cast iron cannon barrels lying around not being used. Reminds me of the verse, "They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks" (Isaiah 2:4).

Lancaster City colonial tour guide 5/26/17
Our tour guide has been giving city colonial tours for 45 years!

Lancaster City flower garden 5/26/17
This city flower garden is part of the Demuth Museum.

Lancaster City colonial home floor joists
Exposed structural features are interesting, especially these roughhewn floor joists from a colonial home.

Lancaster Central Market 5/26/17
Central Market, a public marketplace, was deeded on this site in 1730 as part of the settlement of Lancaster.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"If We Confess Our Sins" (1 John 1:8-9)
  Video  Scripture Memory Songs.  We enjoyed this series from the 90's which set Scripture verses to music, a powerful aid to memorization

"Search Me O God"  Video  The Cathedrals  "Cleanse me from every sin and set me free"

"Somebody Died for Me"  Video   Triumphant Quartet  We came across this song yesterday after posting our message. It goes well with a Memorial Day theme.

Yesterday we stopped by an old-order Mennonite discount store in Bethel, PA. These stores often have tracts and other Christian literature for customers to pick up as they leave. Yesterday the sermon rack had a printed message titled "You Cannot Sin Successfully".  Online teaching

Excerpt: "Sin usually looks inviting and attractive at the beginning, and so it is man’s natural tendency to toy with it—but he finds out in the end that it doesn’t pay. The devil doesn’t tell people about the awful cost of sin. He only shows its attractiveness and its glitter—but someday those who listen to Satan discover with a bleeding heart that the price of sin has been extremely high."

Commentary on 1 John 1:9 from Precept Austin.

"Your Heart's Delight"

Finally today:
Lancaster public piano 5/26/17
Several pianos are brought out each summer and placed in downtown locations for passersby to play. We rarely pass one that I don't persuade Brooksyne to sit down and play it. Hopefully one of her songs will stir a heart.

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.

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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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