December 12, 2007
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Do you remember the “good, old days”? There are a lot of people who say they do.
I’ve noticed when people walk down memory lane, they usually say things like, “We were poor, but we didn’t know it because everybody was poor.” The other item that most folks remember deals with discipline. They reminisce, “On the first day of school my father always said, “Don’t get into a hassle at school, because whatever trouble you get into there is nothing compared to the trouble you’re going to be in when you get home.’”
According to an article carried by Time Magazine, things have changed. Nowadays, while many teachers may love working with the children entrusted to them, they also live in dread fear of running up against some parents. It seems in this new academic world, a percentage of these mothers and fathers will exhibit the following behaviors:
* defend their children no matter how wrong they may be
* prefer their children never be corrected
* make excuses to absolve their children of all responsibility
When I first saw that list, I thought, the Lord understands how those teachers feel.
After all, that’s exactly the way many react to Him. Think about it: people always seem to be accusing God of being unfair even as they defend their right to commit their sin. And because they never want to have the Lord point out their errors, they make multitudes of excuses to get themselves off the hook.
The Savior said He can’t accomplish much with people who have those kinds of defensive attitudes. That’s why He said He came to seek and save the lost. That’s why He came to bring light to those in darkness and be the great Physician for those who confess their sins. That’s the point John was making in his first letter when he said, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So that sinners might be washed of their sin and saved from damnation is why Jesus came into this world. It is why He lived, suffered, died, and rose. And because He has first loved us, His people humbly confess, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” Then, having made confession, they rejoice that He is.
THE PRAYER: Lord, be merciful to me a sinner, and receive the thanks of a forgiven transgressor. In Your Son’s Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries