Illustration results for 1 john 1
SIMPLE CONFESSION, PROFOUND FORGIVENESS
In 1818 one out of six women who had children died of something called "childbirth fever." A doctorís daily routine back then started in the dissecting room, where he performed autopsies, and from there he made his rounds to examine expectant mothers. No one even thought to wash his hands...at least not until a doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis began to practice strict hand washing. He was the very first doctor to associate a lack of hand washing with the huge fatality rate. Dr. Semmelweis only lost one in fifty, yet his colleagues laughed at him. Once he said, "Childbirth fever is caused by decomposed material conveyed to a wound...I have shown how it can be prevented. I have proven all that Iíve said. But while we talk, talk, talk, women are dying.. Iím not asking for anything world shaking, only that you wash your hands." Yet virtually no one believed him.
And Jesus is not asking anything earth shaking from us. John writes, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We only need to confess our sins, to regularly wash our souls before God. Itís essential. The failure to confess our sins will result in spiritual infection that will hinder our ability in the spiritual journey.
SOURCE: Timothy Peck. Citation: I John 1:9. http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/
There’s an old story of a man who was walking at night, and saw another man searching for something near a lamp post. Approaching, he asked the man what he was looking for, and the man, without looking up, replied, “My watch”. The first man asked, “Well, precisely where were you standing when you dropped it?” Continuing his search, the man pointed a finger in the distance and said, “Over there somewhere.” Incredulous, the first man said, “Well then sir, why are you looking for it here?” Finally looking up in frustration and meeting the first man’s gaze, the searcher replied testily, “Because sir, the light is better here!”
The Train and the Boy
I would like to tell you a story about a man named John Griffith. John was the father of an 8-year-old boy during the 20’s and 30’s. John was very fortunate during those times, because he had job. John loved his son very much. He was the apple of his eye. John’s son was a normal little boy who constantly wanted to go to work with his father. John decided he would take his boy to work with him one day. John was bridge conductor across the Mississippi River. John was in charge of raising and lowering the bridge so that boats could get through and trains could pass. John’s son was so amazed at the gears and all the things that went along with his father’s job. They had brought their lunch to work with them that day and decided to eat their lunch on the bank of the river. John and his son was eating lunch and John had realized that in about 3 minutes the Memphis Belle carrying 300 passengers was getting ready to cross the bridge, but the bridge was not lowered. John didn’t want to alarm his son so he patted him on the shoulder and told him to sit right their and he would be right back. John hustled up the stairs, he grabbed the lever to lower the bridge and he had realized that somehow his son had climbed to the bridge and had fallen in between the gears of the bridge. John could hear the train coming carrying the 300 passengers. In his mind he started going over ways he could get his son from the gears and still lower the bridge, but he knew he had to make a choice. John lowered the bridge just in time for the train to pass crushing his son in between the gears. John looked at the train passing by and saw a man reading his newspaper a woman drinking her tea and another talking to his wife. John screamed at the top of his lungs “Hey, Don’t you know what I’ve just done for you” they didn’t hear him so he screamed again “Hey, Don’t you know what I’ve just done for you” But again they just went along with their lives not ever realizing what John had done for them. God is asking us the same question “Don’t you know what I’ve done for you. I sent my only son to this earth for you. He died a terrible death so that you could spend eternity with me. Why are you going on with your busy meaningless live not serving me, and some of you have not even accepted me as your savior. I love you so much.
My heart was touched this week by some breaking news from the musical world of heavy metal. The headline reads: Korn guitarist leaving to follow Jesus.
"Popular heavy metal band, Korn, has parted ways with guitarist and founding member, Brian, "Head" Welch who has chosen Jesus Christ as his savior and will be dedicating his musical pursuits to that end. Welch detailed a long list of reasons for leaving the band, including increased moral objections to Kornís music and videos. Korn is an MTV favorite by the way. Theyíre very popular. In particular, Welch was really upset by how he was portrayed in a music video when his face was superimposed on the body of dog that patrolled a strip club.
The heavy metal world is dark place, the band Korn is widely known as an anti-christian group. Theyíre not only resistant to God, they hate God.
Sunday February 27th which is today, Welch plans to address the congregation that is responsible for his conversion. Welch will speak to the congregation at Valley Bible Fellowship in Bakersfield, CA. He plans to leave for a tour of the Holy Land the next day. Welch said, "a lot of people think Iím crazy for leaving the band, I real...
ďEven A Snake Has a Heart!Ē
1 John 1: 1-10 Key verse(s): 9
ďIf we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.Ē
We recently endured the effects of a fairly major windstorm here at Beech Springs. It happened as we were out of town and upon returning we discovered literally hundreds of small branches and twigs scattered about the property and driveway. Since I donít particularly like driving over them with either car or mower, after several days I felt that it would be a good thing to walk about the property and pick up as many of the sticks as possible. The driveway is pretty easy pickings but the lawn is a different matter. Twigs have the habit of burrowing into the grass, almost adhering to it. Picking up a stick can also get you an added bonus--a large tuft of grass as well. But picking I did. When I went for my walk in the morning, Iíd pick up a handful here and there. Going up to get the mail was another such opportunity. Gradually over the course of the week I had rid the driveway and the yard of most of the larger limbs. Perhaps one last trip over the turf prior to the weekend and lawn cutting time would be all that would be needed.
Arms almost full I speculated that I could balance just one more branch atop my burgeoning pile of sticks, limbs, and twigs. There is was, just the right size. Bending downward, half-glancing at my tottering stack and peripherally eyeing the twig, I reached out to snatch my prize. The moment of contact, however, proved to be something far more interesting than the mere prospect of twig-snatching. My perfect twig had wrapped itself around my arm and was staring me blankly in the face. What should have been a Beech stick turned out to be a very surprised Garter Snake. Needless to say, my balancing act had gone for naught. The twigs lay all over the ground before me and the one thing I want to drop was not. The snake was cold having just recently come from its winter den somewhere down toward Your Creek. I guess thatís why it had lain so still even as I approached within inches of its grassy bed. Since it was apparent he wasnít about to let loose of me I began to peel him away from my forearm. As I did I grasped the area just below the head, a spot where his vital organs are located. I was struck momentarily with the distinct feeling of a small pulsating heart. For the life of me I have picked up many a small snake over the years. But I have never really considered them more than a nuisance. Now, with the feel of that small heart beating between my fingertips, I was suddenly struck with the realization that even a snake has a heart!
When people are hurting it is always possible that somewhere, somehow sin has played a role in getting them there. Perhaps it was someone elseís sin. Perhaps it was there own. Where sin is involved, like that snake, we most often arenít inclined to reach in and grab it by the tail.
Sinful people like you and I will often find themselves in a world of hurt simply because they said or did the wrong thing. Living with the consequences of sin can be very painful. Yet, like that snake or Bernie, as unattractive as we are, we still have a heart and often times itís hurting. Remember, even a sinner needs words of comfort. We may make our beds in sin but no one has to sleep in them alone; not when there is a comforting Christian to share the hurt.
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Every year a great throng of people make pilgrimage to the Shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico, a site where supposedly the Virgin Mary once stood...however unlikely that is. They go there hoping to get her attention, and to get her to intervene for them with her son Jesus. They crawl on their hands and knees for a quarter mile, and enter and light candles, one for every friend who has died, in hopes of reducing the amount of time they spend in purgatory. It is a pitiful sight.
Every 12 years a multitude of Hindus gather at the convergence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. They make a 6-week journey for the largest religious festival in the world. Naked holy men lead the parade into the icy waters, and the people follow because one of their holy books declares they will go to heaven if they do. Another book of theirs says even if they have committed a hundred crimes, they will be forgiven as soon as they touch those waters. Itís a pitiful sight, and all the more because I know of a book that says we can indeed be forgiven no matter what weíve done, not because of some silly ritual, but because of a heavenly sacrifice: Jesus on the cross! Forgiven, not because of stepping into water, but being plunged beneath the crimson flood of the blood of Godís Son who died in our place!
Along the shore are "shaving booths" where every hair is removed from their bodies, including eyebrows and lashes...they gather them and throw them into the river because one of their books says for every hair they throw in, they will live a million years in heaven.
Some at this festival cut out their tongues, believing if they sentence themselves to eternal silence, they will gain heavenly favor. Others stare at the sun until blind to appease their gods. Itís a pitiful sight of works-centered religion.
(From a sermon by Jerry Shirley, A Pitiful Sight, 4/29/2011)
Before writing, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," before becoming a leader of the Reformation, before his 95 Theses, Martin Luther was a Catholic priest. One thing that did not change for him was a passionate conviction that Christians must repent and confess their sins.
As a priest, Luther's confessions were excruciating both for himself and the confessor who had to listen. He did not have the kind of lurid, scandalous confessions that might leave his confessor thinking, "Oh, how wicked... Tell me more!" He tediously confessed every thought, word, or deed he thought was even questionable.
At the end of one confession, his exhausted confessor asked, "Is there anything more?"
Martin Luther, in great agitation, said, "Yes, I can think of one more thing. At supper, as the bread was being passed, I noticed another priest had a piece of bread that looked a little bit bigger than mine. I remember being envious, wishing I had that little bit bigger piece of bread."
God is infinitely patient in hearing our sincere confession. Humans are not. That was his confessor's breaking point. "Martin... Go out and kill someone... Then come back and confess... when you have something to confess!"
ONE RASCAL AMONG HONEST MEN
A king visited a slave ship, and there was a slave galley where they chain men to the oars and they row and a man beats the drum and another man has a lash to make them row. And they would take the prisoners of the state and put them to use, pulling on the oars.
The king visited one of these slave ships, went below the decks, and began to talk to those who were chained to the oars. And he asked one man, "Why are you here?"
"Oh," he said, "Sire, I donít know why Iím here. I was in a crowd when a crime was committed and when they arrested everybody, they got me and Iím innocent!"
He asked another, and said, "Why are you here?"
"Oh, sire, noble king, I have enemies who have lied about me, but Iím not really guilty, Iím the victim of false witnesses who have lied about me."
And the king went through and each one of them had some reason why he was innocent and should not be there, till he came to one man, who said, "Sire, Iím here because I deserve to be here. Iíve sinned. Iím guilty, Iím receiving the just recompense for my sin. Iíve sinned against my God, Iíve sinned against my king a...
FORGIVE AND FORGET
There's a wonderful story about the cardinal of the Philippines, named, oddly enough, Cardinal Sin. When Cardinal Sin was a bishop, a young woman in his parish claimed that she had visions of Jesus. Bishop Sin was given the task of determining if these visions were authentic. He called her in for an interview, after which he made this request: "Daughter, the next time you see Jesus, would you ask Him what sin your bishop committed as a young priest and then come and tell me His answer." She agreed. The bishop, aware that nobody knew his sin except himself, his confessor, and Jesus, felt this would be a valid test.
Months later the young woman returned, reporting she had seen Jesus again. The bishop said, "Good. Did you ask Him about my sin?"
She said, "Yes,"
"What did He say?"
"He said, 'I've forgotten.'"
(Larson, B., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1983). Vol. 26: The Preacherís Commentary Series, Volume 26 : Luke. The Preacherís Commentary series (314). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.)
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PRAYER JOURNAL ENTRY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON
When George Washington was about 20 years old he wrote this in his prayer journal: "O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon. I have heard thy holy word, but with such deadness of spirit that I have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer, so that, O Lord, thoí I have done thy work, yet it hath been so negligently that I may rather expect a curse than a blessing from thee."
[George Washingtonís Prayer Journal From William J. Johnson George Washington, the Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35. From a sermon by David Scudder, Prayer is Seeking Our Father, 9/11/2011]