/ 6.5.15 / No comments / From the Heart , Sidebarposts
Only God Can Make Things Grow--Even Us!
Photo by my son, Christian Rodgers
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9What an incredible promise this is! I am filled with awe and wonder at having experienced this promise to the full this last couple of years.
As you know, I've been doing a ton of gardening this year and am learning the hard way that however much I work to fertilize, water, prune, compost, hoe, or plant, I cannot make plants grow. I can't make the sunshine and I can't force plants to grow. It's all up to the Lord!
Admittedly, if I don't do all those things, those plants will not survive. God has given us gardeners a lot to do! And if we are lazy or slack, all the sunshine in the world and rain will not produce much.
Last year's garden did produce some, but it was a weedy mess and never lived up to it's full potential. The Lord did HIS part, but I was careless in doing mine.
This year, I've been much more diligent and consistent and am running two gardens! But the one that is in a shady place and getting too much rain, is simply stunted. My garden at home is in a sunny place and getting the same care and the plants are growing and thriving!
I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it,
but it was God who made it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6
ConfessionConfession according to my verse for the day--is our part--planting, watering, fertilizing and staying in the sunshine (the light). If you don't do it, you will not prosper. That's a fact! Like most people, I understood and embraced the injunction here to confess my sins. In fact I've been confessing them daily now for two years! There is nothing more freeing than to 'agree' with my heavenly Father that I have indeed sinned when my conscience or the Word pricks my heart.
It's the most freeing and comforting thing in the world to see, and acknowledge the error of my ways!What we don't know about our sinful nature will indeed hurt us and everyone around us. That's a critical reason for coming to the Lord every day. We need to look into the mirror of God's word and see what is out of order.
Our responsibility is to acknowledge and agree with the Lord that what we are convicted of we are indeed guilty of. That's what the Greek word confess actually means--to agree with another.
homologeó: to speak the same, to agree
If we confess our sins - If, from a deep sense of our guilt, impurity, and helplessness, we humble ourselves before God, acknowledging our iniquity, his holiness, and our own utter helplessness, and implore mercy for his sake who has died for us; he is faithful, because to such he has promised mercy, Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; and just, for Christ has died for us, and thus made an atonement to the Divine justice; so that God can now be just, and yet the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.
And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness - Not only to forgive the sin, but to purify the heart. ~ Adam Clarke
Forgiveness based on God's character and Christ's SacrificeGod promises to forgive us when we confess and acknowledge that sin. It says He is both faithful and just to do so! Faithful meaning that he will never change his mind and Just in that Jesus died for our sins therefore it is only just to remit our sins based on the Lord's sacrifice on our behalf.
Cleansing from ALL Unrighteousness
This is the part that caught my attention though.
We sometimes take too much on ourselves and start to think that we are also responsible for the growth. If we can't make plants grow--how can we make ourselves grow? We can't.
We can do everything to make spiritual growth possible, but then we must wait patiently for God to give the increase.
How many of us confess our sins and accept the gracious gift of forgiveness that the Lord promises--yet struggle with the inherent sin patterns that Paul says so weigh us down?
Read the rest on At Home With God.