All these self-help articles of how to prepare for 2012 have left me empty. No matter how much planning I’d do for the new year, it does not solve the problems. If I have not ended this year well, the new year will be same old, same old. So the best preparation for the future is to deal with the past. When we have a clean slate we are ready to move on. But how can we get past the past? How can we deal with our transgressions?
This is the message that we have heard from him and announce to you: “God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.” If we claim, “We have fellowship with him,” and live in the darkness, we are lying and do not act truthfully. But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we claim, “We don’t have any sin,” we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. If we claim, “We have never sinned,” we make him a liar and his word is not in us. (1 John 1: 5-10, CEB)
We need forgiveness! We need cleansing rain!
If we keep from repenting, our past will always drag us down.
If we keep living in darkness, we will always repeat same old, same old.
If we keep deceiving ourselves, we don’t get past the past.
As Frederick Buechner points out “To confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything he doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the Golden Gate bridge.”
When we repent, God forgives us.
When we confess our sins, God cleanses us from inside out.
When we surrender, God changes us for the better.
As Charles G. Finney states “Repentance is a change of willing, of feeling and of living, in respect to God.” When we are forgiven, we are ready for the new year. Because then we are open to listen to God and his guidance. God’s plans for us are far better than our own.
The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven,
whose sin is covered over,
is truly happy!
The one the LORD
doesn’t consider guilty—
in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—
that one is truly happy! 3 When I kept quiet, my bones wore out;
I was groaning all day long—
every day, every night!—
because your hand was heavy upon me.
My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought.
So I admitted my sin to you;
I didn’t conceal my guilt.
“I’ll confess my sins to the LORD, ”
is what I said.
Then you removed the guilt of my sin.
(Psalm 32: 1-5, CEB)
We come to you as we are.
You know what we have done
and what we have left undone.
We leave our past to you.
Forgive us! Cleanse us! Reform us!
Thank you, Jesus!
Show us what you have planned for us!
Enable us to live according to your will.
We surrender our future to you.
Equip us! Empower us! Embrace us!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you get ready for 2012?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you get ready for the new year by basking in grace!
Do you want to win a copy of the Common English Bible softcover edition? Just leave a comment on any blog post this week (or any week during the blog tour). The winner will be announced again on Monday!
All these CEB give aways are possible because I am participating in the Common English Bible Blog tour. Until the end of January I will mostly be using the Common English Bible (CEB) on my blog posts. Let’s check out this fresh new Bible translation!