A Wisdom Retreat - February 12

Hiding Our Sin

Romans 8:1

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

In Dr. Richard Hoefler's book, Will Daylight Come, he tells the story of a young boy who was visiting his grandparents. Johnny had just been given his first slingshot and had taken it into the woods. Unable to hit anything because of his poor aim, he was still having the time of his life.

On his way home for lunch, he cut through the back yard and saw his grandmother's pet duck. He took aim and let a stone fly. This time—for the first time—his aim was on the mark. To his shock and dismay, the duck dropped immediately.  It was dead!

Johnny panicked and in frightened desperation, hid the duck in the woodpile, but not in time to escape the curiosity of his sister, who was standing by the corner of the house. She saw the whole thing! With a look of shame and fear, he followed his sister inside for lunch. But Sally said nothing.

Getting up after lunch, their grandmother said, "Okay, Sally, let's clear the table and wash the dishes." Sally responded with a smile, "Oh, Grandma, Johnny said he wanted to help you in the kitchen today. Didn't you, Johnny?" Then she whispered in his ear, "Remember the duck."

Needless to say, Johnny ended up doing the dishes after lunch. Later in the evening, Grandpa asked the children if they would like to go fishing, but Grandma interjected, "I'm sorry, but Sally can't go. She has to stay here and help me get supper ready." Sally just smiled and replied, "That's all been taken care of. Johnny said he wanted to help today, didn't you, Johnny?" The look she gave him delivered that same threat, "Remember the duck."       

This went on for several days, as Johnny did all the chores around the house, both his and Sally's, until he could stand it no longer. Trembling all over, he went to his grandmother and confessed everything.

To his surprise, Grandma took him up in her arms and said, "I know about the duck, Johnny. I was standing at the kitchen window and I saw the whole thing. But because I love you, I was already willing to forgive you. I've been waiting for you to tell me about it. And—I would never have mentioned the duck again."

Imagine the look on Johnny's face when he heard his grandmother's words, "I already forgave you"!

What a powerful reminder to us of what our own Father has said to us in His Word: "There is now no condemnation for those who believe!" It's as if He reached down from heaven and lifted our sorrowing, fearful bodies into His arms, and reminded us that He saw all our sin take place and has already forgiven us.

This is a beautiful truth for a Christian. No matter what you've done or where you've been, God has already forgiven you—He simply waits for us to tell Him about it so our fellowship with Him can be fully restored.

My good friend put it wonderfully when he said, "God will not love you better when you become better." This, after all, is the marvel of God's forgiveness. He died on the cross not only for your past sins, but also for your present and future sins.

So quit hiding your "ducks" in the woodpile—bury them! God has already seen them . . . and He has forgiven you.

Prayer Point: Confess any hidden sin to God, knowing that He has already seen it, and pray for His forgiveness. Wash yourself in the reviving, overflowing stream of God's mercy.

Extra Refreshment: Read Psalms 139, where David reminds us that although nothing is hidden from God's eyes, He continues to love us intensely.


The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

Receive this booklet as a thank you for any size donation this month!

 

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