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Getting a Head Start on 2012: Clean out your closet of sins

“Now make confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers, and do his will”
 Ezra: 10:11

Ezra was an Israelite priest and teacher. He led a second group of Israelites back from captivity in Babylon around 458 A.D. There is a great lesson on second chances in his book.

God chose the Israelites as the lineage through which He would bring the Messiah into the world. He expected them to remain pure and refrain from marrying outside the tribes of Israel. However, the Israelites, including the priests and Levites, disobeyed God.  The Bible says they mingled the holy race with the peoples around them.

Ezra prayed and confessed their sin.  While he was weeping before the house of God, the men, women, and children came to him and repented of what they had done.  Ezra instructed them to separate themselves from the people around them and from their foreign wives. It was hard, but they obeyed. They received a second chance to serve God because of their confession and repentance.

Let’s get a head start and clean out our sin closet before 2012. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”   The great news is that God will remember them no more. His Word tells us, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12.

Some of the hardest sins for me to confess are the ones tucked back in my closet.  Hiding on hangers are the sins I am not even aware of.  There hangs the snide remark I made to a friend. That tidbit of gossip only meant to be informative is pushed back behind the green gown of envy. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to convict us of our sins. Have you asked Him to reveal your sins to you lately?

At the very back of my closet are the sins of omission. These are not the sins I commit, but the sins stemming from lack of obedience. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” James 4:17. It is the Holy Spirit who gives you God’s assignments.  What about the woman who needed help getting to the doctor? Do those orphans really need a monthly donation from me? Remember the tug at your heart when the pastor made an appeal for children’s workers?  There are all kinds of excuses for not heeding God’s call to serve Him. Do they really matter?

Dear Father, Thank You for being the God of second chances. Lead us to make confession to You.

Janice Yandell

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