Thursday, December 20, 2018

"Finish Strong" Devotional ~ Day 24

Day 24 - Thursday, December 20th, 2018

The Power of "I'm Sorry"

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

A good friend of mine told me that the biggest difference between her and her co-workers who are not Christians is that she apologizes a lot more than they do! She struggles with things in her life, just like you and I do. But she is willing to say, "I'm sorry," and God is changing her day by day. I'm convinced her apologies are witnesses to the power of Jesus.

Have you recently lost your temper with a co-worker, told a lie to your manager, or deceived a customer in some way? If so, your conscience probably hasn't stopped bothering you, and that's good. When our own sin doesn't bother us, we are in a very dangerous position. A prickling conscience is one way God prompts you to take advantage of his offer to forgive you and purify you; all you have to do is confess.

Maybe you're wondering how you could ever be a witness for Jesus since you know you've failed, others know you've failed and, what's more, you may fail again. But everybody struggles with failure, and those who are not Chistians have no good way to deal with the guilt that often accompanies failure. One of the best ways to witness is to own up to our own failures, make restitution where necessary, and share that God is a forgiving and restoring God.

I can remember when God used a specific failure on my part to help a struggling Christian co-worker understand that God would forgive and restore him when he failed. I really blew it in front of him, and I didn't want to go back in that office. But God clearly told me to go back and be very honest about my failure, which is what I did.

Obviously it would have been better not to fail, but isn't it great that God uses even our shortcomings? Don't let some failure or fear of failure keep you from being a bold witness for Jesus. Remember, he can turn your ashes into beauty, if you will let him.

Today's Challenge:
To recognize that even my failures can be an avenue of blessing and witness for the Lord.

Today's Prayer:
Lord, I've often been hamstrung by my fear of failure and the knowledge of my past failures. Would you please help me to understand that you specialize in taking even my blunders and turning them into instruments of praise?

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