Read: John 1:19-51, Psalm 32:1-5, 1 John 1:9
Recently I attended the funeral of a great saint. Jane Anderson was a part of a group of women who determined many years ago to impact their community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the early events were hosted in country clubs with women literally getting on their knees to receive Jesus before they left. Jane started and led a large (500 women) Bible study for 33 years.
At her funeral, her favorite verse and signature message was shared:
All of our responses to life emanate from the heart. You’ve heard it said, “what’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.”
This is why you and I need to guard our heart. If we allow sinful responses to life to settle into our hearts, then that is who we become. If bitterness settles in, then that is what we share with others. If fear reigns in our hearts, then our anxiety permeates all we do. If self-preservation is our guiding directive, then it will be hard to sacrifice for others.
Here is the good news of the gospel shared by Jane, John, and many others throughout the ages, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
God is both just and merciful. He created a plan to have justice done and mercy provided. The plan was Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away your sin and mine.
In Jane’s final days, she asked a sweet friend to pray with her. She said she had so many sinful thoughts and actions. She wanted to confess her sins one last time. She wanted to be clean when she saw Jesus.
Confession was Jane’s practice. She believed in taking all her sinful thoughts, attitudes, and actions and laying them on Jesus, who could carry them away.
You and I have been given the opportunity to have Jesus take away our sins, too. We place our faith in Him as our Savior and ask Him to remove our sins. He does so in a final way. The work of forgiveness was completed in Jesus’ death, but sometimes it is hard for us to believe we are forgiven and have a clean conscience. In this case, it can be powerful to do something tangible: write God a letter asking for forgiveness for the final time, ask for forgiveness and then wash in the ocean, or create a mental memory of you raising those sins up to Jesus for the last time.
You and I do not have to live with a guilty conscience. This is a part of the beauty of the way of Jesus. Forgiveness is always one confession away.
In your Going Deeper Participant Guide, let’s look at Day 2 beginning on page 6. Complete Look at the Details and Personal Application sections. Then come back here and share your answer to the following discussion question in the comment section below. (You can find the comment section at the bottom of this message. Just scroll down and you’ll see the words “Post a Comment.” Click there and share your responses.)
How does confession help us guard our hearts? Are there other ways to guard our
hearts as well?
I will be posting my responses in the comment section too, so I hope to see you there! #undividedwomen