“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Psalm 32:1 NIV
This morning I experienced a coincidence that I would like to share with you. Actually, I don’t believe it was a coincidence, but rather, a God-incidence. Let me explain what I mean. I always read from a daily Bible which is divided into daily readings from the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament. I also, typically, read from other devotional material throughout the day. I have been reading the whole Bible through, each year like this, since 1991. I don’t tell you this to brag since I am merely trying to be obedient to what I know God told me to do. One reason I mention this is to encourage you to start reading from your Bible on a daily basis. Reading the Bible everyday has changed my life. You can read more about daily Bible reading here and here.
This year I am using the “Every Day with Jesus Daily Bible” (HCSB version with a daily devotion by Selwyn Hughes). Today’s devotional used the verses above from Psalm 24 and talked about seeking forgiveness for hidden, secret, sins in addition to the sins that are outward and seen by others. When I read this I could feel God nudge me, as if to say, “pay attention to this, Tim.” I admit, I knew exactly what sins God was referring to. So, I took a brief moment and told God I would and pretty quickly moved on with my devotional reading. Next, I turned to today’s reading in the devotional “Our Daily Bread” by RBC Ministries. This devotional continued where the previous one left off and again spoke about the need for admitting and receiving forgiveness for all sins--public and private sins. Rather than being two, completely unrelated devotionals, to me, it seemed like one long devotional had been divided in two and carefully placed in these two separate books for me to find.
The truth is, this is not a new thing for me. God has been doing this to me for a long time. (I can be pretty stubborn sometimes and I need to hear things more than once to understand what God is telling me.) In Matthew 18:16, Jesus says, “But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Over the years, God has had to send me many witnesses before I would believe his words to me. I am doing better, but He still needs to send me two or more “witnesses” to help me hear what He is saying.
Today, God used these two devotionals to confirm his message to me that I need to not only seek forgiveness for the outward sins but also my secret, hidden sins--pride, coveting, envy, and self-pity just to name a few. You see, sins like these, might be hidden from our family and friends, but, they are not hidden from God. God is the only one who can forgive our sins from the inside out. Others might forgive us when we hurt them. When that happens the important work of forgiveness takes place in them. We might feel a little relieved but the real healing is in them. When God forgives our sins, the work of forgiveness (and healing) takes place in us. We need this forgiveness, it is a matter of life or death to us if we are not yet saved. If we are already saved it is a matter of right or wrong relationship with God. We need God’s forgiveness much more than we realize.
We all have hidden sins that need to be addressed--I know this is true about myself and also about you, because we are human. It is our nature since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. After my encounter with God in these two devotionals today, I have decided to spend some focused time in prayer and Bible study related to the hidden, secret sins in my life. I will give these sins, and any others He reveals to me, to God and receive His amazing mercy and forgiveness. And I will do it all over again tomorrow or the next day if I need to, because, now that I have experienced the healing God gives when He forgives I need it more than I need the breath I breathe (which, by the way, He also gave me).
What secret sins do you need to focus on today? Our God is faithful and loving. He is waiting for you to approach Him and give all your sins to him. He will take your ugliest sins and give you beautiful peace instead.
We honor God when we acknowledge our secret sins and receive His forgiveness.
In case you are interested in reading through the Bible I recommend using a Bible divided into daily readings to help keep you on track. There are many to choose from.
Here are links to the daily Bible I am currently using. If you are not already reading through the Bible, it’s not too late to start. Read 2 daily readings per day for a few weeks and you are caught up. It will be well worth the effort.
Kindle Edition $9.99