My son went to his 4-H meeting the other day and had a snowball fight! Yes, it was a late summer, 80 degree day, and it had just got done sprinkling – not snowing – and the sun was shining and it was getting a little humid from the rain, but despite all that he still had a snowball fight.
What I mean is this; all the kids took 3 pieces of paper and wrote something about themselves on each one. They wadded the paper up like a snowball, went outside and threw the “snowballs” at each other. Each child would then pick up a snowball and read the clue written on it and try to guess who the snowball was from based on the information on the snowball.
I was thinking about this snowball fight this morning and applying it to my relationship with Jesus. What would my snowballs have written on them? Would I write anything on them that He doesn’t already know? (no) What if I had to list my sins? Come to think of it my mind is kind of like a snowball with a list of all my sins and failures written on its memory.
And then I realized what a blessing it is….No! What a gift it is to have this mystery of the gospel in me. Not only can I daily recognize that I sin, but I can daily face and confess my sin, all because of what Jesus did! He knows the sins that were, are, and will be written on those snowballs.
Daily facing my sin, although not easy at times, is such a different life to live than the one I used to live. I remember trying to hide my sin, trying to justify my sin, trying to cover up my sin, trying to explain away my sin, trying to forget my sin. Oh, the shame, the embarrassment, the self-righteousness, the energy it took to run away, the horror, the fear of wrath, the condemnation!
Oh, what sweet relief to know, recognize, acknowledge, and understand that I am a sinner. By nature I am sinful and unclean. By nature!!! It is my nature to be sinful. I can be no other without Divine help.
I laugh when I look back on my former life and how I used to (and sometimes still catch myself doing) think I was such a good person! HA!
I can face my sin now because of one reason, and one reason only.
My life drastically changed when I realized that Jesus was a real man who had lived 2,000 years ago, lived 33 years perfectly, died naked on a cross for my sin, and then rose again in fulfillment of 4,000 years of perfect prophecy and the plan of God. And He is returning soon!
I stopped waring with God, and started living. If I war with God I cannot win, I will die. If I believe, I will live.
Have pity on me, O God, in keeping with your mercy. In keeping with your unlimited compassion, wipe out my rebellious acts. Wash me thoroughly from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. I admit that I am rebellious. My sin is always in front of me. I have sinned against you, especially you. I have done what you consider evil. So you hand down justice when you speak, and you are blameless when you judge. Indeed, I was born guilty. I was a sinner when my mother conceived me. Yet, you desire truth and sincerity. Deep down inside me you teach me wisdom. Purify me from sin with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow(like ‘snowballs’). Let me hear [sounds of] joy and gladness. Let the bones that you have broken dance. Hide your face from my sins, and wipe out all that I have done wrong. Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me. Do not force me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and provide me with a spirit of willing obedience. [Then] I will teach your ways to those who are rebellious, and sinners will return to you. Psalm 51:1-13
Father God, it is good that you give us recognition of our sin. It is important to recognize our utter desperate need. After all, that’s what Jesus’ life is all about. It is in His forgiving name I pray, Amen.