S: Judges 10:6-16 (LXX2012)
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Astaroth, and the gods of Aram, and the gods of Sidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Phylistines; and they forsook the Lord, and did not serve him. And the Lord was very angry with Israel, and sold them into the hands of the Phylistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon. And they afflicted and bruised the children of Israel at that time eighteen years, all the children of Israel beyond Jordan in the land of the Amorite in Galaad. And the children of Ammon went over Jordan to fight with Juda, and Benjamin, and with Ephraim; and the children of Israel were greatly afflicted.
And the children of Israel cried to the Lord, saying, We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken God, and served Baalim. And the Lord said to the children of Israel, Did I not save you from Egypt and from the Amorite, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Phylistines, and from the Sidonians, and Amalec, and Madiam, who afflicted you? and you cried to me, and I saved you out of their hand? Yet you forsook me and served other gods; therefore I will not save you any more. Go, and cry to the gods whom you⌃ have chosen to yourselves, and let them save you in the time of your affliction.
And the children of Israel said to the Lord, We have sinned: do you to us according to all that is good in your eyes; only deliver us this day. And they put away the strange gods from the midst of them, and served the Lord only, and his soul was pained for the trouble of Israel.
O: As I read this on Christmas day, I'm reminded of how often I have let God down and disobeyed Him this year -- even as recently as yesterday. I've also let my wife down, etc.
But this Christmas morning, as I read this, I am reminded again about how God is a God of second chances. While we yet live, there is always the opportunity to repent and return to Him. And He will yet save us.
A: 1 John 1:9 points out, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This is ever true.
The late Bill Bright put it this way:
By faith you can continue to experience God's love and forgiveness.
If you become aware of an area of your life (an attitude or an action) that is displeasing to the Lord, even though you are walking with Him and sincerely desiring to serve Him, simply thank God that He has forgiven your sins - past, present and future - on the basis of Christ's death on the cross. Claim His love and forgiveness by faith and continue to have fellowship with Him.
If you retake the throne of your life through sin -- a definite act of disobedience -- breathe spiritually.
Spiritual breathing (exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure) is an exercise in faith that enables you to continue to experience God's love and forgiveness.
- Exhale -- confess your sin -- agree with God concerning your sin and thank Him for His forgiveness of it, according to 1 John 1:9 and Hebrews 10:1-25. Confession involves repentance - a change in attitude and action.
- Inhale -- surrender the control of your life to Christ, and appropriate (receive) the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith. Trust that He now directs and empowers you; according to the command of Ephesians 5:18, and the promise of 1 John 5:14, 15.
P: Father, thank You for Your Son whom you sent, not just as a baby in an manger, but to save us on the Cross. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)