Cover Up – Then What’s Next To Do?

Cover Up

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

There are two ways of covering sin. The first is by our own effort, which, in our society, is called a cover-up. Every political junkie knows that politicians get into more trouble covering up their crimes than by committing them to begin with, and the same is true for us. If you have a secret habit, a guilty conscience, or a moral failure, Proverbs 28:13 is a warning. Do not try to cover it up or explain it away.

There’s another way of covering our sin, and that’s by confessing it. Psalm 32 says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Isaiah said, “The iniquity of Jacob will be covered. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 27:9; 61:10).

Hidden sin yields the crop of guilt, but confession brings release and peace. Is there something in your life that needs to be covered? Don’t try to hide it. Confess it, and let the blood of Jesus Christ cover your guilt with its crimson flow.

Jesus’ blood covers all of your sins—past, present, and future…. He wants you to tell Him straightforwardly what you’ve done so that you can experience the power of His forgiveness. Charles Stanley

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Then What’s Next To Do?

Everyone who asks receives… —Luke 11:10

Ask if you have not received. There is nothing more difficult than asking. We will have yearnings and desires for certain things, and even suffer as a result of their going unfulfilled, but not until we are at the limit of desperation will we ask. It is the sense of not being spiritually real that causes us to ask. Have you ever asked out of the depths of your total insufficiency and poverty? “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…” (James 1:5), but be sure that you do lack wisdom before you ask. You cannot bring yourself to the point of spiritual reality anytime you choose. The best thing to do, once you realize you are not spiritually real, is to ask God for the Holy Spirit, basing your request on the promise of Jesus Christ (see Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is the one who makes everything that Jesus did for you real in your life.

“Everyone who asks receives….” This does not mean that you will not get if you do not ask, but it means that until you come to the point of asking, you will not receive from God (seeMatthew 5:45). To be able to receive means that you have to come into the relationship of a child of God, and then you comprehend and appreciate mentally, morally, and with spiritual understanding, that these things come from God.

“If any of you lacks wisdom….” If you realize that you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with spiritual reality— do not put the blinders of reason on again. The word ask actually means “beg.” Some people are poor enough to be interested in their poverty, and some of us are poor enough spiritually to show our interest. Yet we will never receive if we ask with a certain result in mind, because we are asking out of our lust, not out of our poverty. A pauper does not ask out of any reason other than the completely hopeless and painful condition of his poverty. He is not ashamed to beg— blessed are the paupers in spirit (see Matthew 5:3).

The great word of Jesus to His disciples is Abandon. When God has brought us into the relationship of disciples, we have to venture on His word; trust entirely to Him and watch that when He brings us to the venture, we take it. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1459 R

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Indulging Weaknesses

Judges 13:24-25

At the moment of salvation, a person becomes a brand-new creation and is set apart for God’s purposes (2 Cor. 5:17). The heavenly Father has a specific plan for the life of every believer (Eph. 2:10), and He provides each of His children with whatever is needed to accomplish that plan (2 Pet. 1:3).

Consider the life of Samson. At the time of his birth, Israel was under Philistine rule. In that wicked culture, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25). God ordained that Samson be set apart for His service—he was the one who would “begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (Judg. 13:5). To prepare Samson for this important mission, the Lord gave him godly parents, an upbringing uncontaminated by the culture, and incredible human strength. Samson was greatly blessed as he matured, and he became judge over Israel, with the authority to carry out the Lord’s will.

Samson was equipped with everything he needed to fulfill the Lord’s purpose. However, he had a weakness—lust—which he chose to indulge, and it eventually led to his downfall. As a result, he ended up a prisoner and was no longer in a position to fulfill his God-given purpose.

Our spiritual equipping includes the ability to resist giving in to our weaknesses. But we must be willing to turn away from temptation and follow the Lord. Samson had enormous potential to do good on behalf of God, and so do we. But he chose sin and suffered the consequences. Which will you choose today—turning to God for help or indulging your weakness?

The Joy of Reconciliation

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:11)

The Greek word for “atonement” in this verse is kátallage, which everywhere else (some 10 times, either this word or its related forms) is translated “reconciliation” (or “reconciled” or “reconciling”). The connotation is that of full restoration to full fellowship after long enmity and alienation.

The Hebrew word for “atonement” (kaphar, “covering”) occurs some 80 times in the Old Testament, over half of them in Leviticus. It normally referred to the “covering” of one’s sins by the shed blood of an innocent (and blemish-free) animal sacrifice.

Although this could provide some comfort to the sinner, there was little to be joyful about, since the covering was only temporary and the sins were still there. When Christ came, however, He became “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

Consequently, “atonement” (in the sense of a temporary covering) is never mentioned at all in the New Testament. Instead, we have been fully “reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). Thus, our text is really saying that we have real joy in God through Christ, “by whom we have now received the reconciliation!”

Our fellowship with our heavenly Father has been fully restored by the wonderful gift of eternal salvation through the work of Christ, “who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). And as we rejoice in the Lord, we must remember, too, that He “hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation,” so that we are “ambassadors for Christ,” beseeching others also to “be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18, 20). HMM

Authority and Power

And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? —Daniel 4:35

The sovereignty of God involves all authority and all power. I think you can see instantly that God could never be sovereign without the power to bring about His will or the authority to exercise His power. Kings, presidents and others who rule over men must have the authority to govern and the power to make good on that authority. A ruler cannot stand up and say, “Do this, please; if you feel like doing it, do it.” He says, “Do it,” and then has an army and a police force behind him. He has authority to command and power to carry out his commands. And God has to have both of these.

I can’t conceive of a God who has power and no authority. Samson was a man who had power but no authority, and didn’t know what to do with it. There are men who have authority but no power…. Authority without the power to carry out that authority is a joke. Power without authority puts a man where he can’t do anything. But God Almighty, to be sovereign, must have authority and power.

Lord, though the forces of evil often seem to have control of this chaotic world, I will rest in Your authority and power. My hope is in You. Amen.

Why Settle In and Settle Down?

That ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

Why should a Christian “settle down” as soon as he has come to know the Lord?

I blame faulty exposition of the New Testament for stopping many Christians dead in their tracks, causing them to shrug off any suggestion that there is still spiritual advance and progress beckoning them on.

(It is the position of some would-be teachers that everyone who comes into the kingdom of God by faith immediately obtains all there is of God’s spiritual provision.

I believe that such a teaching is as deadly as cyanide to the individual Christian life. It kills all hope of spiritual advance and causes many believers to adopt what I call “the creed of contentment.”

I am sure you agree with me that there is always real joy in the heart of the person who has become a child of God. Sound teaching of the Word will then hold out the goal of moving forward, emulating the Apostle Paul’s desire to become a special kind of Christian!

The unsoundness of a vessel is not seen when it is empty

The unsoundness of a vessel is not seen when it is empty; but when it is filled with water,then we shall see whether it will leak or no.”

It is in our prosperity that we are tested. Men are not fully discovered to themselves till they are tried by fullness of success. Praise finds pride, wealth reveals selfishness, and learning discovers the leak of unbelief. Success is the crucible of character. Hence the prosperity which some welcome as an unmixed favor may far more rightly be regarded as an intense form of test. O Lord, preserve us when we are full as much as when we are empty.