#1 – 1 John 1:9 If We ConfessOn December 18, 2020 by Amy and Joy Burgin
Welcome to the ChristGazing podcast. We are so glad you’re here. I’m Amy Burgin.
I’m Joy Burgin
If you’re anything like us, you long for God’s presence and holy direction in the midst of your own wrong-thinking, unpredictable relationships with people you long to love well and calendars and circumstances that breathe down your neck and masquerade as your boss. This podcast is for you.
Or maybe, you don’t really know who this Jesus is, what he says about you, where you fit in or why you’re even here. This podcast is also for you. If you’re curious about Christ, put aside what the world says about him and see for yourself who he truly is.
Here, we offer no words of our own, but rather make room for Christgazing, the act of gazing upon the beauty of the Lord. Each week we focus on one biblical passage as Joy reads it several times and creates stillness after each reading to consider what it is God wants us to know. In this, we make room for a living conversation with God under the great expectation that together, we will hear his voice and know him more.
Pour Out Your Heart to God
Before Joy brings us today’s Word, takes 30 seconds to pour out your heart to God, whether it be sorrow or joy, heartache or praise, frustration or peace, a long to do list or nothing to do. Whatever is on your mind, name it and bring it to the Lord in these next 30 seconds.
[Pause and pour out]
What Does This Passage Say About God?
I’m going to ready today’s passage two times. As I read, consider the question, “What does this passage say about God?” What is his heart, What does he want? What is he doing? What does he value?
Take a few moments to answer the question, “What does this passage tell you about God?”
[Pause and know]
What Does This Passage Say About People?
As I read the scripture again, consider the question, “What does this passage tell you about people?” What do people think? What do people need?
Take a few moments to answer the question, “What does this passage tell you about people?”
[Pause and know]
Lord, What Would You Have Me Know or Do Today?
As I read for the last time, ask God the question, “Lord, what would you have me do today in response to this passage?” Remember, he is a good shepherd and he desires to lead and guide you to green pastures and living waters. God wants you to know him better. He is a good, gentle and kind shepherd. He never condemns or belittles but rather speaks encouragements, direction and wisdom.
Take a few moments to listen for his voice as you ask him, “Lord, what would you have me know or do today?”
[Pause and listen]
ChristGazer, may the Lord bless you and keep you and may his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he turn his face toward you and give you peace all according to his good pleasure written in Numbers 6:23-26.
Thanks Joy for that verse and that blessing. I want his face to shine on me and be gracious to me. Down through the years, I’ve discovered the things I want, God actually wants for me. He wants to turn his face toward us and give us peace because he is the one who instructed his leaders to say that blessing over his people.
I chose today’s verse, 1 John 1:9, for episode 1 because it’s one of my favorites. I’ll never forget the first time I put it into practice. I was about 30 years old and attending my very first Bible study. Now, in this study, I was actually trying to look like the most spiritual person in the room. That’s so embarrassing to say but it’s true. And there was another part of me that hated that desire within me because I knew it was ungodly and ugly and I didn’t want it.
I wanted to be healed by that stupid desire and I did not want to be compelled by the desire to look better than anybody else. I had already confessed the sin to Jesus according to 1 John 1:9 but James 5:16 led me to confess it to another person so I invited the Bible Study leader, now a very good friend of mine, Laurie, over to my house. She just lived two doors down and I told her I just needed five minutes of her time. We stood in front of my refrigerator – I didn’t even ask her to sit down and I just confessed to her. I just confessed that I was trying to look better than everybody else in the study and I hated it and it was embarrassing and I was standing on 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 and confessing it to her with the great hope that Jesus would simply purify me from it.
And I’ll never forget her response. She didn’t say something religious like “Oh don’t try to be better than anybody else. That’s not why we’re there.” Instead she just looked at me with fire in her eyes and tears welled up in her eyes and she said, “Oh, I totally get it!” and she gave me a really big hug.
People confess their sins to me sometimes. Some do it with eyes laser focused on mine and you can see their desire for freedom. Others do it with timidity, with their eyes down and heads low. Regardless, I respond like Laurie with hope and excitement each time, sharing the very good news of 1 John 1:9.
We will be back next week. I want to conclude the first few episodes with the same remarks paraphrasing James Bryan Smith. I’ll explain more about that in Episode 2.
When you put your trust in Christ,
you are one in whom he dwells and delights,
a very child of God.
You are part of his strong and unshakeable kingdom.
Though trouble abounds,
and so do you.