Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Amputation, huh? {Lent Day #15}

I'm not sure how Martin Luther did it, confessing his sins daily and sometimes for hours on end.  I read recently that he just about drove his Father Confessor insane with his "excessive" confessions. He was accused of  trying to avoid work and studies by staying in the confessional, but that wasn't the case.  He was only and sincerely in earnest regarding the practice of confession.

Unfortunately, I can not always relate to the devotion of my brother Martin. Some days it just seems difficult to enter into a time of confession before God.  Is this really necessary?  Have I really sinned since yesterday this time?  Was it really that bad?

Actually, those aren't very good questions to be asking, but those are the ones that were coming to mind today.  So, I turned my dilemma and reluctance into a prayer...

Why can't I see my sin more clearly, Lord?

Why am I not feeling an appreciation or deep need for Your Cross today?

How do I follow through with the command to confess, when I'm numb to my need?

What should I do on days like this, Lord?

And what He seemed to be saying in response was..."Have faith.  Take Me at My Word."

And what His Word says in regard to sin and my ability to stand before Him without the Cross of Christ is... a lot!  But these were the verses that came to mind:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned...
Romans 5:12

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
I Corinthians 15:22

And then that phrase "made alive" reminded me of a book by John Piper that I started reading a while ago called Finally Alive.  In it, he gives a helpful illustration...

"Most people do not know what is really wrong with them.  One way to help them make a true and terrible and hopeful diagnosis is to show them the kid of remedy God has provided, namely, the new birth.  If you have a sore on your ankle and after the doctor does his test, he comes in and says, 'I have hard news: We have to take your leg off just below the knee,' then that remedy tells you more about the sore than any erudite medical words. So it is with the remedy 'You must be born again.' " {p. 20}
My dad didn't need to have his leg amputated, thankfully.  But he has required two knee replacements!

 So today, by faith, I choose to remember that I was dead in my sins before His death made me alive.  By faith I am sobered that the remedy for my condition required His brutal death.  Even though acknowledging this may be a stretch for me today, I choose {by faith} to call to mind that my sin was not just a tiny sore, but an infectious disease requiring radical amputation and regeneration.

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