JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Connection, today’s Encounter with Jesus examines His power to forgive.
First John 1:8 and 9 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Confession is simply agreeing with God that we are sinners in need of His grace. There are no secrets that we can keep from God. He knows everything about us already, so nothing we tell Him about ourselves will surprise Him. Jesus is ready to offer us mercy when we approach Him with humility and honesty. Confession is how we bring the darkness into the light, and remove the barriers that keep us from experiencing the joy of God’s spiritual blessings.
First John 2:1 says, “If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
A daily connection with Christ gives us a place to turn for complete forgiveness and purification.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on Jesus as our source of eternal life.
Romans 10:9 says that “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It seems fitting to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in the spring season, because spring marks a turning point from death to new life. The message of the Gospel celebrates the fact that Jesus cannot be found in the grave, because His body was raised to life. Because of Jesus’ triumph over death, we have a living hope. His resurrection is a joyful celebration of life following death.
His resurrection has special meaning for the person who takes the Gospel to heart. Our celebration of life is not confined just to the here-and-now, but extends beyond the grave into the picture of eternity. Jesus is Lord. He came to save us from our sins. He has risen from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who make this claim their personal confession.
Trusting in Jesus as our source of eternal life is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.