Tag Archives: guilty

The Joy Of Confession

When my brothers and I were younger, there were times when we rough housed. One time, I broke something valuable, but my mom thought it was my brother who broke it. Without questioning anyone, she whipped him. I felt bad, but at the same time, I didn’t want to get whipped. My guilt began to eat at me. Finally, I confessed because the feeling if guilt was too much. I took an extra whipping for letting my brother take the punishment, but at least my feelings of guilt were gone.  

Feeling guilty can be very powerful and affect so many areas of our life. Either we confess and deal with the consequences or it eats us up inside. It can consume our thoughts and affect how we live. I like to watch “The First 48”, which is a reality show that follows the police in the first 48 hour of a murder investigation. When they capture the person, they often tell them, “If you’ll confess, you’ll feel better.” Many of them do confess with tears running down their face. They still have to face their consequences, but there’s a release in that moment.

Becoming a Christian is a lot like that. We confess our sins to God and He releases us from the eternal consequences of our guilt. We usually have to face earthly consequences for our actions, but our eternal guilt is gone. Those feelings of guilt fade away because we’ve been forgiven when we confess. God removed our guilt and says, “Your eternal penalty was paid for by my Son. He paid the price for your actions.”

In Psalm 32:1-2, David wrote, “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” (NLT) God values our honesty with Him and through our honest confessions, forgiveness is given. David understood the joy of being released from the guilt of sin. He understood that God values our honesty with Him. He knows we’ve messed up. He knows we’re guilty. He loves us enough that He’s prepaid for our guilt and is waiting for us to admit it. Don’t carry your guilt anymore. Confess it to God and find that joy you’re missing. 

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Guilt And Grace

As Samuel was retiring after making Saul King, he reminded the people of Israel of their history and pattern. He told how God would deliver them, they would honor Him for a while, they would later abandon Him for other gods, they would hen be captured, they would repent, and then the Lord would deliver them. They had followed this pattern for hundreds of years. It was a vicious cycle they were caught in. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t break it.

It’s easy to read the Bible and wonder what was wrong with them. Why couldn’t they see? But when we look at our own lives, we too follow similar patterns. We have certain things that seem to pull us away from God at various times in our lives. Certain temptations get the best of us. We sin, we feel like we’ve disappointed God so we don’t ask for forgiveness for a while because we feel like we are cheapening grace. After some time passes, we ask God to forgive us, and we go right back into serving Him.

No matter what our pattern is, in those times when we feel like we are far away from God, it’s important to know that God is not far from us. We may feel like we’ve abandoned Him, but know that He has not abandoned you. In I Samuel 12:22, as Samuel was reminding them of their pattern, he said, “The Lord will not abandon His people because that would dishonor His great name” (NLT). Even though they had abandoned Him, He had never abandoned them.

It’s our guilt that makes us feel like God has abandoned us when we sin. It’s our guilt that makes us feel like we don’t deserve forgiveness. But no matter how many times you fail, no matter how badly you sin, no matter how long you’ve walked away from God, or how far you’ve gone, God has not left your side. He’s patiently waiting to restore you. He wants to bring you back to the place of blessing and healing. He wants to re-enter that place of fellowship with you. There’s no set amount of time to wait. His great grace is waiting for you to repent and return to the life He has for you. Don’t let guilt force you to abandon God. Let grace restore you.

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Fire Drills and Escape Routes


Have you ever been in a fire drill? I’ve been through plenty in my day. The worst one was when I was 32 floors up in a skyscraper. Walking down 32 flights was not easy for me. Why do offices, schools and other building conduct those? As much of an annoyance as they are, they’re to teach us what to do in case of an emergency. The Fire Marshall knows that in a panic situation, you may not make the right decision unless you’ve rehearsed in your mind and with your body what you are going to do.

It’s really a great concept when you look at the reason for it. It’s got me thinking, “Why don’t we have spiritual fire drills? Why don’t we rehearse what we’re going to do when we are tempted?” We need to think through our evacuation route from temptation. We need to have them posted on the walls of our heart, look at them often and rehearse in our mind and with our body what we will do when temptation comes.

Temptation shows up anywhere and it’s typically unexpected. We are rarely prepared for it which is why we give in to it so easily and so often. Each of us are tempted. Each of us sin. Some temptations we are good at resisting and others catch us every time. If you think about the ones you are good at overcoming, they’re the ones that you’ve prepared an escape route from. It’s the ones that catch us every time that we haven’t prepared for.

I Corinthians 10:13 says, “But with the temptation He (God) will always also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.” God has provided an escape route from every temptation there is. How does He know the route? Hebrews 4:15 says we have a God who was tempted in every respect we are, yet without sinning. He’s been in our place and rehearsed the escape route for the sin that easily ensnares you. He’s calling out, “This is the way out.” Because we haven’t prepared, our focus is moved from the escape route into the sin.

How do we prepare then? Jesus demonstrated one way out of temptation and that was to quote God’s Word when we are tempted. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Knowing God’s Word is the primary escape route. Placing it deep in our heart and not just in our mind is the important part here. When we fill our hearts with His Word, we are able to win the battle of the mind.

The alternate escape route is to run. Yes, physically run. If you find yourself in an area that breeds temptation, run. Get out of there! Don’t stick around and see how close you can get to the fire without getting burned. That’s just stupid. In Proverbs 7, Solomon is looking out his window and sees a naive (void of good sense) man walking down the street where he knew a prostitute was. He crossed over to walk on her side. He didn’t turn around and run. In verse 22 it says, “He followed her like an ox to the slaughter.”

Temptations are around us every day. It’s part of life. How you prepare beforehand determines how you will react when they come. If you wait until the time of temptation to react, you will more than likely fail. If you prepare by putting God’s Word in your heart and knowing how to react when temptation shows up, you will escape. What escapee routes do you need to plan for in your life? What are you doing now to prepare for the ones that get you every time?

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Playing Pilate

I’m playing the part of Pilate for our church’s Easter drama. As I’ve been rehearsing my lines and getting into character, it dawned on me that I’m sentencing Jesus to death. My first thought was, “I don’t know that I want to play this part.” Of all the characters in the drama, I’m the one who has the power to save Him and keep Him from being crucified. Even though I find no fault in Him, I still release Him to the mob to be killed.

As I struggled with playing that character, it hit me that it wasn’t Pilate who sentenced Jesus to death. It was me. Me. Chris Hendrix. It was my sin that condemned Him. It was my faults that nailed Him to the cross. These are things that I’ve known my whole life, but as I began to play the part of Pilate, I realized I’ve not really accepted blame. I’ve been shifting it to those who actually crucified Him.

There were all kinds of accusations being brought against Jesus in the different courts that night. The religious courts made up charges against Him, but they didn’t stick because the people they paid off couldn’t get their stories straight. They continued to harass Him and finally found a “guilty” verdict for Him speaking the truth. They just didn’t want to hear it.

In Pilate’s court, the religious leaders shouted accusations. In fact, the Message says, “The accusations rained down hot and heavy.” During all of the accusations, Jesus didn’t say a word. He fulfilled the prophesy in Isaiah 53:7 that says, “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word.” Pilate was impressed that He was silent among all the false accusations and tried to pass the buck to Herod in Galilee. He didn’t want to be the one to condemn Him.

When Jesus came before Herod, all Herod wanted was to see Jesus perform a sign or a miracle. When Jesus remained silent, Herod became offended. He dressed Him up like a king and joined in with the others and began to mock Him. They insulted Him to try to get Him to speak. Finally, He got bored and sent Him to Pilate. He couldn’t find a reason to condemn Jesus either.

We all fit into one of these courts with our lives. We can be like the religious leaders and say that He wasn’t the Son of God. We can accuse Him of lying and deny that He was who He said He was. We can be like Herod and mock Him and those who believe in Him. We say, “Show me a sign and I’ll believe.” Or we can find ourselves like Pilate. We are impressed with Him and find no guilt in Him, but refuse to act on it. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what court you’re in, it was each of us who condemned Him to death. He went willingly to the cross for those of us who lie about Him, those of us who mock Him and those of us who don’t bow to the pressure of sin.

Each of us in our own way condemned Him to death. Even though I thought that as Pilate I had the power to save Him, I really didn’t. His ultimate plan was to die on the cross. If He hadn’t been crucified, we would still be in our sins and without hope. He kept that in mind as they hurled their accusations at Him. He loved them enough to stay silent in the face of their lies. He loved them enough to not perform a miracle for Herod. He loved you enough that He willingly died so He could pay the price for your sin. The real power was in His hands and He used it for us. He took our “guilty” verdict on Himself to make us “innocent”.


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