How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!
In Nehemiah 12, the wall around Jerusalem was completed, and the people were ready to party. But before there could be celebration, there had to be a time of purification. Verse 30 says, “The priests and the Levites purified themselves; they also purified the people, the gates and the wall.” The people had to get right before God. Even as Christians, we need to be purified before the Lord on a regular basis. In 1 John 1:9, John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we trust in Christ as our Savior, God declares us not guilty. Our place in heaven is secured. But we still need His forgiveness on a day-to-day basis. If you are married, do you ever offend your spouse? Your marriage is still intact, but until you turn away from your mistake and seek forgiveness, there is going to be a barrier between you and your mate. It is the same way with God when we sin. God does not kick us out of His family, but if we continue to sin and never ask His forgiveness, there is going to be a barrier between God and us. That is why we need purification.
Purification is important first of all so that we can experience God’s power. If you have not been experiencing God’s power in your life or your ministry, one reason may be that there is a barrier between you and God because of unconfessed sin. Clarence Macartney once wrote of the importance of a pastor having a pure life, but his words apply to anyone who wants to experience God’s power: “The better the man, the better the preacher. When he kneels by the bed of the dying or when he mounts the pulpit stairs, then every self-denial he has made, every Christian forbearance he has shown, every resistance to sin and temptation, will come back to him to strengthen his arm and give conviction to his voice. Likewise every evasion of duty, every indulgence of self, every compromise with evil, every unworthy thought, word, or deed, will be there at the head of the pulpit stairs to meet the minister on Sunday morning, to take the light from his eye, the power from his blow, the ring from his voice, and the joy from his heart.”
A pure life is necessary to experience the power of God, but also the joy of God. If there is unconfessed sin in your life, it will rob you of joy. Think about this: you can go weeks without taking a shower if you want to. But who would want to? In the same way, you can go days, weeks, or months without confessing your sin before God. But who wants to live an existence like that? The Bible says when you acknowledge your sin and turn away from that sin, it is like standing under the pulsating hot water of a shower that removes the grit and grime of your life. After going through a period of unconfessed sin, David wrote in Psalm 32, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” (v. 1). David experienced the joy of the forgiveness of God washing over him. Before there can ever be celebration, there has to be purification in your life.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Joy In The Rubble” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Clarence E. Macartney, “Preaching Without Notes” (1946; repr., Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008), 178.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org