1 John 1:5-2:2(NRSV)

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.                            

1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.                            

1 John 1:9 (NRSV)

9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                            

DEVOTION – Barb Winters (Illinois)

After the storm passed, I strolled down to the creek. The two-year drought we had experienced was finally over, and I was delighted to see the waterway filling. To the left, the current carried the water along its natural course; to the right, however, a pool 0f stagnant water rested against some debris.

The storm had washed leaves, sticks, grass, and trash into the creek bed, and rubbish was caught on a log. This created a dam that prevented the water from flowing freely. If allowed to stay, the pooled water would attract mosquitoes, create an odor, and become contaminated. It needed to be cleaned out.

Sin is like that debris. We may not notice many problems from a few minor infractions. But left alone to collect and pile, these sins will clog the path to life and freedom.  Habitual sin – such as pride, gluttony, lying and idolatry – creates a barrier and blocks our relationship with God and others.  The fallout of the construction, a stagnant spiritual life, attracts further sin and spills over into other areas of our lives.  The obstruction that sin creates in our lives needs to be cleaned out.  Thankfully, we have a remedy – repentance. (See Acts 3:19.)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The abundant life is available to all who seek it.

PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, reveal our sins to us.  Help us repent so that we may have a closer relationship with you and live life more abundantly.  Amen.