Thursday, August 20
Peace with God
Focus of the Week: Confessing our sins brings God’s peace
Please read Daniel 9:3-19
I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.” Daniel 9:4-5
There’s a cliché in the pageant world that we have seen portrayed in movies and television shows for a long time. You know the one where the contestant on stage gets asked the question, “If you had one wish what would you wish for?” Already, in your mind you are probably saying the words that define this cliché…”WORLD PEACE!”
We could certainly use a little peace right now in this world. I believe that most of us feel that we are living in unprecedented times. Never in my life have I felt the tumultuous issues like we are experiencing today. Our present moment seems to be defined by sickness, political unrest, division and hate among people, greed, perversion, and a general disrespect for life. This is not the America that I grew up in. Our land is hurting, and we are in need of the peace that can only from God.
I believe that in order for God to heal our land and bring peace that we, as a nation, must confess our sins. We must take 2 Chronicles 7:14 seriously. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
In today’s reading we see that like us, Israel was not experiencing God’s peace. Daniel knew why and he wasn’t shy about letting Israel know the reality of the situation. He started out with a typical prayer, praising God: “O Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” After confirming God’s holiness and unchanging love toward Israel and reminding them that God will always hold up His end of the covenant, Daniel interceded for Israel confessing her sin: “...We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.”
Daniel understood that sin, in any shape or form, can prevent us from experiencing God’s peace. At that time Israel was not admitting her wrongdoing. So, Daniel confessed for them. He knew that once those sins were confessed to God, Israel could be restored to constant communion with God.
What if each of us took on that role today? What if we boldly approached the throne of God like Daniel, with the confession of not only our personal sins, but for those of our country as well? Confession must come before peace. I am believing that when we confess the sins of our country that the Lamb of God will take away the sins of this world and that God will indeed heal our land!
Precious Lord, in today’s world, we long for Your peace. Only You can calm the storms in our hearts and minds and the troubles of our world. Please forgive us for our sins, and thank you that You make Your peace available to us each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For further reading: John 1:29, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Titus 3:3-7