The Starting Line: Missing the Mark
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” -- 1 John 1:9
The game is on the line, and your number is called. You make the free throw or you don’t. You make the penalty kick or you don’t. You make a birdie or you don’t. If you succeed, you win; if you miss, you lose. You either become the hero or the loser.
God never intended for us to be losers. But sooner or later, everyone blows it. When we need to love, we treat someone badly. When our thoughts need to be pure, we lust. When we should tell the truth, we lie. When we should give our all in practice, we slack off.
The Hebrew word for sin is an athletic term that means missing the mark. God’s standard is a bullseye that we miss regularly. But, the amazing thing is, we don’t have to live in failure and sin!
Because of His deep desire to have a relationship with us, God made a way. Once we invite Jesus into our lives, He releases us from the guilt of our failures. He redeems—wins back—our freedom, totally canceling the spiritual debt we owe due to sin. We deserve death, but Jesus gives us life.
When we miss the mark, all we’re asked to do is confess our sins. Confession means "to agree with". God simply wants you to agree that you fell back into an old wrong, hurtful attitude or behavior pattern. Each time you confess, God promises to forgive you and to help you start clean. Believe it!
- Describe a time when you dropped the ball or fell short when everybody was counting on you. What did it feel like?
- According to Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:13-14, only God has the power to rescue, redeem, and forgive us. From what things does He rescue us? What is the attitude of His heart toward each of His people?
- When we blow it, what do we have to do to receive God’s forgiveness and gain a fresh start?
Ephesians 1:6-9; Colossians 1:13-14
“God, thank you for forgiving me each time that I miss the mark. Help me to confess my sins to you and live in freedom according to your standard. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”