Tuesday, March 22 / Day 18  

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.  — 1 John 1:8-10

We are almost halfway through Lent. How is the fast going? Hopefully by now you can see the harm that came from depending too much on whatever you chose to take out of your life. And hopefully the temptation is not quite as strong to go back to it. Keep it up. Next week we will talk about what God offers us, all of which is so much better than whatever worldly things we are trying to use to satisfy us.

Yesterday we talked about how sins or inappropriate amounts of things can get onto your plate slowly. You do not always realize they are there until you have indulged for a while. They are filling you, but you are left unfulfilled.

Another way those things get onto your plate is by deception. Deception is how Satan got Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. He got them to believe that God was holding out on them by not letting them eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God was being unfair, and wouldn’t it be nice to know what God knows instead of having to obey Him? There is a reason Satan came as a serpent—he slithered into their lives and into their thoughts.

Our passage for today reminds us that we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are without sin. We tend to justify or downplay sin. “It wasn’t that big of a deal.” Sin is a big deal, and God has   already planned for it. If you confess, He will forgive you. You do not have to confess every instance of every sin, but I encourage you to cultivate an attitude of repentance. Rather than relying on the twenty seconds of silence during the corporate prayer of confession on a      Sunday morning, get into the habit of confessing when you realize you have sinned. Keep that slate clean. Ask God to help you resist temptation.

To Think/Pray About Today

How can you cultivate an attitude of repentance, catching the thoughts when they begin to invade your mind? Maybe you end each day going over the day’s activities. Maybe you stop throughout the day. What works for you?

Prayer Focus: Dollar General

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