24-The Disciple And Openness

Day 24: The Disciple and Openness!

An Intimate Walk with Jesus – A 30 Day Quiet Time Series
Text: James 5:16

Assignment: Make a list of your most common fears.

Lesson to Learn: Openness is necessary if the Christian is to be forgiven and healed.

Many people are afraid to be open about their feelings or weaknesses. To be vulnerable with people is to run the risk of rejection or ridicule. As a result, people hide behind a fake image of who they are. They want to appear to be someone they are not. Christianity frees us from playing these games. Jesus was very real about His thoughts and feelings. In this lesson, we will examine the spiritual principle of openness and make the application to our own lives.

1. James 5:16 – Christians are encouraged to be open about sin in their life. Confessing sin should be a part of any mentoring relationship. Christians need the continued forgiveness that comes through confessing (see I John 1:9). Confession of sin also demonstrates a Christians’ humility. If a Christian will not confess his sin, he will never be able to overcome that sin. God’s help to overcome our weakness is received when we pray for each other and when we confess our sins to one another. When was the last time you confessed sin to someone close to you who is spiritually mature? When did you last pray about your sin with someone?

2. Proverbs 28:13 – It is never healthy for a man to pretend he is sinless or perfect when he is not. When we conceal our sin, be sure that God will judge us (see Numbers 32:23). However, when we confess our sins and renounce them, it is like a weight that has been lifted from our shoulders. We can then experience God’s mercy and have peace of mind.

3. Acts 19:17-20 – When people become disciples of Jesus, it is necessary for them to confess their evil practices and to demonstrate their repentance. This, however, should not be a one-time occurrence. It is a natural part of Christianity. The world will try to make us feel like confessing sin is unnecessary, or in some way “cultish”. Do you feel confessing sin to your mentor is necessary? If not, why not?

4. II Corinthians 7:5-7 – Paul was very real about his feelings. When he came to Macedonia he faced tremendous trials and challenges. Paul admits his fear in the face of challenges. He even says that he was downcast, sad, and depressed. God comforted him by sending Titus, who was able to reveal the condition of the Corinthian Church. Paul was concerned that the Corinthian Church would not receive his first letter very well. He was even unable to preach until he heard how the Church had repented (see II Corinthians 2:12-13). How real are you with people about your fears and weaknesses? When you are downcast do you feel you are in sin? It’s only sin when we allow our distress to keep us from obeying God.

Every Christian must learn to be real and open about whom they really are. They must let the walls that surround them come down. People are actually drawn closer to people when they see how real they are. Weakness is a part of all our lives. Praise God for the grace we desperately need (see Ephesians 2:8; Titus 3:5). When we share our feelings and confess our sins, it allows people to relate to us. God will then also bless our humility.

During these stressful times, we want to offer our prayers and encouragement to any who are interested. Our leaders are available to help, please let us know by emailing info@nulllicoc.org.