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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement For Today - April 25, 2005

  • 2005 Apr 18
  • COMMENTS

 

4/25/05

Encouragement for Today

 

“Betrayed”

Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

 

Matthew 26: 21,22, “Now as they were eating, He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’ And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, ‘Lord, is it I?’” (NKJ)

 

Devotion:

 

I have a talent for embarrassing myself. A few years ago, at one of our Proverbs 31 conferences, I was in the elevator on my way to a meeting, when I noticed that my panty hose were sagging. I had been running non-stop since the conference began, so naturally I needed to freshen up. I figured since I was the only one in the elevator, it was safe to lift up my skirt, bend over, and pull up my hose. I’m sure you have done something similar.

 

There was only one problem. When I entered the elevator at the bottom floor, it had a back wall. As I rode the elevator from one floor to the next, I noticed something had changed. The back wall had magically transformed into a glass wall!

 

Ingeniously, the hotel was built in a circle. This design meant that all of the glass elevators overlooked the center of the hotel as they moved up and down. What was in the center of the hotel? It was the hotel dinning room. And what time of day was it? You guessed it. It was dinnertime. Just my luck!  The room was packed with people, who at this point, were probably trying to get their money back after being flashed with my side show.

 

I was horrified! But aren’t we all when a side of us is exposed that we rather keep covered? I think sin is like that. We try to hide it, but at some point, it revels itself, leaving us embarrassed, sorrowful, and ashamed.

 

Sometimes, not all sins are exposed to others. There are some we’d manage to keep concealed. In doing so, it gives us the false illusion that no one can see them. While others may not, we forget that God can see all. And He doesn’t need a glass wall to see what is hidden.

 

Remember when Jesus sat down with His twelve disciples to prepare for the Passover? Jesus revealed to them something only He could see: “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

 

I love the disciples’ reaction. They didn’t become defensive. They didn’t try to play cover-up or debate the matter. They didn’t even point fingers at one another. Instead, each one of them looked inward and asked, “Lord, is it I?”

 

Even Judas asked Jesus, “Rabbi, is it I?” And He replied, “You have said it.”

 

Once Judas’ eyes were open to his sin, he had a choice to make. He could either fess up and be done with it or he could carry out his betrayal. He chose the latter. The choice Judas made at that moment determined his tragic destiny. Yet, Judas’ fate didn’t have to end that way.

 

Don’t misunderstand me, I know that someone had to betray Jesus on His way to the cross in order to fulfill Scripture, but that’s not my point. A big part of the character of Christ is about forgiveness and restoration. I believe with all of my heart, if Judas had responded to his conviction with repentance, before he betrayed Christ, someone else would have had to fill his role in history. Why?  Because Christ, our Lord, was sent to free people from sin and restore us back into fellowship with God.  Even Judas.

 

I hope you understand that Jesus doesn’t reveal our sin to embarrass us or condemn us. He shows us our wrongdoings so that we look to Him to make all things right.

 

Confession brings cleansing, freedom from guilt and shame, and it sets us back into the right relationship with God and others. Hiding our sin only diminishes Christ’s work on the cross. It was too great a price. It is too great a love for us to take so lightly. When you and I try to cover up our disobedience, we, too, betray our Lord by denying the freedom He came to give us.

 

So, why is it that we hide our sin when we can run to the Savior’s arms and find restoration, love, forgiveness and acceptance? I think it’s because we are afraid to admit our sin to Christ. Yet, there is no reason to be afraid. Jesus already knows about it.  He’s simply waiting for us to look inward and say, “Lord, it is I.” In that instant, Christ is ready and willing to make all things new.

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Dear Lord, I don’t want to betray you any longer with my sin. Take it, restore me, and make me new. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

 

Read Psalm 139 and meditate on the words. Then, make verses 23 and 24 your prayer. What God reveals, confess before Him so that He can lead you in His everlasting way.

 

Reflection Points:

 

Are you aware that anyone can betray Jesus?

 

What benefits do you gain from betrayal?

 

What does Christ’s death on the cross mean to you?

 

What can you give Him in return?

 

Power Verses:

 

Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (NKJ)

 

1 John 2:1, “Little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (NKJ)

 

II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things become new.” (NKJ)

 

Psalm 85:2, “Thou has forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.” (NKJ)

 

Additional Resources:

 

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/radical.html

 

Becoming A Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanlistens.html

 

Message of the Month Club

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/messageclub.html

 

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