1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord sees and knows everything, but this does not eliminate man’s responsibility to confess his sins to this all-knowing God. Confession exposes or makes known what is already open before God (Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13). In order to maintain proper fellowship with God, man’s sins must be followed by a confession of those sins (Leviticus 5:5; Numbers 5:7), the sooner the better. At times, confession is a personal issue, but at other times, it is a national issue (Ezra 10:1, 11; Nehemiah 1:6; Nehemiah 9:2; Daniel 9:4, 20). Regardless, confession always precedes forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). Failure on man’s part to confess his sins is to forfeit God’s mercy (Proverbs 28:13).

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God used Jephthah to deliver Israel after they confessed their sin (Judges 10:6-10, 16; Judges 11:32). Jeremiah told the people how to get right with God (Jeremiah 3:12-13). Consider other examples: Psalm 51:3-4; Isaiah 55:7; Jonah 3:8-10; Luke 15:21-24.
• (For everyone): Are there sins you have committed against the Lord that you have failed to confess? Why? Would you not rather enjoy the forgiveness, cleansing, and mercy from the Lord? What would keep you from making it right?
• When is the last time you called upon God and confessed the sins of your family and your nation?

Prayer Thoughts

• Confess any personal sins that are presently unconfessed.
• Confess the sins of your nation, and beg God’s forgiveness.