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 1 John : Chapter 1

1) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2) The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3) We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4) We write this to make our[a] joy complete. 5) This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6) If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin. 8) If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

Sammy Tippit: It has been such a blessing to be talking with Dave Butts, president of Harvest Prayer Ministries and chairman of the U.S. National Prayer Committee. We’ve been talking about prayer, and it has been such a blessing to me. Thank you, Dave, for being a part of this conversation.
Dave Butts: Thank you.
Sammy: I know people who are watching this and listening to this are really enjoying it. We’ve been talking about how Jesus taught his disciples to pray.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: We saw that order. God was the focus first. Then it was praying for the world and for his kingdom to come. Then, where we finished last, it was praying for our needs. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” There were two things.
In this session, we’ll focus on, “…forgive us our debts…” and the need for our own personal forgiveness. Let’s talk about that. I know forgiveness, confession, and all of this plays a major role, especially in revival. So let’s talk about the role of prayer in forgiveness and confession.
Dave: Sure. It’s so very, very important. In a real sense, the major block you’re going to have from an effective prayer life is believers who are unaware that their sins have been taken care of and, of course, this large group of people who have been unbelievers. They’ve not known Jesus as their Savior and Lord, and they still have their sin counted against them. They have not experienced forgiveness.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: That issue there creates a block. It keeps us from communicating with God. You know what it was like if you did something wrong as a kid and then you had to go and walk into your parents’ house? You weren’t sure if they knew or not, but that didn’t really matter, because you knew. You felt so guilty.
You didn’t really want to talk with them, because you were guilty, and you knew it. That’s really something that happens for us when we have guilt in our lives that we’ve not dealt with. It keeps us from talking with God. It stops, it interrupts, that flow. We don’t really want to pray a whole lot, because we know we have things in us that we’ve not dealt with.
Sammy: You know, when I first became a Christian… I’ll never forget that night. It was 50 years ago, and I’ve still not forgotten it. It’s as real to me today as it was 50 years ago. That night, the one thing… When I walked out of that church, when I came to know Jesus and he came into my heart, the one feeling… I know we don’t go by feelings. It’s by faith, but the one feeling I had was that it was as though there were 1 million pounds that had been lifted from my back. It was the guilt that was gone.
Dave: Sure.
Sammy: If you remember… I said in an earlier session that my friends and I started going (no one told us to do this) and meeting early for prayer. The reason prayer became so exciting where before it had been like, “Oh, that’s some kind of religious stuff over there,” was that the guilt was gone. I was forgiven. So that forgiveness ushers us into a freedom of prayer
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: Now one of the things I think… I want us to kind of take off on this because it goes into revival, especially among Christians who need to be renewed in their hearts. What happened to me in salvation was that I saw what Jesus had done on the cross. He had taken the punishment for our sins. Now my sins had been forgiven, but then I still failed daily. So what happens in confession, repentance, and brokenness which produces forgiveness is it brings me back to the cross.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: That’s why a revival… Kind of give me your thoughts on that. Revival, the cross, and the place of brokenness, forgiveness, and so forth…
Dave: Absolutely. It’s all wrapped up together, but we need to unpack it a bit. I really believe it’s important. I find, honestly, that very few Christians really understand forgiveness. They really do not understand what it means to have, like you just said, that 1-million pound weight lifted off. I find a lot of Christians who come to church Sunday after Sunday still have that burden. They still feel guilty. Of course, that’s going to stop our prayer life.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: What we’ve not done is teach Christians this important aspect of prayer that’s called confession. It’s coming before the Lord… Probably one of the best Scriptures on this is Psalm 51, where David had sinned against God. Even though he had involved others in his sin, he recognized it was ultimately a sin against God. He came to God, and he had no excuses.
He didn’t try to excuse himself or the situation or say, “God, I did this because of this or this,” or, “You know I have this.” Nothing. He simply said, “I sinned. I was wrong.” Ultimately, confession is a kind of prayer that comes before the Lord and says, “Lord, you’re right. I was wrong. I just want you to know I agree with you. What I did was wrong. It was sin. I confess. You’re right in calling that sin. I make no excuses.”
It’s not simply the confession that does that. It is the fact that Jesus is now Savior and Lord of our lives. We now are able to confess our sin. Like you said, sometimes it’s on a daily basis. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s multiple times in a day. What we have to do is teach people what I call keeping short accounts with God.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: We don’t kind of just tally them up and say at the end of the day, “Oh, I did this, this, and this.” We need to teach Christians, even brand-new Christians, to keep short accounts with God. As soon as you’re aware that there is sin, that you have committed sin, immediately confess that. There is a tendency for us to feel as though we need to go feel guilty for a while.
“I can’t confess yet. I have to go feel guilty for a while. Then I can confess.” But do you see how man centered that is? That’s saying the basis for God’s forgiveness is my being sorry and feeling bad. No, no, no. It is the blood of Jesus Christ, so I must learn to keep short accounts and, immediately as I’m aware of sin, confess. Then the Scriptures are wonderful. The promises… He is just and true and will forgive us our sin.
Sammy: Yeah. One of the other things that came to my mind as you were sharing that is that when we don’t confess and we sort of sweep it under the carpet, cover it up, and so forth… Then what people do is continue to try to pray. They enter into religious praying.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: They quit praying the way they started off praying. They quit praying the power of the Spirit, the joy of the Lord, the presence of God, the intimacy with him. So with confession, there has to be that honest, transparent thing. If you understand God is good and God loves you, you can come to him, not covering it up but coming to him immediately. I think that probably what you’re talking about with these short accounts was one of the earlier things I learned about personal revival.
Dave: It is.
Sammy: If I’m going to be renewed, I have to keep short accounts. Let me just say a short account is when you don’t just hold on to things for a long time but come immediately to God, confess them to him, and repent of that sin.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: Just quickly share with me. What does it mean to confess? What does that word confess mean?
Dave: It’s agreement. It’s an agreement with God.
Sammy: Where you say, “You’re right and I’m wrong”?
Dave: “You’re right, God. You called that sin, and I want you to know I agree with you. I’m not making any more excuses. I’m agreeing. And I did it. I confess. I did that. You said it was wrong. I did it. It was wrong.” That’s confession. That’s ultimately an agreement with God. Of course, the next step then is to turn from that in repentance. You confess your sin, you repent, you turn from what you did wrong, and then God steps in and does what only he can do in bringing total healing, restoration of joy, and a free, free area of prayer.
Sammy: That is what I call revival. God will revive your heart. He will renew your life when you confess. Confession has always been a part of great revivals, and it can be a great part of the revival in your life today. So spend some time alone being honest and transparent with God.

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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