Pastoral Ministry
in the Real World Click Now to Order


1 John 1:9 

Download mp3 audio


"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

This morning, some of our men are away on a continuation of a mission trip we started over the Labor Day weekend. It will probably take at least one more trip for them to complete the renovation of the old A-frame cabin at Jenness Park to transform it into a staff dormitory. 

Last Winter, our men went on another trip-we spent the night beside San Antonio Lake on a Men's camping trip-not the brightest idea we've ever had. Let me tell you that there isn't a word in the English language to clearly communicate how miserable and cold it was there. As my bedtime came and went, I couldn't talk myself into leaving the warm fire and walking back to my Aztec to sleep. Finally, I gathered up the will to go lay down on my soft air mattress and bundle up through the night to get some sleep. And sleep I did for about an hour or so-that's how long it took for the air mattress to deflate. This was my first time to use the air mattress. I reinflated it and made sure the stopper was in good and got back in my sleeping bag to go back to sleep. An hour later it was deflated again. When I got home, I tried to find the hole so I could patch it, but never did find it. It doesn't take a big hole to let all the air out of an air mattress. Given enough time and pressure, even a microscopic whole is enough.

My point is that it isn't just the big stuff that does damage; sometimes even a small problem can cause huge discomfort. The same is true with our walk with the Lord. When we confess our sins, we can't just focus on the big stuff, because the slow leak in our life will get us just as surely as the huge gash in our soul. Over time, even our "small sins" will render us ineffective in our Christian walk. We need to confess everything, even the small stuff.

When I couldn't fix the air mattress, I replaced it with a new one. This Summer, and I underscore the word Summer, Susan & I returned to the same Lake and enjoyed a good night's sleep on a new air mattress-one without holes. The Scripture promises us that God will forgive our sins when we confess them, but we have to confess them to enjoy his forgiveness and cleansing.

There was another time when I noticed a problem with a leak, but that time I didn't do anything about it until it was too late. The leak wasn't in an air mattress--it was in my boat. About a decade ago, we bought an old 14-foot wooden boat to take out on the lake in the summer. When we moved from California to New Mexico, we hauled the boat with us and when we moved back to California three years ago, some of the men from the church drove it out here for us. About the second time I put it in the water in New Mexico I had a couple of friends from the church with me. Now the boat is rated for 4 people, so I didn't think anything of asking two other people to join me on the Lake. What I didn't stop to think is that what the manufacturers of the boat meant by four people was 600 pounds. At the time, I weighed about 280 pounds and I was the smallest of the three.

Thank you for reading the free preview of this sermon.  The full manuscript is available to Premium Members use these resources in their ministry.
Jim Wilson's (see bio) Fresh Sermons are available to premium members ($19.99 one time fee).
For an all access pass to the more than 300 full-text sermons and thousands of Fresh Sermon Illustrations become a premium member for a one time payment of $19.99 by clicking on the graphic below.

href="">Impact Preaching: A Case for the
one-pointexpositiory sermon