The foulest sinner with breathe still within his being can be transformed instantly into a son of the Most High God.
This was the life-altering message of Jesus Christ and all who have chosen to follow Him since His death, burial, and resurrection nearly 2,000 years ago. Yet, sin crouches at the door, threatening the precious Bride of Christ.
It lies in wait, incubating in its attempt to find shelter within His Holy Bride.
What is this sin that plagues much of the Church today?
Not of others, but of self.
While there exists ample amounts of interpersonal unforgiveness, the hidden disease that rots men’s souls is the inability to forgive oneself for past wrongdoings.
The New Testament contains the most radical message of truth and grace available anywhere. Holy Scripture has no equal. There is no parallel text that it can be compared to, for it is the very Word of God.
What other manuscript, modern or ancient, can compare?
It is filled with good news for the person who feels unsettled within himself.
If you are hypercritical of yourself and your actions, due to sins in your past, the Bible has good news for you.
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”(Lev. 3:22-23)
What can we learn from this beautiful passage?
We are reminded of God’s steadfast and infinite love for all of humanity along with his unending mercies which are made new every morning.
We learn that God’s love and mercy “towards us” is not determined “by us.”
He is the Maker and is capable of much more than we could ever imagine. We will never reach the limits of His love.
In human relationships, love can be taken away. With men, forgiveness is not promised. Hurts can linger. Bad blood can remain under the surface. This causes uncertainty in our relationships and a driving desire to shield one’s self from others and their words so as not to be hurt again.
But Jesus told us to embrace the pain that would come from others. He promised persecution for his true followers.
How can we run from men when we are presently called to share the Person of Jesus Christ with them?
This is the cycle of pain that humanity has become accustomed to over the centuries.
We hurt each other.
We lie to each other.
We steal from one another.
We violate one another.
We slander one another.
We kill one another.
Oh, the wretched state of humanity!
But with God, our position is much different.
It is constant because He is constant.
Words fail to describe what God sees when he looks at us. There are no words to describe something that we cannot even envision. The closest we can come in our finite minds is to look at our own children. But now, imagine seeing your perfect and beautiful child afflicted with a rare and mutant disease. Your love is now coupled with a sense of pity. The Bible says that God weeps over us — His children — because of our wretched state. When God looks at His own children, he sees that we have been corrupted by a spiritual disease that He alone can cure.
In our complete state of brokenness and disrepair, He is there.
A man who cannot forgive himself will take pleasure in knowing that regardless of his sin, God stands ready and willing to forgive him.
Our sin does not surprise him. It is utter pride to believe that we can surprise God.
He is not surprised and he is not shocked by your sin. He has every hair on your head numbered. He knows your strengths and He knows your weaknesses. There is no sin so great to cause Him to despise you. This is self-centeredness. He is not so displeased with you that He is willing to throw you away.
Yes, you have made mistakes. Yes, perhaps you have even fallen from lofty heights. (Or at least what you perceived to be “lofty heights.”)
However, this event that occurred was just that… an event. It is a historical fact.
But the reflection of history has only one true purpose to pilgrims in the present: learning.
We learn from the past. Our past is no longer.
If it lives today, it is because we have sought to breathe the “breath of life” into it. It is our creation.
But note that it is not real. It is not present. Once the past fails to be solely instructive, but devolves into being destructive, it must be man-handled.
We cannot spend our lives attempting to see ourselves through the eyes of everyone else. Our lives are brief. They are fleeting. We must choose to see ourselves through God’s eyes.
The task (Great Commission) that lies before each of us is seismic. As followers of Christ, we have been called to surrender our wills, time, talents, abilities, skills, minds, hearts, souls, spirits, money, emotions, children, spouses, careers, ambitions, and all manner of pride. We are to lay everything down at the Master’s feet for His use.
He will decide the direction for our lives, not us.
Who are we to lead God? Who are we to tell God which of our ambitions He can have and which ones are reserved for us alone?
If we are truly reacting to the written Gospels, we must admit that our lives can only be directed by God.
Perhaps your friends have all fled.
Perhaps you feel all alone.
But friend, you are not alone.
God and His Heavenly Host of Angels have been with you, even and especially, in your darkest moments of your life.
He is near to the brokenhearted.
He comes to the lowly of heart.
He exalts the humble man with the same strength that He shames the proud.
To the contrary, if you are proud and haughty, the Bible only has correction for you.
But if you will humble yourself, open the Bible with a deep sincerity, and drink from the living waters of God, He will break the shackles from your feet and hands and will open your eyes to His marvelous truth!
There is hope for both the sinner and the saved.