What started out as a punishment from a very wise school principal became the very foundation that would frame my relationship with God. The weekly scripture assigned to me to present to my class did something remarkable for me: It got me to dig into the words of the bible and taught me how to begin to live my life with purpose. I learnt how the scripture is like God’s love letter to me.
Have you ever received a love letter from anyone? The heart races with excitement over the words that speak affirmation to you. Love. Unconditional. Accepting. Treasured. That’s what God does through the timeless words of scripture. It challenges us to draw near to God. In drawing near, he sometimes gently, sometimes not to gently, in the process, he begins to show us things that we need to let go of. He takes away our sins. That seems like such a harsh word. SIN. Sin isn’t just a word. It is an action; a deliberate action to act on something that separates us from God. Alone it is just a noun. But when attached to a person, it becomes a verb, and action word. Mixed with faith, scripture is a powerful thing.
Does God have a measuring stick for sin? I don’t believe so. Who is to say what is greater than the other? Adultery? Lying? Murder? Gossip? Courts of law definitely grade sin. Punishments are harsher based on the degree of the crime. I once heard that the greatest sin is to reject what Jesus did for us on the cross-not to accept His unconditional love, let him make us clean through repentance. Repentance is to turn away from our sin. If there is a turning away, God is right there with His amazing grace! He draws us closer to himself. As a result, we want to please him. That grace is the unmerited, unearned favor in our lives. The playing field is level. Most of all sin affects no only us, but the people around us. We are all the same. No person is perfect. He takes our imperfections and washes them clean. A brand new start!
Do you know anyone who is perfect? Neither do I. God isn’t “Up in heaven” with a big stick, ready to beat us every time we do something wrong! It’s not about being better than the next guy. Think about it this way. When a parent watches their kid learning to walk, they start out standing, then crawling, and after a lot of effort, on a consistent basis, take that first step. If the child falls down, and he will, the response of the parent is to immediately help them get back UP and try again, until the child is walking more than falling down.
I still fall down- a lot. I guess I have a “clumsy gene”! My falls in my older years are a lot more painful than when I was a kid. But still, when I fall, my Father-God-is close as ever. He is the one who picks me up, cleans me up, so I can walk through this life and make it count.
Have you experienced God’s great forgiveness in your life? Tell us about it.