Hi, I’m Joseph. I’m a sinner. I do, think, and say bad things and often have wrong motives. Not in a cute, self-deprecating way, but in a bad way. I forget often, but it’s essential for me to remember, even though it seems counterintuitive. Am I supposed to only think positively about myself?
To explain, here’s another thing about me: One of my highest values is togetherness. I’m most content when my people are in one place without any barriers to our connection. I am most in distress when there’s division, when a relationship is threatened, and when absence is felt.
Sin is the enemy of togetherness. My greatest value is forever at odds with the nature of my heart. Sin divides what shouldn’t be divided, kills what should live, puts painful space between us. It builds walls between God and us. I sensed it some years back, and I prayed that God would take my sin away and be with me. I remember one time after I said those prayers, I felt happy because I knew He’d answered my prayer. The sin debt was settled. We were together.
But here’s the thing about
The result of an unbridled sinful nature within a forgiven heart? Walls. My own heart betrays my longing for togetherness. My own mind forgets the story of what God has done. That’s why I must remember and battle my nature. I must humble myself, repent quickly, and lay down anything that builds a wall. I’ll never do this perfectly, but I’ll keep trying anyway, comforted by glimpses of togetherness today and the promise of full togetherness tomorrow. One day I’ll be together with God forever, with no barriers and a heart that won’t know how to go wayward, because it’ll be entirely fixed on Him. Folks, forgiveness here, whole and complete, and available to every one of us. Praise be to God, we are forgiven and redeemed!
I’m sure those of you who have rough back stories and went through a lot at one point thought that there is no way that God could ever forgive what I have done. I lived in darkness. I messed up once again. How could God, who is holy and perfect, forgive such sin? Or those of us who are saved and have done something wrong, and we think, “well, that’s it. God is probably thinking He made a mistake by saving me. I sinned again, and big time. I messed up, and there’s no hope for me now. God can’t forgive me now because I’m too deep.” This is the beauty of the Cross of Christ. God knows every sin you have ever committed. Every lie you ever told; every time you’ve cheated; every false rumor you spread. He knows it all, and despite all those things, He does not regret saving you. There is no one He can’t forgive; no heart He can’t restore; no relationship He can’t fix. So let us come running to the Cross of Christ. It doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you do. Let Him fix what is broken and let Him heal you. Devote your life to the One who died for you.
Bow Tie_ Perry Ellis