Not Even a Little Condemnation
You have disappointed God. I have disappointed God. Probably even made Him mad. More than once.
But here’s the amazing news of the Gospel–so good that it’s hard for people to comprehend:
This was written by the Apostle Paul, who had also messed things up in a major way–so much so that Jesus knocked him off his horse on his way to Damascus. Knocked him on his butt and even blinded him for a time. But He got Paul’s attention.
I can only imagine what Paul’s spiritual journey must have been like from that point forward. God had kicked his butt for doing what he had been doing, but Paul had thought he was already doing what God wanted him to do. It must have been a rude awakening for him to realize that wasn’t the case. In fact, the way he was acting was exactly the opposite of what God wanted from him.
If it were me, I would feel a huge amount of guilt. I mean, Paul had been hunting down Christ-followers, dragging them to prison in chains. He must have had tremendous struggles, wondering how God could ever forgive him.
Yet somewhere in his journey, in his wrestling with God, he came to this revelation:
Why does God choose to forgive us?
Here is the answer Paul arrived at through his discussions with Jesus:
But You Don’t Know How Bad I’ve Been…
You may say, But you don’t know all the bad things I’ve done. And you’re right, I don’t. But God does, and He loves you anyway. And if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then He also forgives you for every bad thing you have ever done or ever will do!
I can see how such a lopsided exchange would be hard for people to understand or accept. We are all about fairness and equity, but this trade is anything but fair or equitable. We give up eternal punishment for all the nasty things we have done. In return, God gives us grace, mercy, love, joy. Hope. Comfort in troubling times. A promise of eternity in paradise. Not really a fair deal for God, but we can sure make out well!
Even though it’s hard to understand, I still don’t get why more people aren’t lining up to make this trade. It’s the best deal I’ve ever seen!
It Really Doesn’t Matter
So, regardless of all the bad things you have done, you really should accept this offer. I had a pastor who said of his conversion experience, “I gave as much as I understood of myself to as much as I understood of God.” It’s a great line because it points out that you don’t need to understand all of the confusing things you have probably heard about God, Jesus, and the Bible. You just need to understand that God knows you better than you know yourself, and He loves you anyway. He stands knocking at the door of your heart, waiting for you to let him in so he can take away all condemnation for the bad things you’ve done.
It doesn’t matter if you have hated your neighbor or flipped off someone while driving. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been addicted to drugs or alcohol or pornography. It doesn’t matter what crimes you have committed or how many of the Ten Commandments you’ve broken. It doesn’t even matter if you are rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
There is nothing God can’t or won’t forgive you for. It really, really does not matter what you’ve done, because of what Jesus has done.
Like So Many Little Moons
I say this to myself as well. It is good for us all to be reminded that we do not need to live under a cloud of condemnation and shame. God has taken that away, and will take it away again and again, so that we can, like so many little moons, reflect the light of God’s Son into the darkness of the world around us.
Beautiful picture of the mountains. 🙏
Thank you, I appreciate the feedback and kind words.
Thank you. 🙏