“I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full”
The person whom we live with for every moment of the day is, of course, ourselves. And there is much for which we need to be forgiven – far more, in fact, than we will be aware.
We will have sinned against God. We will have sinned against others. And we will have sinned against ourselves. There will be the things that we have done, the things that we have failed to do, and our failure to live to our potential and to make the most of the opportunities into which the Lord had led us. There will be our personal sins and the sins of the group, community and nation of which we are a part. These sins may have damaged the lives of individuals and groups around us.
We see the sins of others far more clearly than we see our own which is why our Lord challenged us
- “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” ( Matthew 7:3 NIV)
- “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbour’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own” (Matthew 7:3 MSG)
In many ways pride is the most serious of all the sins because it fails to see the truth and has its focus on ourselves and not on God. This is clearly portrayed in Jesus parable
- “The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: “Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man” (Luke 18:11 MSG)
- “Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, “God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.'” (Luke 18:13 MSG)
We cannot value forgiveness and salvation unless we have a proper sense of our sin, its effect and our need. We cannot see our need for a Saviour if there is nothing to be saved from or saved into. So God may lead us into some of the truth about ourselves in order that we might have a greater sense of the truth about Him.
The Good News is that God wants to forgive our sins so that He restore our personal (and group) relationship with Him –and bring forgiveness, healing and beauty into our lives.
- Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
- “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10)
Now, and this is very important, if God is prepared to forgive our sins when we repent and turn to Him for forgiveness – then we must respond by accepting His forgiveness and forgiving ourselves. We may well have been a terrible failure. We may still be subject to terrible bouts of weakness. But we are a new work in progress. God is working in us to set us free from the bondage of the past and to lead us into the new spiritual-based life that He has planned for us. We must begin to leave the baggage of yesterday behind us, and to keep doing so, until it has fully and finally been replaced with our new fruit of Life.
Keep washing yourself in the salvation of the cross. Keep walking away from the darkness of the tomb. Discover the beauty of the garden God has prepared for you and Him.
Father God, thank You so much for the forgiveness of my sins, dealt with by Jesus Christ on my behalf. Help me please to walk with You in newness of life, away from the past and into our new future. Amen.