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Monday, 19 August 2013

I've sinned too much, God can't forgive ME...

Have you ever thought to yourself when the preacher says to you that all your sins are forgiven... "But wait, you don't know what I have done... I've sinned far too much in my life, or my sin has been far to big, for God to forgive me"?

                      Me too.

I often struggle with feeling like I have sinned over and over again and therefore God can't possibly forgive me. And you know why? Because I truly have sinned over and over again. But I'll let you in on another secret - so has everyone... even your most senior church leader. The only person never to have sinned was Jesus.
It's in many ways like the very first time you put a small scratch on your phone. After that first one you become so much less protective over it and are much less likely to be worried about dropping your phone or keeping the plastic covering over it. With sin we are a lot less bothered or careful over our sins when we give up to the fact that "Well I've sinned already". This is how our sins escalate - because we haven't grasped God's forgiveness in the small (and let's be fair) constant, things in life. Once we grasp that we are forgiven along the way and that when we come in repentance to God He takes those things and burns them up forgetting them, we become a lot less tempted by the bigger sins. God in the analogy, is the permanent and full insurance cover on our scratched phone. He just keeps giving us a new one even though we don't deserve it, so we must continue to try to treat our lives like they are shiny and new and precious and fragile, not worn, tattered and beyond repair.
If you find yourself wrapped up in a sin that you can't see away out of - get someone you trust to pray with you through it. There is so much power in confessing our sins to one another - James challenges us on that in chapter 5 verse 16 - 'Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective'.

On many occasions I have also felt like my sins have been too big for God to cover. I understand that God forgives, but I find it difficult to apply it to myself because I know the ins and outs of the negative things my mind has thought in private, and the things I've done while no-one else is watching. And then I think about how God sees those things too and even more so than I myself see, and I think - "No, His forgiveness is for others but it is not for me".
In those moments I assure you I am WRONG. If I believed all that then the God I believe in has become very small very quickly. If I reduce Him to the size of my sin then I don't think I want to serve a God like that. A God who created the world is certainly powerful enough to cover my thoughts. John 3:30 says "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less". This really speaks to me on this topic - if I saw God in all His glory and for who He really is, and then I realised how small I am in comparison to Him, then I would have no problem in believing that God has conquered all my sin by the power of His Word and through the awesome power of the cross.
Read through the New Testament and follow the journey of Paul. Paul made the some of the biggest mistakes possible, but God not only forgave him completely... but he used him for the glory of God so powerfully, that 2000+ years later, we are still talking and reading about him.
This is were I am in my journey with this lie the deceiver tells us... I now know completely that God has won and it has set me so free. When I really understood this I then found myself serving in prison sharing with the women how they too are forgiven by God's grace. And you know what? That forgiveness is not just on offer for Christians. The sins of the whole world were forgiven on the cross. Jesus conquered them once and for ALL - We just need to accept it and that's were the difference lies. 1 John 2:2 declares "He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins - and not only for our sins but the sins of the world".

When we sing the song "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus"... we are not just singing a song for fun or because it's a sweet melody. We are declaring Biblical truths. Read it and believe it.

"Your best days are never so good that they are beyond the need of God's grace, and your worst days are never so bad that they are beyond the reach of God's grace" - Jerry Bridges

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