Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Your sins are forgiven... Go in peace."

I can't sleep. I have been awake since 5 am. I don't know if it is because I have the same feeling you get when you have a huge test the next day and are worried you are going to oversleep (pretty sure I won't sleep through labor but same feeling) or if it is because of my big tummy and full bladder or if it is because I HAVE TO WRITE this post. But, whatever the reason, I am awake and I am burdened to write.
I wrote before about how waiting on Hope's arrival reminds me of waiting on the coming of Christ. I don't know how much longer it will be before she is born but I know it is close. I feel the same way about Christ and His return. I don't know how much longer it will be but I know it is close. Creation and Prophecy are obviously crying out. The red carpet is being rolled out. The King is coming.
But, in God's unrelenting mercy and love for the lost...
He waits.
Not wanting one to perish but all to come to know Him before eternity is sealed.
I know that most of my readers live in America and have heard the gospel. But in case you are unclear about what this "gospel" thing is, here is what the Bible teaches...
It reveals to us that we were all born sinners. Thanks to Adam and Eve, we were born with a sinful nature.
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way..."
Isaiah 53:6
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:23
Our sin separates us from God.
The Bible teaches that without God's intervention, we were destined for eternal punishment because of our sins.
For God is a Holy God and because of our sin, we could not have a relationship with Him. I have heard it said that it would be like an ice cube trying to have a relationship with the sun. The two simply cannot exist together.
"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you..."
Isaiah 59:2
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23
Because of God's great love for us, God came for us in the body of a man named Jesus.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
1 John 4:9
"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live."
John 6:51
Jesus Christ left heaven on a saving mission for us- to be our perfect sacrifice because there was no other way. If there was any other way, that cup would have passed the night in the garden as He cried out to God.
"O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
Matthew 26:39
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12
Jesus Christ is our only Hope. And He, in love and faithfulness, came for us. In the most amazing act of humility that will ever be, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death... an excruciating and undeserving death on a cross. But, He did not stay in that grave. After taking all our sins and paying the punishment that we deserved.... He rose again and life, hope, forgiveness, victory were made ours. Jesus was exalted to the highest place. That at His name every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2)
The price for sin was paid. Death overcome. The curtain that separated our unholiness from God's holiness was torn in two.
"..for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. "
Luke 23:45,46
Now, all we have to do is respond to such a great love.
"If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."
1 John 4:15
"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:9
"We love Him because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19
There is a woman in Scripture who responds to the love of Jesus. She was a harlot. She had much sin in her past. Her sin had shackled her. Her pain and sorrow over sin was great. There was nothing she had to offer to Jesus... except a sincerely broken heart that was desperate for forgiveness....
"And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil...Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?". Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
Luke 7:37-50
Jesus didn't want anyTHING from her. He wanted her heart. He just wanted HER. He didn't ask her to DO a bunch of things or start trying to do better or tell her that she really needed to start going to Church and get her life together. He simply wanted her heart. He wanted to forgive her. He wanted a relationship with her.
Just as He does with you.
It doesn't matter how much sin you have in your past. It doesn't matter what you have done that Satan tells you is unforgivable. He wants you to come to Him. To come broken over your sin. He is so willing to forgive you. He knows how far you have gone astray.
When I realized how much I needed the forgiveness of Jesus, I fell on my face before Him as this woman did. Broken over my sin. Crying out for forgiveness. Saying to God, "If I can know you, I want to know you!". Having nothing to offer but offering all that I was. Years of rebellion. Years of resisting His call on my life-- all forgiven in one prayer. Love, peace, forgiveness poured into my life from heaven. I realized then how MUCH God loved me.
I was instantly changed. Instantly accepted. Instantly IN LOVE with Jesus Christ.
And in my heart, hearing the words,
"Your sins are forgiven... Go in peace."
Have you heard these words?
If your sins aren't as obvious as the woman in the story but you have never entered into a relationship with Christ, I urge you to realize how much you need Him. Some of our sins are more obvious than others but we all need Him. Without Jesus Christ, we are all headed for a real place called Hell. Jesus talks more about hell than heaven. It is very real. And it is very eternal.
It was never meant for us. It was meant for Satan and his angels.
Jesus Christ is standing in front of hell with His nail scarred hands open wide asking you not to go there. He has paid it all so that you would not have to.
RESPOND to such a great love.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Psalm 51:17
Today is the day of salvation. Don't wait. There is never a better moment to give your life to Christ than now. The Holy Spirit is asking you to come.
Ask Jesus to forgive you and become Lord of your life and show you how to obey and follow Him. He has great plans for you... beginning with redemption. It doesn't stop there though. A life lived as a follower of Christ is blessed. It is peaceful (not meaning absent from trial or grief) but having the Prince of Peace to walk with you every step of your life giving you peace that surpasses all understanding. Leading you to green pastures, still water and paths of righteousness. Ans even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with you and you do not have to fear. And, oh, what a joy it is to serve Him with your life. To be used by God in miraculous ways because He has given you supernatural gifts to do supernatural things. To see His glory.
To see miracles.
To see Jesus.
If you don't know Him, run to Him. Lay your life at His feet. Accept His forgiveness.
"I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life."
John 6:47
I will soon be looking into the eyes of my sweet daughter Hope.
I will also soon be looking into the eyes of my Blessed and Eternal Hope.... Jesus Christ.
You will too.
Are you ready?
He is coming back for us. And I believe according to prophecy it is soon.
Like a King rescuing His Bride.
He loves you so much.
"His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself."
Rev 19:12
If you have questions, please write me.
If you have accepted Christ for the first time and need help getting started in your walk with Him, I will help you.


b said...

oh, that I may continue to learn and grow and love and live in the Truth of which you write so eloquently; that I may someday be of as much inspiration and help to another as you, truly, have been to me.

deepest thanks.

Mrs. Davison said...

Thank you for sharing the Truth in such a concise way. This will help all who read it. Have peace during this time before the baby is born.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

a Beautiful post.....I am checking daily to see if little Hope is here....

Double L said...

Beautiful post. Thank you so much.

Ellen said...

Thank you for posting this. You have brightened my morning!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, wonderful miraculous truth, and in what a perfectly poignant way you share it. God bless you Steph-Hope IS coming! For us all.


Meghan said...

Hey Stephanie! I have a surprise for you over at my blog!

Anonymous said...

It's 2-10-2010 . . . here's Hoping that pizza was just the thing! :)

Mary T said...

Thank you, Steph. Words from the heart.