Good morning (or evening) everyone and God bless you all! This afternoon will mark the beginning of our two week Christmas break. My wife and kids will be out of school until January 7th, 2020. That is actually 18 straight days off and we have really been looking forward to it! In keeping with the season, I would like to talk about perfection and forgiveness today. More specifically, talking about the truth that none of us are perfect and we all need forgiveness.
Before I get started, I would like to ask for prayer. The last couple of days have been rough and then our son got sick last night, so please pray for our health. We had a very hard Christmas and New Year last year and I don’t want a repeat of that. I haven’t written in a couple days because honestly I have been frustrated and dismayed about our family’s health and finances. I am giving it to God as I always do. I know He has good plans for us. I am just very tired from all the suffering and loss and I have been crying out to God for mercy. Sometimes all we can do is just rest in Jesus.
I am writing this today because I promised I would always be honest and real about my walk with Jesus. I just want to make it clear that I don’t act like I’m perfect, not in person or on this blog. I make mistakes like everybody else. I desperately need God’s grace and mercy every day! I accepted Jesus in 1996 because I realized I needed forgiveness for my sin, not because I thought I was perfect. A repentant heart says, “have mercy on me, a sinner!” A repentant heart accepts God’s Truth that all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s glory and we desperately need a Savior!
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'”
I am just doing my best to follow God and fulfill His calling on my life. The preaching of His Word that God does through me here is preaching I need to hear too. I am not out here acting like I’m perfect. I’m a sinner saved by grace too and I know how much grace and mercy has been poured out on me! The Lord called me to publish my testimony and start this blog to preach the Gospel to the world, so I obeyed Him and did it and I’m doing it now. He gave me the gift of evangelism. It’s not something I gave myself as if I could boast about it. I am just doing what He called me to do with the gifts He gave me. I am just a servant of the Most High God. Just an evangelist scribe doing his duty, nothing more.
I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ. I love Him, worship Him, and serve Him because He rescued me and my family from darkness and set us free, and He is worthy to be praised! I have laid down my life to Him because He alone is worthy of that devotion!
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Christmas is all about celebrating Jesus Christ and Jesus is all about forgiveness and love. He was born to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, so we can stand forgiven and righteous before God! This Christmas, remember how much you have been forgiven by the Blood of Jesus, and offer that same forgiveness to each other. Love each other and forgive the mistakes and shortcomings and move forward together in peace. Don’t keep a record of wrongs on each other. Give it to God and ask Him to make His love increase and overflow in your hearts!
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Sometimes we say and do things we regret. Recently, I said some things I regret and I had to ask for forgiveness. Don’t think that just because you are a Christian you are perfect now and you can’t sin. You can most definitely still sin and when we do, we must repent and carry on with Jesus. Nobody will be perfect until we see Him face to face in our new glorified bodies. However, we do have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us and those who believe in Jesus have overcome the world! We must forgive each other as Jesus has forgiven us!
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Am I perfect in being patient and kind? No. Am I perfect in not being rude and not being easily angered? No. I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect. I make mistakes and sometimes I say things that are hurtful to those I love, and I admit my mistakes and repent and ask for forgiveness when I stumble like that. Likewise, we must forgive and not hold those mistakes over each other’s heads! We must press on in Jesus!
We all desperately need Jesus more than we realize! Salvation is immediate upon your confession of faith in Jesus Christ and you are sealed by the Holy Spirit who is given to you the moment you believe (Ephesians 1:13-14). The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit inside of you convicting you of sin and leading you in all truth is a lifelong process that will continue until your last breath (John 16:5-15). You are not perfect just because you believe in Jesus. Believe me, if you have the Holy Spirit, then you will feel the Lord’s conviction on your heart if you say or do something sinful or hurtful to someone. My advice is to follow the Spirit’s lead and repent and make it right immediately!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
God wants us to love each other and forgive each other like He loves and forgives us! Let us forget what is behind and press on in Jesus! Let us strain with all our hearts toward what is ahead and be found loving and forgiving each other! None of us are perfect and we all need His forgiveness. May we submit to the Lord and the mighty work of His Holy Spirit inside of us. May we become more and more like Jesus every day and may His will be done!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus speaking in John 13:34-35
Grace and peace to you all and Merry Christmas!