I John 1:8-9 8If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. 9If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
I know we are studying the cross and we will continue that topic tomorrow, but I just experienced something that we can learn a few things from today. My four year old son can be a handful at times. I have used every disciplinary tactic known to man or woman, and still sometimes have difficulty keeping him in line. He is a sweet boy and a great kid, but sometimes he just would rather do his own thing rather than what mommy or daddy say. This morning we went to meet daddy for a bagel and he was a little rambunctious. He got in trouble and we headed home. When we pulled up in the driveway I told him to get out of his seat and come to the door. When I turned around he was in the very back of the van, opening windows. I told him once again to get his shoes and come to the door NOW. He stopped to pick up some markers that had fallen on the floor. Again I said come on. He was warned then informed that he would be receiving a spanking because he wouldn’t listen and obey. (Yes I do believe in spanking when necessary) He started crying and asking for one more chance. However since he was already on strike four or five I told him no. As we were walking in the front door, my son then said, “But Mommy, do you forgive me?” I said, “Of course I forgive you, and I love you very much, but you’re still getting your spanking.” We went inside, he got his inevitable spanking, we hugged and he said he would obey from now on. I learned three very important lessons from this.
Lesson One- God is always ready with one more chance. As I was walking up the driveway I thought, “Wow, if that were me asking Jesus for one more chance He would give it to me.” I was struck for a moment how frustrated I was after 20 minutes. God has been dealing with me for 35 years, and no matter how much I frustrate Him or wear Him out, He is always ready with one more chance.
Lesson Two- God will always forgive us, regardless of what we’ve done. Today’s verse tells us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to not only forgive us, but to then cleanse our hearts.
Lesson Three- Although God will always forgive us, there are still sometimes very real consequences we have to suffer as a result of wrong actions. I forgave my son, but he still had to get that spanking.
I think of King David in 2 Samuel 11-12. He did something terrible. He committed adultery with another man’s wife, got her pregnant and then put that man in a position to be killed in hopes of covering up his actions. God was not pleased with David and found his actions evil in His sight. A Prophet was sent to David to confront him about his wrong-doing. David repented, God forgave him, but nevertheless his son died. He did get another chance and then had Solomon who was one of the greatest kings of Israel.
Regardless of things you have done, God is perfectly willing to make you new and whole. If you pray like David did in Psalm 51:10-12 10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. He will be faithful to forgive you, to cleanse you, and to walk with you through anything you have to go through.