December 25, 2022

The Shepherd's Corner

Once I talked to man who told me that he had not prayed for quite some time.  He did not want to pray not because he didn’t love God but rather because he was ashamed of himself.  You see, he had just fallen into sin; consequently, he felt stained and unworthy to come to the Holy God, let alone, to receive His forgiveness.  I admired his attitude toward God’s holiness but sadly, he was wrong about God.  

Listen to what the angel said to Joseph about the baby conceived by Mary, “She will give birth to a son and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).  Commenting on this, Corrie ten Boom writes, “Sometimes we do not grasp that truth and even after we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we worry about a sin in the past which still burdens us.  It is as if we write after the promise of the angel, ‘except this sin which I have committed.’ “ Jesus came to die for and forgave ALL our sins.

We should take sin seriously; we should not take it lightly.  But sin should not stop us from coming to God for His forgiveness and full acceptance.  J. I. Packer reminds us, “What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that He knows me . . . . There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery can now disillusion Him about me.”

We can be disillusioned and disappointed in people upon knowing their previously shadowed sides, but God will never.  Long before He called us, He had already known us—and what would become of us—but that did not stop Him from calling us.  In fact, He’d known what the world would do to His Son, but that didn’t halt Him from sending Jesus into the world. Nothing can stop Him from loving us.

Pastor Paul

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