This year, one of the promises I have made to myself and God is that I want to read through the entire Bible. I have learned so much already and we aren’t even two months into this new year yet. It is truly amazing what God will open your eyes to if you just let him. One of the biggest things I have seen consistently throughout the few chapters I have already read through is that we, as humans, fail. We fall short, we sin, we make mistakes, big and small. No matter what the century is or how old and wise the character may be, we are all still human and therefore we all sin. From the beginning of time, Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac, David. Yes, they all played a big role in the past, so much so that they have gotten their names and stories written into the Bible for all time, but they still fell short at times.
But the then there is God, and the thing I realize about him is that he is consistently faithful in forgiving. Nothing comes at him that is unexpected. If we are going to sin, He already knows about it. Story after story that we can read in the Bible we see that those people had really amazing encounters with God. Some encounters we can read and think to ourselves that sounds impossible. Take Moses and the burning bush. Can you imagine being in the wilderness alone and God showing up in the form of a burning bush to talk to you? I would have been terrified! But then, after that encounter, Moses argues with God about not being good enough to get the Israelites out of Egypt even though God tells him he can. I bet that didn’t make God very happy. Or take the plagues that God made the Egyptians go through in order to get the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. All the locusts, rivers of blood, frogs, lice, boils, hail with fire…after all of that, the Israelites get to freedom and what do they do once there? They complain about not having good enough food and say they wish they were back in bondage with the Egyptians! Can you imagine, after roughly 450 years of bondage, you finally get to freedom and then you say to yourself “well this food isn’t as good as what we got in Egypt when we were in shackles and working day and night.” The distrust they had in God. God proved to them time after time his power and they still chose not to trust him when they hit the smallest hiccup in their journey. But God made a way for them still.
I find myself thinking as I am reading these stories, that I can’t believe that child of God is acting that way! It blows my mind to think about what God did, the signs of his power he would show, proof that he can do anything and they, his children, still would sin and fall short at times. It really has opened up my eyes to how easily we can fall into sin and how easily God will forgive us and choose to love us despite what we do. That doesn’t mean we sin intentionally time and time again and take advantage of God’s grace. But when we sin and after we are truly sorry and ask God to forgive us and to wipe our hearts clean from the sin we have committed. That is repentance. And God, being the loving father and the one who died on the cross specifically for our sins, will forgive us because he loves us unconditionally.
There will be people in our lives we may hurt unintentionally because we are human, and we make mistakes sometimes. Some people will forgive us, some will not, and we may lose a friendship or two throughout the span of our lives. Or we may be the ones being hurt by who we thought was a friend or a family member and we can choose to forgive them or not and we may lose people that we love that way. God gives us free will and we can choose whether or not we will forgive someone for hurting us and we can choose to not ask for the forgiveness when we hurt someone else. And although God will always want for us to be like him and choose to forgive seventy times seven times (if you do the math, that’s every time), He still gives us the choice in the matter. But God, he made a promise to us when he died on the cross, when he shed his blood, he did it to cover ALL sin. Not just some, not just the sins of certain “favorite” humans, but ALL sin. We may never meet another human who will forgive us each and every time we hurt them or sin. But we will always have a father who will forgive us and love us despite what we do against him or against others. Despite the sin, despite the hate we give, despite the pain we cause. He will forgive, if we turn from our ways and ask. Repentance is a beautiful gift we have been given by a God who wants nothing more than to forgive and love us. He wants to see us follow in his footsteps, to choose forgiveness every time, even with our enemies.
So, if you begin to read the Bible, which I encourage everyone to do in their lives daily, and you read the stories of people like Abraham, and you see them sinning and God forgiving them time after time, it’s not because he pays them special attention and only they get that level of forgiveness. It’s because he loves, period. He loves us all the same. He has forgiven all sin at the cross when his blood spilled out over the earth to cover every sin. Even mine, even yours. No sin is too big that God can’t forgive. All we have to do is ask and mean it from our hearts. Choose repentance today.
He gives us Roots so we can Fly. Roots and Wings.