Monday, February 22, 2016
A Story about finding forgiveness
Understanding how much God loves every single human being can be hard to grasp. Many people say they didn't fully understand how much God loves them before they became parents. As they think about how much they love their son or daughter and understand that God loves each human that much and a million times more they become overwhelmed.
God loves every human being like a parent loves a child and so much more than that. He loves you and he loves me. He loves the people with high status in our society and he loves the people our society considers worthless and unimportant. God loves us unconditionally, there is nothing we can do to make him stop loving us. This doesn't mean that God approves of everything we do, just like no parent would approve of their children doing what is wrong, but he will never stop loving us. We can lie, steal, cheat, murder, and be completely selfish and he still loves us. Many times people who have been through much hardship in life tend to understand God's love the best. They know what living life outside of God's will looks like and feels like and they know that they have done many things wrong, so God's forgiveness becomes overwhelming to them. God's grace blows their mind.
I once heard a pastor say that the people who will come to God last are the ones who think that they are "good people" and have done nothing wrong. The murderer, the thief and the prostitute knows very well that what they have done is wrong so when they learn that God can forgive them for every single mistake and give them a new life they celebrate. The man who thinks he is a great person and that his mistakes in life are "no big deal" is the one who will come to God last. This man can not see his need for God.
The truth is that we have all done mistakes in life, there is not one truly "good person" on the planet. We have all done things that are the opposite of love, and we will have to pay the price for each mistake when this life is over unless they have been forgiven by God. God's forgiveness can't be earned, it's freely given to every person when we come to him and truly regret what we have done and ask for forgiveness.
Nobody will enter heaven without first having all their sins forgiven, we all know that, so why do so many of us run away from God? Sometimes it's because we have decided that there is no such thing out there as a "God", so we won't go looking for him. Other times it's because of our pride, we don't want to admit that we did something wrong. We all remember how "fun" it was as a child to go back to our parents and say "I'm sorry". Nobody likes the feeling we get when we need to admit a mistake, but the freedom that comes when we receive forgiveness and the weight is lifted off our shoulders makes it worth it. Carrying around the guilt and shame that comes from mistakes that haven't been forgiven is no fun way to live a life. When we receive God's forgiveness there is no more shame, there is only freedom and joy.