Yesterday I was talking with a woman who regularly shops at the store our church operates. I would guess her to be around 35, and since she comes in the store at least once a week, I’ve gotten to know a few things about her. I know that she was born and raised in Texas, but came to our city because of a man she was involved with. I know she has lived most of her life in a state of rebellion - against God, her family, and local authorities. And I know she recently became a Christian through a faith-based recovery program she’s been attending.
So when I saw her yesterday, I was eager to hear how she’s doing in her new-found faith. We had a few minutes of chit-chat about life in general, and then I asked her how she was doing in her walk with God. She responded simply and directly: “I can’t seem to fully accept His forgiveness. I’ve just done too many bad things.”
I could understand her struggle, as I know from my own experience that it’s sometimes hard to fully accept that God has forgiven our sins - all of them. But I reminded my friend of the truth that, since we’ve asked Him to, He has forgiven us - and He will continue to. Romans 3:22 makes this clear, as it tells us: “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”
Because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, full forgiveness is offered no matter what we’ve ever done wrong, or how deeply we’ve sinned. God offers forgiveness to us freely, completely, instantly, and repeatedly. So it doesn’t matter who we are. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, who we’ve done it with, how long we did it, or where we did it - we can be saved, and forgiven. Anything and everything is forgiven when we trust in Jesus Christ and ask Him to wash us clean.
So whatever secret guilt, regrets, or shame we’re carrying around with us, today let’s lay them at the feet of the One who has promised to forgive us. Let’s confess our sins to God, and accept the work Jesus did on the cross in order to save us. And then, let’s fully embrace the grace and new life that comes with that forgiveness.