When Sin Brutalizes You

Detail of Painting by Rembrandt, “Return of the Prodigal Son”

There are three things for certain.

#1 You will never forget your sins.

#2 God has forgotten them.

#3 The Devil will try very hard to condemn you for your past.

 

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There are some days that are harder then others.  You see, I have lived profligately, harmed many, and influenced others to do evil.  I have wounded and hurt people very deeply.  There are days when I have this mental image of myself– I’m a ‘Fountain of Feces’ spewing and polluting my filth to anyone passing by.

But I am also the Prodigal.  I’ve squandered everything.  It’s gone.  I’ve been to the pig pen.  Filthy and starving.  Coming to my senses, I decide to return home, and sell myself to the employ of Him I once called “Father.”

But the most outrageous thing has happened.  It is so wildly fantastic that it defies any reason.    (I hardly dare to think it real).  The man who I once called “Father” refuses to listen to my list of sins.  He has embraced me, dressed me, established me as a son.  I have new shoes, and a signet ring.

I am a wonder to behold. A feast of unparalleled joy is waiting.  I pinch myself– is this really happening to me?  Those days in the pig pen, what a stupid waste.  I want to weep and shout for joy– all at the same time!  It doesn’t seem real.

The subject of my grossness and sin has been forgotten.  I have not been interrogated or punished.  (Since then, I’ve learned that Someone else took this on.)  But my perversity and my iniquity has never, ever been discussed.  Their is no list of my sin, no cataloging has taken place.  The promises tell me that my past sin has been put on a big barge, and shipped to the deepest part of the ocean– and dumped!

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Micah 7:19

As critical-thinking believers, with just a modicum of divine truth, what we do with our personal sin is huge.  It determines much about our walk.  We function out of our past.  The plant is rooted in something.  But our Father has turned our prodigal past into our personal future of total redemption.

Look at your greatest pain.  The Holy Spirit will very likely take that deep, deep bruise and turn it into your greatest ministry.  And He does it without resorting to a list of your ugly, ugly sin.  You see, He has already forgotten it.

“The question is who are we going to side with? God says our sins are past, cleansed, and gone. You cannot go on with God until you stand on His Word as cleansed with the heart made pure.”  

Smith Wigglesworth

ybic,

Bryan (the Prodigal)

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God Really Wants to Forgive You

forgiveness

“But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts.” 

Luke 7:42

When you are in debt, whether $50 or $50,000 there is that anxiety of being in slavery to the lender.  And when we begin to line up the spiritual with the physical we learn that we are all in debt.  We all owe more than we have. Most of us realize this, and many just “turn off the spiritual apparatus” that seems to keep harping on this, and then we tell ourselves repeatedly that it really isn’t true.

All are in debt.  Of course not everyone is the same, we have different sins.  Some have lived a deliberately dark, prodigal life (as in “drugs, sex and rock-n-roll”).  Others, embracing a strained moralism of some kind, have apparently sinned less (think choir boys, “Snow White”).  But no matter, for “all have sinned and fallen short.”  All means all. Fallen means a complete collapse.

In this parable, Jesus adroitly tells the story of two men who were indebted to a very rich man.  One owed a relatively small amount, but yet it was significant enough for this man to worry and to hope maybe for some mercy.  He knew that he owed, and knew he lacked the means to pay what was required.

The second man owed far more, many times beyond the first man.  This guy was very deep in debt.  The modern equivalent was close to $50,000, and in ancient times this would have been a staggering amount of money.  But he too held out for mercy; and hoped for the forgiveness of his debt (stranger things have happened). The astonishing thing is that the rich man completely and unreservedly forgave both. 

Kindness alone was that which motivated him.  These two men would be released without any conditions, liens or liabilities.  They walked into the room expecting imprisonment, and they walked out with all their debts forgiven. Plain and simple.jail-free The amazing fact for you and me is this– we have been released from the ponderous weight of our sins, and yet we are really confused.  The sins have been taken from us and we bear them no more!  The guilt of your transgressions has been cut away from your soul.

The work of Jesus Christ dying on that cross, not for His sin, but for mine, ours and theirs, allows even the most vile of us to walk, scot-free.

Some who read this have committed spectacular sins. You have piled up more sin and evil than others around you.  But no matter, it’s all forgiven.  It’s time to believe this, take your pardon and walk out into the bright sunshine as a free man or woman. There is no record of your sins, you can scour heaven and earth looking for it and there is no evidence.  Except for His nail-prints. &

ybic, Bryan

 

A Fatal Disease Called Sin

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Hebrews 7:25

This defies reason.  No matter how diseased your spirit, or black and vile your sin, Jesus reaches you.  He takes extreme cases, and loves each person who comes.  Mercy is the real currency of the Kingdom of God.

“Our Saviour kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’ And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.”

Max Lucado 

The Kingdom is thriving.  “Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.”  The behavior of our Lord is astonishing.  He cleanses us daily from the sin and darkness we commit.  He stands in a place of intense intervention for us.  He is a gifted intercessor and prays consistently and efficiently. 

Dialysis is a medical procedure that works to cleanse and purify a person’s blood. Those with sick kidneys can hook up to a device that filters out toxins and wastes out. It is an intervention that exists until a healthy kidney can be found. Often, in times of prayer and worship, I picture my own heart being cleansed from sin. People sometimes miss their dialysis– this can lead to confusion and mental impairment. You might say that Jesus is God’s mechanism for healing my soul.

Being touched by Him is the only reason we live.  We have no reason and there is no relevance without being with Him.  Our issues (which some call weaknesses) are His way of blessing us.  “In our weaknesses, we become strong”.

@

ybic, Bryan