11 Apr 2018
Some days we feel broken. Shattered. Useless. We wonder if God could ever find us useful to Him.
We need to remember that even if our lives are completely blown up, they can be repaired. God is a repairman who fixes shattered lives and makes them whole again. His tools are conviction, confession, repentance, and forgiveness of sin. These are the tools of deep, permanent, personal change in our lives.
One of the dangerous facts about sin is that the more it increases, the more our awareness of it often decreases. We become numb to our own inner rebellion. We need the touch of the Holy Spirit—or friends who are willing to be honest with us—to make us aware of our sins. Conviction is the first great tool in God’s repair shop.
Once convicted, we must confess our sins to God. When we confess them, we are agreeing with God that we are not in tune with His plan for our lives. Our confessions to Him tune the radio of our hearts to the exact frequency, bringing clear music into our souls.
When we repent, we turn away from our sinful behavior. We admit that the problem lies in us. When we repent, we give God permission to begin His repair work.
God’s forgiveness is like the finish coat of paint on an old toy. It makes it look new again. Forgiveness helps us begin to feel worthwhile again. Our spirits are made whole. We can begin to perceive ourselves as worthy because we are worthy in God’s eyes.
29 Feb 2016
On one hand, salvation is a simple matter. When we trust Jesus to take away our sins, we are made right in God’s sight. C. S. Lewis said, “The central Christian belief is that Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start.”
On the other hand, salvation is a serious matter—it cost Christ His life in order to free us from our sin. Sin created a deep valley between a perfect God and imperfect humans. We cannot bridge this gap on our own. We need help, just as a person who’s in debt needs someone with money to pay off the debt.
God sent Jesus into the world to pay our debt and to be the only way to be reconciled with Him. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin so that we could again be in a deep relationship with God.
Why didn’t God just snap His fingers and make sin go away? God is a just God. The debt for sin in our lives had to be paid. But instead of us paying the price, in God’s magnificent love He sent Jesus to earth to pay that price (see “The Power of the Cross” blog post). He died on the cross for our sins. After three days in the tomb, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared before many witnesses. The debt had been paid. Henry Drummond wrote, “The sense of the infinite worth of the single soul, and the recoverableness of man at his worst are the gifts of Christ. The freedom from guilt and the forgiveness of sins come from Christ’s Cross; the hope of immortality springs from Christ’s grace.”
Salvation changes our lives. It frees us from guilt, remorse, shame, and fear. We’ve all heard the motto Change the behavior, and you change the person. But most of us know that motto is bankrupt. The truth is: Change the person, and behavior changes.