Every week, One Community Church presents words of reflection by one of it’s partners in the form of a devotional. This week’s devotional was written by L.L. Leonard.The Word:
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” I Timothy 1:12-16 (NASB)
There have been plenty of times in my life when I felt that God would not forgive the filthy sins I had committed. I couldn’t believe that someone could be forgiven over and over for the same sins. Although I constantly begged for forgiveness, without fail, I found myself doing or saying those same things again. Eventually, I started to feel like I couldn’t go to God again to ask for mercy anymore. This led me to deep depression, overwhelming guilt, and numbness to my sin. My heart had become cold, cynical, and hardened. After several run-ins with the legal system, I was finally broken! I knew that I wanted God. I needed God. I so desperately wanted an authentic relationship with the Lord. Little did I know, that all God wanted from me was total surrender. I had to give my life fully to God, and rely solely on His Holy Spirit to direct my actions. My life is committed to doing His will. I want Him to use my life as an example of His glory and to fulfill His purpose for me.
Is there anything we’ve done and consider unforgivable? What current struggles are keeping us from completely surrendering to the Lord? How are we working to totally surrender ourselves to what God wants for us?
When the guilt, shame, and depression attempts to tell us that we are not good enough for God’s purposes, let us stop, pray, and remember that we are worthy of service to Jesus.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for your gracious forgiveness and mercy! We honor you for redeeming our lives from sin. Help us surrender our lives to You wholeheartedly. Amen.