Sometimes we have the misconception
that we have to be perfect to attend church. We want to conquer
our sins and display ourselves as lily-white, picture perfect
Christians before we submit to the authority of Jesus Christ and
join a body of believers.
When we think this way,
we have put the cart before the horse.
It is only once we have
submitted ourselves to Jesus and have the Holy Spirit actively
working in our lives that we can begin conquering sin. It is not
an overnight process.
We conquer sin day by
day as we walk with Jesus and develop a loving relationship with
I heard a quote that I
though was very apropos: "Church is a hospital for sinners, not
a museum for saints." Since we all have sinful human nature, we
desperately need to go to the "hospital" to get well. God is the
source of our healing.
In Proverbs 3, He asks
us to trust in Him with our whole heart and acknowledge Him in
all our actions. In verse 8, He says: "It will be healing to your
body, and refreshment to your bones."
We may live under the
fallacy that we have drifted so far from God that we can never
come back to Him.
We may be living an immoral
life; perhaps we have committed a crime; or maybe we have just
been living such an apathetic life that we don*t know where to start making changes
in our lifestyle. The place to begin is to go before Jesus and
be completely, brutally honest. Express your pain, your anger,
your indifference and ask Him to create a new heart in you, to
come into your life and be your Lord and Master.
Picture this scenario.
Peter has been living and working with Jesus through his three
and one-half year ministry. He knows Jesus intimately and He loves
When Jesus tells Peter
He is going to be crucified and that Peter will deny Him three
times before the cock crows, Peter vehemently denies he would
do this. Let*s read what happened when Peter was
confronted. Luke 22:60-62 says: "But Peter said, "Man I do not
know what you are talking about."
And immediately, while
he was still speaking, a cock crowed. And the Lord turned and
looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord,
how He had told him, "Before a cock crows today, you will deny
Me three times."
And he went out and wept
We have done many things
in our lives which we are not proud of; whether we admit it or
not we know that God sees us; however, none of us have ever
had to look directly into the eyes of God after we have just
Now Peter had two choices:
he could have walked away, feeling like a failure or he could
have repented, come back to Jesus and then went forward in his
Christian walk. Peter chose the latter.
When he went out and wept,
he was convicted in his conscious of the wrong he had done and
his deep need for Jesus.
When we sin, we face the
same choices that Peter did. Peter did not let this incident incapacitate
him for the rest of his life. Yes he was ashamed and embarrassed
before Jesus, but instead of giving up he let it spur him on to
a life of even greater service.
Don*t ever let anyone convince you that
God is harsh, cruel or unforgiving. Never fall into the trap of
thinking that you have done something so awful that you can never
come back to God. Instead, open up your heart and use your past
mistakes as a catalyst to a greater commitment to Jesus and a
deeper appreciation of His mercy. His forgiveness and His unfailing