“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1: 5-9
I was showering one day when I heard a noise outside the bathroom. I’m in an apartment in New York City for a season of being out on the road for my ministry work, with neighbors close by, so I was hoping it wasn’t paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon doing his on-again, off-again “talking”. Mr. Simeon goes through long stretches of becoming enormously vocal. Some say he’s barking. I’m utterly convinced he talks. He even has the facial expressions and mannerisms to go with it, and he knows exactly when to start up. He also, unfortunately, even sometimes with several bark collars on at a time, gleefully, joyfully, happily will go right on “talking”. By the time I got out of the shower, I knew it was Mr. Simeon “talking”. But wouldn’t you know, as soon as I went into the room where he lay on his big dog bed with the other dogs nearby, Mr. Simeon peacefully, serenely, contentedly lay there as though he had never uttered a single sound. Mr. Simeon was now Mr. Innocent. I suppose he figured he hadn’t done a single thing wrong since he hadn’t been caught in the act, and that he didn’t deserve to be reprimanded or to have any consequences for his wrongdoing. He knows well and good he’s not supposed to “talk” all the time, but how could Mommy scold or punish him since he had been perfectly well behaved from start to finish – in his own doggy eyes anyway? Do you think I didn’t know what he had done wrong? Of course I did! I’m no fool.
Neither is God a fool, friend. But we’re fools when we try to convince ourselves God doesn’t see our sins, and that there aren’t consequences for them. God sees our sins right down to our sinful thoughts. And ALL sin, yes ALL SIN, needs to be turned away from. We need God’s forgiveness for all our sins, and we need God’s strength to learn to live free from them. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay our sin penalty so all who believe He is Lord and died on the cross and was raised from the dead, truly committing our lives to Christ, are forgiven and promised everlasting life. But seeking and receiving God’s forgiveness for our sins is not a one-time occurrence. We need as Christ’s followers to practice a lifestyle of turning away from wrongdoing. Pretending sin isn’t there, trying to convince ourselves God doesn’t see our struggles with sin, trying to hide it from those who could offer us love, hope, help, support, encouragement, prayer, and guidance with the Bible and in our relationship with God, this isn’t the way to live as a Christ follower.
What do we need to do? Seek and receive and be thankful for God’s forgiveness as we learn to live righteously before and through Him. In His glorious forever amazingly awesome love and healing light, Amen!