Sunday, September 16, 2018

Best News Ever

September 16 (1 John 2:1-2)

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.  (NLT)

You will not read anything better today than these two verses.  Absolutely nothing.  Take them apart bit by bit and see what I mean.  First, the Bible gives us guidance so that we will not sin.  This itself is pretty good news, because no matter how smart we think we are, we are not always going to get things right.  Proverbs 14:12 makes clear what our own experience has proven time and again.  We may think something is right, but in the end we are proven wrong, often disastrously so.

Yet even when we know right from wrong, we will still sin, and when that happens, all is not ruined.  We have someone who will plead our case with God, and that someone is Jesus.  Now, Jesus is not going to say, “Father, cut her some slack.  She was just having a bad day.”  He won’t say, “Don’t count this sin against him, Father.  His own family acted that way, and he didn’t have any good role models.”  No, Jesus will go before His Father and ours and say, “This one is one of mine.  This one had a perfect lamb to cover all sins with its blood, and I was that lamb.”

The other day I was reading those verses and could not take my eyes off those words.  Just sit with them for a few moments.  Don’t read anything else for a moment and let the incomprehensible, monumental, reality-changing truth of the gospel of Jesus wash over you and penetrate deep into your heart and soul and mind.  This is the essence of the Christian faith, my friends, and there is nothing…nothing…even remotely like it.

O God, when I read the words of Your promise to forgive my sins and when I think of the blood of Jesus that made that possible, my heart is so filled with radiant love from You and for You that I can think of nothing else.  My face can do nothing but smile, and my mouth can do nothing but declare Your praise.  May the glorious light of my transformed and transforming life point others to You.  In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray.  Amen.

Copyright © 2018 by Steven R. Perkins

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