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Does God Still Want Me?

One of the gifts I believe the Lord has given me is the gift of encouragement. I primarily use the gift to remind people to stay strong, stay in the fight, don't get discourage by life's trials. However, there is also another kind encouragement we need. It's not the kind that keeps us focused, or reminds us that Jesus is real, He is the truth and we should give Him everything. It's a different kind of encouragement. It's the kind we need when we find ourselves in the same position as the prodigal son.

Have you ever been there? Or are you there now? By there I mean sin. You've done something or tripped up and it's something you thought you were past, something you swore you wouldn't get trapped in again or you thought by this point you'd be done with that sin or that trespass, but nope you did it again.

As we mature as Christians (yes there's a progression we are working towards, to become more like Jesus everyday), our perspective and hearts will change towards sin. What was once a normal part of our B.C. (Before Christ) life is now repulsive to us as Born Again disciples. We are sensitive to the Holy Spirit because we WANT to hear from Him. We no longer want to continue to find ourselves kicking against the goads (rebelling against God's work sanctifying us). The thrill of walking with God in the moments of life brings such joy as we learn to invite Him into all the details. We ask for more of Him because we realize that He is what our souls truly long for.

Then it happens. We cave, we give in, we lose focus and we stumble. We make excuses for ignoring the Holy Spirit. We decide He didn't really say and/or mean "that". The battle begins in our minds and is lost eventually when we give in to whatever it is we ought not to have done, thought or said. Then begins another batter of internal disappointment. It isn't from fear of what God is going to do to "punish" us, rather it's from a place of genuine sadness that we opted to close out the One we want more than anything. We mistreated Him. Closed Him out, rejected His truth. For what? A fleeting pleasure, a moment of weakness?

It's in this moment we are at a fork in the road and we have to decide what our next step is going to be. There is one direction that will continue to lead us on a path of self-destruction. That path is well lit, welcoming and it's abundantly decorated with shame and additional temptation. It will say things like, "You've gone too far now, better just give up." Or "Why would Jesus want you now?"

The other direction is so well lit, it might even hurt to look at it directly because it's pure light and truth. It's a more painful step, because we have to step into the light and come face to face with our failure. However, after the first few steps it's actually sweeter because with it comes kindness, grace, mercy, forgiveness and restoration. It is also abundantly decorated but it's signs look a lot more like this:

  • Romans 2:4 "...God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"

  • Psalm 103:8-12 "

8The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

slow to anger, abounding in love.

9He will not always accuse,

nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10he does not treat us as our sins deserve

or repay us according to our iniquities.

11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his love for those who fear him;

12as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

  • Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

  • Psalm 130:3-4 "3If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? 4But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you."

  • 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Sin, transgressions, trespasses, willfully ignoring the Holy Spirit are all egregious and should be avoided at all cost (because it comes with a cost, that is less and less appetizing as we mature). We have to resurrect a dead man to engage in behavior that belongs with our old self. But as long as we live in bodies, from time to time we will find ourselves sinning. The apostle John brilliantly lays this out in 1 John (p.s. this is me nudging you to go read the entire book of 1 John in one sitting).

1 John 2:1-2 "1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

So yes, God still wants you. He still loves you. He is running towards you to bring you home, "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." Luke 15:11

His grace and mercy are abundant and you still have a job in His kingdom. Only one in His kingdom needed to wear flesh and be perfect, and Praise God we get to put our faith in Him: Jesus.

So if you find yourself on the wrong side of a mistake, when you are at the fork in the road dealing with the aftermath: choose the overwhelmingly bright and slightly painful path to repentance and back home, you have a Father ready to embrace you with open arms.

~Your Sister~


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Lana Leonard
Lana Leonard
Jan 10, 2023

Heading to read the entire book of 1 John in one sitting…


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