Remember the time as you were growing up you did something you were afraid to tell your parents? You were certain there was no way they would ever forgive you. You had hoped everything would just go away or you wished you could relive the disaster and make it all better. But it didn’t matter how much you wished to change the indiscretion, it wasn’t going away.
When your parents found out, they were mad, but they stilled called you their child. They still fed you and kept you under their roof. Over time, all was forgiven and forgotten. But there was a time you didn’t know if that was going to happen.
Let me ask you… Have you felt like that with God? You know, you did something so bad you thought there was no way He would ever forgive you – you could never be a part of His family again. I do remember pleading with God for His forgiveness over some awful things I did.
I thought of that as I was reading 1 Samuel 12. The Israelites had pretty much just told God, He wasn’t good enough to be their leader. The judges and the prophets God used to take care of them weren’t good enough either. Instead, they wanted a king. Of course God was angry. He even explained to them all the bad stuff that was going to happen to them because they chose a man, a little king, to rule over them instead of God, the King of kings.
The Israelites became afraid and asked the prophet Samuel to pray for them so they wouldn’t die for their sin of demanding a king. Samuel prayed and then told them this…
“Even though what you did was wrong, you don’t need to be afraid… God will always take care of you so that everyone will know how great He is.” 1 Samuel 12:20a, 22b CEV
Please notice God didn’t tell them their sin didn’t matter. But also notice He didn’t kick them to the curb. What He did tell them was even though they had made a world of mess, He would always take care of them.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: We all know somebody (might even be you) who has sinned in a way that they feel as though they can never make it right again. They’ve blown it and there’s no way they can be forgiven – by God or by others. That’s just not true and they need to hear it… they need to experience it… they need to live. Today, if you or someone you know thinks their sin is so great that God could no longer accept them, tell them the truth. God always forgives! Always!
Thank You for forgiving me and reassuring me that I’m still part of Your family. Thank You, Jesus for make that all possible by dying for my sins. It’s in Your name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen
Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.