“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
God’s holiness demands justice, but His love shows mercy.
A little boy who was visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods but he could never hit his target. As he came back to his grandma’s backyard, he spied her pet duck. On an impulse, he took aim and let it fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead.
The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all but she said nothing. After lunch that day, his grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck!” So Johnny did the dishes.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it anymore. He confessed to his grandma that he’d killed the duck. “I know, Johnny,” she said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”
Could your Christian life be compared to Johnny’s life? Always living in fear your sin or failure will be found out? Why live in slavery to sin when you can enjoy the freedom Christ offers you?
As His children, He wants us to come to Him and confess our sins. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” There is no sin in our lives that God doesn’t already know about. He was there when you committed it!
Many Christians avoid repenting for their sins because they fear God’s wrath and judgment. Although God is a holy God and hates sin, He loves you as His child. Like Johnny’s grandmother, He stands ready to forgive you if you only ask.
Are you “hiding” some sin from God right now? Friend, realize He knows about it and more than anything He longs to forgive and restore you, not punish you. Repent of your sin to God and seek His forgiveness right now. Also, thank Him that as a loving Heavenly Father He offers you forgiveness each time you fall. –Dr. Paul Chappell