We have so much to be grateful for, but these days seem to breed an abundance of disgust, grumbling, and complaining. Naturally, we seem too drawn to the latter, but why? Why does that old statement hold so much truth, “Bad news travels fast?”
Thursday was our annual observance for the National Day of Prayer. Personally I seized the opportunity to gather for two different services. As I gathered with men and women at one location I was so filled with joy and gratitude for the many blessings that I enjoy as a citizen of the United States. I was also convicted of a blessing that I tend to overlook - and I’ll bet you do as well.
In recent days, I listened to a recent sermon delivered at Woodstock Church by Pastor Johnny Hunt. He shared a story about himself helping a lady gain a pardon through then Georgia governor, Mr. Sonny Perdue. The pardon never happened because the wasn’t enough time to complete the process before Perdue’s term as governor expired. But in that story, I learned that in order to be considered for a pardon, the criminal was expected to admit guilt.
Our greatest blessing as a church, family, individual, community, nation, and world is the opportunity to be pardoned (forgiven). The Bible teaches us that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” and “the wages of sin is death.” But God came to dwell among humanity in the person of Jesus Christ and Jesus willingly gave his life as a sacrifice for our sin on a criminal’s cross...but Jesus wasn’t a criminal. He was tempted in every way just as you and I are, yet he never sinned. And through his death we can be fully pardoned (forgiven). The Bible tells us that our sins can be forgiven and will be remembered no more.
Like the lady seeking a full pardon in Georgia, we can be fully forgiven and set free if we will acknowledge our sin and seek God’s forgiveness offered to everyone who calls upon the name of the Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
And as we follow and obey Jesus for the rest of our days, we have the opportunity available to us to come to Jesus and confess our sins. He will forgive us and enable you and me to turn from that sin and move on.
The next time we’re tempted to complain, grumble, and be disgusted, let’s pause and be grateful for the great blessing of God’s forgiveness!
In Christ Alone!
Pastor Carlyle Hall, Jr.
Carlyle Hall, Jr.