It is very common for us to sometimes feel that we have simply done something too horrific, or been so ‘bad’for so long, that we convince ourselves that there is no way that God could ever love us or forgive us. Ours sins are just too much, or too bad, or we have been doing the same sins for so long that we are now simply a lost cause.
If this describes you, please let me remind you about the Apostle Paul. In 1 Timothy 1:13 Paul says this, “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted out of ignorance and unbelief.” In case you forgot or have not read about Paul in the Bible, Paul was the number one persecutor and killer of Christians in his day. There was not a single Christian who was safe when Paul was around, including women and children who were burned in their own homes as they slept. Paul was considered one of the greatest Old Testament scholars of his day as well, but he simply did not believe that Jesus was Christ and anyone who did believe that was fair game for him.
In short, Paul was not a nice man. In fact he was a stone cold killer of Christians. As Paul was on the Damascus road, Jesus came to him and literally brought him to his knees. To paraphrase, Jesus told Paul, “enough is enough.” Paul was blinded on the spot and given some time to re-think his life. When he finally came to his senses, his was given his sight, and then guess what – he was forgiven!!!!
Moses killed an Egyptian, yet he went on to lead the people out of bondage. King David had his best friend killed because he wanted his best friend’s wife for himself and after a time where David spent months crying out loud in the streets and praying for forgiveness, God called David, “a man after His own heart.” The Bible is full of stories of regular people who were sinners just like us, yet they turned their lives around and are now waiting to meet us in Heaven.
Let Paul be a lesson to us all – we are going to mess up – sometimes really, really bad. But rest assured that God still loves you no matter what and He is simply waiting on us to ask for His forgiveness, accept Jesus as the Christ and our Savior, and begin living our lives putting others ahead of ourselves, just like Paul did.
Remember after Paul was saved he spent the better part of his life in prison. As he was in prison, he managed to write most of the New Testament and he converted more people to Jesus than anyone else of his day.
As long as you draw breath, it is never too late! Stop beating yourself up and start living!! Paul would want you to!
Pastor Brad Komgenick