Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 1 John 2, verse 10.
After swallowing a bitter pill yesterday comes a cool drink of water today.
Jesus forgives everything. Repeat that and commit it to heart: Jesus forgives everything. He isn’t a forgiveness mechanism, like some bubble gum machine where you mess up, put in a nickel, and get a forgiveness gumball. When we genuinely confess our wrongs and regrets to Him, like we would to trusted loved ones and friends, He forgives. He fully forgives and forgets. It’s as if our transgressions never happened and we are free to begin again, to try harder, to live in the way He asks us to live.
He does it so that we can live in the light.
And when we live in the light – when we live in Christ’s forgiveness – nothing can make us mess up again. Sure, we make mistakes, and we slip and fall. We sin again. Nothing about Him can make that happen, though. It’s our choices and actions that bring about our sins. In the Son of God there is only light. In that light there is forgiveness, mercy, love, peace, and justice.
What’s more, when we bask in that light, we’re open to letting God change our ways. We want to do better than we’ve done; we want to turn from our mistakes and not make them again. We want to live a life pleasing to Him who forgave us. Most of all, we want to model Him for others and change our ways so that we don’t cause other people to mess up.
And let’s be honest about it: our sins are dark. We need God’s light. Just last night I was looking at old pictures with my son. His history class is studying the Cold War, and I showed my son pictures of my military days, when I used to follow Soviet ships and airplanes around the oceans. Those were some of the best days of my life. I had quite a lot of fun but I also remember doing many things I regret. I was immature, unkind, vulgar, cold, arrogant, and rude. In short, I was a young man. God changed all that. It has taken many years – and even worse times when I’ve regressed – but God has been at work in my life. I’m thankful for the days I lived through, but I wouldn’t want to again be the man I was.
I wouldn’t want that because Jesus forgave everything. He asks that we do better, that you and I do better. Sometimes that’s tough, but the light shining in our lives makes it possible and desirable.
Lord of light, shine in my life today. Open my eyes that others may see Your light in them, and that you may be glorified.