He [Christ] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world
When Mandy came to see me, she appeared to have her life all together. She was a Christian who was very active in her church. She had led her alcoholic father to Christ on his deathbed. She was pretty, and she had a nice husband and two wonderful children. But she had attempted suicide at least three times.
"How can God love me?" Mandy sobbed. "I'm such a failure."
"Mandy, God loves you, not because you are lovable, but because it is His nature to love you."
"But I've tried to take my own life, Neil. How can God overlook that?"
"Just suppose, Mandy, that your son grew despondent and tried to take his own life. Would you love him any less? Would you kick him out of the family? Would you turn your back on him?"
"Of course not. I'd feel sorry for him and try to love him more."
"Are you telling me that a perfect God isn't as good a parent to you as you, an imperfect person, are to your children?"
Mandy got the point. She began to realize that God, as a loving parent, can overlook weaknesses and forgive sin.
God wants us to do good, of course. The apostle John wrote: "I write this to you so that you will not sin." But John continued by reminding us that God has already made provision for our failure so His love continues constant despite what we do: "But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:1
, 2 NIV ).
One reason we doubt God's love is that we have an adversary who uses every little offense to accuse us of being good-for-nothings. But your advocate, Jesus Christ, is more powerful than your adversary. He has canceled the debt of your sins--past, present and future. No matter what you do or how you fail, God has no reason not to love you and accept you completely.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for being my perfect parent, my haven of security and trustworthiness, and the victor over my enemy.
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