I’m in a pretty good place in my life right now. For the first time in memory I have no drama’s, no big problems, no impending crisis stressing me out.
Some of the reason for that is the medication, and counselling, that has cleared up my anxiety and depression and some of the reason is my job. It is not an easy job in some ways but it’s a piece of cake in others.
I work 48 hours doing seven shifts a fortnight and get paid almost as much as I used to get for full time hours. My bosses are very supportive and happy with my work so there is almost no chance of losing my job. I have been able to clear my credit debts and stay out of debt so things are fairly rosy for me right now.
Don’t get me wrong, things aren’t perfect, there are bills coming in, health problems, addictions I can’t shake and things I need that I can’t pay for yet but nothing major is going wrong in my life right now.
That means, however, I don’t turn to God much so I don’t hear from him much. In the back of my mind I know I am letting him down by being so self-centered but I don’t want him to spoil my serenity.
Last night I went to bed and, as I do every time I put my head on the pillow, I asked forgiveness for all my sins in a ritual prayer.
It’s something God instructed me to do as often as possible to keep the communication channel between us clear and I have obeyed that instruction. I keep the channel clear but I rarely tune into it these days.
Last night, however, I opened up a bit and talked to God about all the ways I am failing him. I invited him to do his will in me and in my life.
This morning I woke up drenched in sweat and feeling healthier and more physically relaxed than usual. I opened my mind to God and asked him if there was anything I could do for him.
He said yes, write a blog entry about love, his love. He said he would give me the words so I am sitting here now waiting for him to speak. I have gone blank and don’t know what to say next.
“People don’t believe you are a proper Christian,” he is telling me, “they think you have serious mental problems of your own. They read your entries about being addicted to cigarettes, diet coke, gambling and computer games and they think you are just deluding yourself.
Tell them my love is not reserved for saints. I love people, real people, people who struggle to do even the simplest thing for me or themselves such as give up smoking.
Tell them I do not see you as they see you. Tell them every time you lay your head on your pillow and obey my instruction to cleanse yourself in the blood, the sacrifice, of my son you wipe away the past and I see you as perfect.
Tell them I see into your heart. I know you don’t ask forgiveness to escape the consequences of your ongoing sinning. I know you ask forgiveness to please me. You do it because I told you to do it.
There are many things I want you to do or stop doing. Some of them you know and some you are not yet aware of but my love for you is not dependent on anything you do apart from one thing.
Accept the sacrifice that was made for you – keep yourself clean and free of sin the only way you can – with the blood of Christ.
Never stray too far from that blood and you will never stray too far from me. I am not a man. I do not respond as a man would do. I promised forgiveness from sin to those who accept the sacrifice of my son and that is what I give. When you wash yourself in the blood of Christ all that you have done wrong up to that point is wiped out of my memory. You start anew. Not once, not twice, not a thousand times, not two thousand times, EVERY TIME!
People struggle to understand that. They cannot imagine a love so perfect it can forgive, endlessly, the same sins. Even preachers struggle to understand it. They say there is a limit to how often you can continue to sin but there is no limit to the power of the blood of my son.
People think it would be too easy for evil people to sin, get my forgiveness, then sin again. They imagine murderers killing, asking forgiveness, then killing again. They don’t understand the power of my love.
Those who truly accept the sacrifice of my son accept my love and it is not possible to accept my love without being changed by it.
My love has changed you, we both know that, just as we both know it will continue to change you. All you have to do is keep believing that I will forgive when you ask in the name of my son.
It sounds simple and easy. It is simple and easy. Millions of souls who do not really believe in me find it simple and easy to repeatedly ask my forgiveness. They do it as a ritual even though they don’t believe. It is the ones who really believe in me and in Christ who find asking forgiveness so hard to do yet they are the ones who will actually be forgiven when they ask.
Tell your readers this – salvation is not about them – it is about me and my love for them. It is not about what they can do to keep my love – it is about what I have done to keep sin from costing me THEM.
I don’t want to lose them, any of them, but I cannot be with sinners. I know too much about what sin does to the sinner and to others. I can only come close to souls who are clean of sin and the only way a soul can be clean of sin is if it washes itself in the blood of Christ regularly.
Those of my children who do not do this are the ones who find me a little distant, hard to hear, deaf to their prayers. It is not that I love them less, it is that I can’t get near them, the stench of their sins keeps me at bay.
Tell them it is impossible for them to be completely free of sin.
Every cent they spend on anything other than basic survival is a cent wasted that could have saved a life lost to starvation for example. Even Mother Theresa treated herself to a slice of bread she didn’t actually need to stay alive now and then.
She lived a harder life than I would have liked for her as a matter of fact but she was doing what she wanted to do for me. They call her a saint but she knew she was still a sinner.
I know it is impossible for my children to keep themselves free of sin. There are so many sins they do not even realise are sins so I don’t ask that of them. I just ask them to cleanse themselves of their sins regularly so I can get closer to them and they can get the full benefits of my love.
Tell them I love them and there is no limit to that. I love them so much I sent Christ to die for them and I love him so much I will forgive any who call on his sacrifice no matter what they have done or how often they have done it.”
I could have done without knowing some of that. When I think how many lives could have been saved with the money I have spent on cigarettes alone over the past 36 years I don’t feel so good.
More and more I am starting to wish I could quit smoking, stop gambling, be a whole lot less wasteful with the money God gives me.