Truth #8: You have been forgiven
Maybe you’ve done some dumb things. Maybe you don’t think you’ve really done that much that needs forgiving. Many people don’t think they need forgiveness.
A couple years ago, a reporter sat down with Donald Trump and asked him the question, “have you asked God for forgiveness?” He answered, “If I do something wrong, I do my best to try and make it right. I don't bring God into the picture.”
You’d be shocked with how many people agree with this line of thinking! So many people think that when you die, if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, then you’re all set! There’s a couple problems with this though:
- A few good deeds may outweigh a few bad deeds. But lets say that a rich man saved a million lives by donating most of his money to the poor. If he went out and killed a person, the judge doesn’t look at his goodness - he looks at the crime that’s been committed. His good deeds are meaningless, and he’s guilty of murder. A righteous judge would sentence him to prison.
- When we sin against God, we are totally unable to “make it right” on our own. If you** went out and got covered in mud, you are totally incapable of making yourself clean; you need something clean to get the dirty off of you. You can’t take a muddy hand and wipe mud off your face and call yourself clean - you need a shower!
Isaiah 64 says this: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
The Bible is very clear on this truth: we need forgiveness. Even if you don’t think you’ve done anything that needs forgiving, this applies to you. Romans 3:23 tells us that EVERYONE has sinned. There is not a single person alive today who has never sinned.
But there is good news! You don’t have to carry that weight of your sin anymore! You have been forgiven and freed. 2 Corinthians tells us that if you are in Christ, if you have made Him your Lord and Savior, that you are a brand new person; the old has gone and the new has come! 1 John also says this: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Confess your sins and be forgiven!
Truth #9: God loves you
Jesus plainly told us, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will** have eternal life.”
But here’s the thing about love: you don’t say it, you have to show it. You have to experience God’s love! The way you do that is by talking to Him! I know my parents love me because when I was under their roof for 25 years, they cared for me, and showed me how much they loved me by how much they sacrificed, and all the work they did just to keep me well fed.
In this same way, you need to experience God’s love, because Love is who He is - 1 John tells us this!
Jesus told us in John 15 that Love is spoken through sacrifice: “greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends.” Every now and then, someone may give his life for a good person. But Jesus showed us His love by dying for us on a cross while we were still sinners; we were unworthy of His love, but He died a sinner’s death for us anyway!
When we draw near to God in faith, Ephesians 3 tells us that we can grasp just how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love is!
Truth #10: God doesn’t just love you; he likes you too
Have you ever gotten your tail whipped by your parents? Maybe you were horsing around the house and knocked over an expensive vase and broke it, and your parents spanked you. Maybe you let a bad word slip out and your mom spanked you and then washed your mouth out with soap.
It doesn’t feel like love whenever you’re being punished or disciplined. A friend of mine said that when he was younger and had gotten into trouble, his mom said “I love you. But I do not like you right now.”
This is not how God is with us! In Matthew 23, Jesus says this: How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
It sounds to me like Jesus is wanting to give a great big hug! He is lamenting which means He’s sad, because He wants to pull His children close but His children won’t let Him. Does that sound like someone who doesn't like His kids?
God creatively and uniquely put you together. There is nobody else in 7 billion who is just like you in all the world! The closer you get to God, the more you will realize that God is not trying to fit you inside of any box. Your personality is not the sinfulness that God wants to get rid of. God wants to get rid of the pride, envy, lust and hatred that causes you to fall into sin. But the culprit here is your heart, not your personality. God wants to give you a new heart, but this doesn't mean a lifetime of only having Christian hobbies, wearing Christian clothing, listening to Christian music, eating Christian food, driving a Christian car, going to a Christian job, and only having Christian friends.
In other words: God doesn't want you to stop playing video games so that you can play sports instead; He doesn't want you to stop listening to Rock n' Roll so that you can start listening to country music; when you grow up, He doesn't want you to drive a pickup truck if you would rather drive a hybrid; He doesn't want you to stop wearing blue jeans and tee shirts so that you can wear slacks and polos instead; He doesn't want you to stop being YOU so that you can try and be somebody else; you are free** to be you! God likes you just the way you are!