The Bible is our story, from the beginning and the end. It's a story of God loving his children. Time and time again, his children mess up, and time and time again, God forgives them. There is a lot of complicated stuff in the Bible, but if there is one thing that can sum it all up, it's this. Every book of the Bible, every Testament, even Christ's life.
There is nothing more child-like than making mistakes. Children mess up. That's what happens to learn and grow. We have to make mistakes so we can learn and become better people. Some of us it takes more time to learn than others. Some of us we have to make the same mistakes more than once before the lesson finally sinks in.
Our key verse, Mark 10:15, reminds us that we must be like children to enter the Kingdom of God. As I have been reflecting on this, I have started to think about the difference between a child's mistakes and our adult actions. In our Wesleyan Tradition, we have the understanding that sin is
"the willful violation of the known law of God."
That is to mean, that when we make mistakes, we are not sinning. That definition of sin is interesting to me as we think about children. They are still learning what right and wrong are and how to do what is right. Many times, children have the best of intentions and don't try to hurt other people.
Children are many times willful, but they aren't trying to be spiteful. They are trying to figure out where their place is in the family and in the world. That is why it is so important for us to give them boundaries, love, and forgiveness.
Our scripture passage this morning comes from 1 John. The Apostle John, who wrote the Gospel book John, and three letters 1, 2, and 3 John, was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. In this letter, he is writing to encourage people to live a life faithful to God and not a life of sin. Our passage come from his introduction. John wants those who attended the churches he oversaw the know the truth, that we can't let sin run our lives. We have to confess our sins so that God can forgive them and cleanse us from them.
The good news is that once we confess our sins, God will always forgive us for them because Christ has paid to price for them. Those sins are already forgiven, we just have to ask. God has always promised to forgive our sins, remember the entire story of the Bible is a story of redemption.
Most of us say that God forgives us, but there is usually something in our life that we just can't let go of. Even more so, there is usually something that in our hearts, we believe is too much for God to forgive and forget. The older we get, the harder it is for us to forgive, therefore it's harder for us to accept that God will forgive. Children are much easier to forgive though. That's our lesson from Mark 10:15 this week. We have to remember how to forgive as a child des.
Read 1 John 1:9.
- Do you believe that God is willing to forgive anything if you ask him to?
- Is there something you've held back from God because you don't want him to forgive you?
- How have you been affected by someone granting you forgiveness when you didn't expect it or deserve it?
Read Isaiah 43:16-25.
- How do you feel knowing God wants to blot out your sins?
- Can you start new just as God does, never remembering your sins again?
- How can you transform someone else's life by helping them put their sins behind them?
- What’s one thing you will do this week as a result of something you learned from this message?
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