God’s arm are wide open to you, even before you repent, no matter how many times you stumble and sin especially if you have obeyed the gospel and are a member of the church. God is love and love never fails. (1 Cor 13:8, 1 Jn 4:8) This statement is not a license to sin. It is basically a fact that God loves us even in our imperfect state. Yes we are commanded to be perfect because Christ was perfect and we are to be like him. This is God’s desire. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren”. (Rom 8:29 KJV) But, as humans, we will still sin and mess up a lot especially those of us who are new to the church. (Please also see Matt 5:48, Heb 5:9).

This reminds me of when I was a new convert. Talk about stumbling and making a fool of myself. I sinned daily and on and off for years! And boy did I feel guilty. But this guilt led me away from the church because I believed God no longer loved me due to my sinning. When in fact his love and concern for me should have brought me closer to him. It took me almost twenty years to figure out what being a Christian was really about. For some reason I just couldn’t, and obviously wasn’t ready, to behave myself as a Christian. So I understand how it feels to be a new convert and a sinner. Well it is the same for many, many others. Only Father knows our hearts. Therefore, we, who are now strong, need to be gentle with those who are new converts, and those who are not, and be careful not to criticize their new walk with God. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness…” (Gal 6:1 NKJV) Like them, I had a lot of baggage to get rid of: The baggage of being emotionally, physically and verbally abused and neglected in my childhood. This can lead one to have a very tough time figuring out what Christianity is all about.

The congregation I attended at the time did not do a great job at making me feel loved especially after I honestly confessed and repented of my sins as we are instructed. (Js 5:16) It hurt and still does sometimes today. But I have to remember, and I do, that no one is perfect and that there are no perfect congregations in the church. However, God’s good and perfect will, will be done and is being done in the church, regardless of our shortcomings. But today I am satisfied that those things happened to me so I now know how to respond to others going through the same situation. It has no doubt made me a more compassionate and understanding person.

Due to God’s overwhelming love for you, if you find yourself walking in sin, quickly repent and quickly forgive yourself when you sin and stumble. Realize God’s compassion for you and his great desire for you to spend eternity in paradise with him, even before you repent. And once you get what being a Christian is all about (love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness) and understand God’s unreserved love for you, take that strength from that love and share it eagerly with everyone who comes your way especially to those in the church. “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Gal 6:10 NASB)

FOCUS SCRIPTURE
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet 3:9 NIV)

CLOSING
Ladies, God’s desire for us to repent, according to 2 Peter 3:9, is not just to the world it’s for the church too. God, like any good Father, loves all his children and never stops loving them or having a desire for them to be with him in heaven.

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, Holy is thy name. Father, thank you for blessing me and for your grace and mercy shown to me by sending your son to die on the cross for me and for all of my sins. I pray I never take it for granted but share your unconditional love for me with everyone, everywhere I go.

Thank you, Father, for listening to me and answering this prayer. I love you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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