To the Cross Again
I am a sinner. I don't want to be a sinner. But I am. I have sins that still get the best of me. In fact, there are sins that I have confessed to God so many times that I feel like I should just make a recording of a prayer of confession, carry it around in a small tape player, aim it heavenward, and just play the tape several times a day. But that would rob me of something special: God Himself.
The Lord saved me knowing everything about me. He knew I would continue to commit sins. Yet, He chose to save me. He knew I would have to struggle not to be an arrogant, lustful, prideful, jerk throughout my whole life and would fail countless times. Yet, He chose to save me. He knew that I would try and bargain my way out of guilt, out of repentance, and out of accountability. Yet, He chose to save me. He knew about the sinfulness of my being and the deceitfulness of my heart. He knew everything! Yet, He chose to save me. Why? Why me? Why did He save me? One thing I know. It is not because of anything in me. Not at all. It is because of everything in Him: love, patience, kindness, humility, compassion, empathy, sacrifice, and so much more. I am saved because of Him and His love.
So what do I do with these persistent sins? Do I just give into them and say, "Well, that's the way I am and God's going to have to accept me this way"? No. Do I say, "I can't help it so I am not going to worry about my sins,"? No. Do I give into them so many times that I don't feel their conviction anymore? May it never be. Instead, I go to the cross again, and again, and again, and again. You see, I just don't have anything else I can do.
Let me start again. I am a sinner. I don't want to be a sinner. But I am. I have sins that still get the best of me. But, I keep going to the cross with them, every time, and I mean every time. Every time I fall into the same old sin, I go to the cross, confess it, and ask forgiveness...again. When I fall again, I go to the cross again. You need to do the same thing. You can't let your sins get you down. You need to go to the cross, no matter what. You must go there. You have to.
I need to let you in on a secret. Don't pass it around too much, but ... I'm weak and susceptible to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). I used to think that being a Christian meant absolute victory. But, I have found that it means struggle, that victories are very real, but so are defeats. This Christian walk is not that easy sometimes. In fact, it can be quite difficult. That is why I have to keep clinging to the cross. I don't have anything else I can do sometimes. I can't make any deals with God about my sin. I can't guilt-whip myself for my sins until I feel "worthy" enough to go get forgiven! I have absolutely nothing I can do but to continue to resist sin, judge my sins as sin, confess them to the Lord, ask Jesus to forgive me yet another time, and continue to cling to the cross of my redemption, that place where my Lord God bought the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). That is all I can do. That is all you can do.
The older I get the more I realize I how much more I need the cross. The more I see my sins reflected against the purity of Jesus, the more I realize I need His cleansing sacrifice. I used to think that the cross was the place where I first met Christ and "got forgiven" and that now my Christian life consists of church, good deeds, confession, helps, etc. But, more and more I am realizing that the cross of Christ needs to be central in my life, my heart, my family, my love, my speech, my writing, my thinking, and, of course, my confession.
What about you? What is the center of your life? Or better yet, Who is the center of your life? Who do you go to for help with the deepest of needs, the deepest of confessions? Go to Jesus. Go and seek the Lord Jesus, confess your sins to Him. Receive His forgiveness. He knows all about you.
Taken from the CARM Newsletter, October 16, 2003, Devotional -- To the croos again.