"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18
Paul Tillich has an interesting understanding of faith. Faith is when you accept God's acceptance of you. It is knowing that God has already said "yes" to your reconciliation or to your new possibilities. You are loved. You are forgiven.
It can't be true. If God knew me like I know me, God would see all the stains in my life . God would know all the failures that I am and that I have. If God knew the "real" me. There are so much damaged goods. And yet---God does know. God knows the whole story--inside and out. And God loves us right where we are.
Think with me what that does for us. It frees us to become. It gives us license to change. God becomes the one that urges us on to better and deeper living. It is not about who we are supposed to become. It is about where we are right now.
All of us are somewhat afraid of being fully known. Our culture teaches us to protect ourselves from being known. When people know you fully they will abuse you. They will use it against you. They will ridicule you. They certainly will not love you.
God will love you. God does love you. Right now. Now matter how screwed up your life is or how well it is put together you are loved. God has said "Yes" to you!
A young man dated a girl a really long time. She waited for him to propose. She waited and waited. He was so insecure. He was so afraid. He could only see all the problems marriage could have. Finally one day she asked him, "Why don't you ask me to marry you? You know I love you! You know we belong together. " Finally the boy confessed, "I was afraid that if I asked you to marry me, it would be the only "no" I would ever hear you say to me."
God uses love and forgiveness to motivate us to become who God would have us be. The change in our life and in our living is in response to God's everlasting unconditional love.
Hear God's "yes" and let your life be transformed with God's mercy.
Pray for me as I pray for you.
In the Master's Name,
Rev. Dr. Jack O'Dell