Lately God reminded me of uncle J., a taxi driver whom I had met few months back during my work trip whose story I could never forget. Uncle J. used to be a devoted Christian who loved God and served God with his whole heart. He actively involved in his church’s services and was a member of the church’s congregation with his home widely opened for various cell groups and church gatherings. There had been love and joy in him whenever coming to God. However, it was no longer the same at the moment he spoke to me. In place of such joy in the past were the feelings of guilt and shame. Due to his failures in business and family’s crisis, he felt not worthy of God and ashamed of himself. His family is now separated. They no longer serve God. “I have fallen from God’s grace. I can never come back” was his utterances which struck me deeply.
Since that conversation with uncle J. I have always carried with me these questions and kept seeking a satisfying answer from God: What is the basis for a person to come to God? Could a person fall away from God’s grace and would never be able to come back?
This week at the Life Forum I rejoiced as having found the answers!
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Friends, do you realize that there was a problem between God and you? Just like a hand cannot be put into fire because it will be burnt, we cannot come near to God because we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The unhappy party is not us but God. God is not happy with us. However, we still wish to draw near to God. What shall we do?
To propitiate is to appease, to conciliate, to ease the anger, to reconcile two parties by satisfying the demand of the one upon the other. How much we wish to appease God but we are not qualified. But hallelujah, Christ propitiated God for us! (Hebrews 2:17) What a relief friends, in our self we are not able to make God happy but Christ is able! May God open the eyes of our hearts to see it is not our effort to do good or our success that brings us to God, but it is Christ who propitiated for us! It is Christ who brings God to us and us to God!
The basis for a person to come to God is not how much charity he has done this week or how many people he has brought to salvation or how more nicely he has treated his neighbours but that Christ has made propitiation for their sins. A person can always draw near to God not through himself but through Christ. The righteous God is bound by the blood of Christ to forgive us! This is the fact. We must believe and receive.
1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Friends, we are not faithful but God is! It is His own words that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! Hallelujah, I am forgiven! All uneasy feelings coming after confessing and applying the Lord’s blood are not trustworthy and need to be rejected at all cost! Let us choose to believe in God’s words, not our feelings!
I am grateful for the Lord’s timely words and still praying that uncle J. may come to know this truth so that he may be set free from Satan’s accusation and all the condemnation. As we journey on the Christian race with one another and with the Lord on the narrow way, there might be many obstacles that stumble us but let us be reminded our stand is not on our own merits but Christ himself, what He has done and His precious blood! (Revelation 12:11). Thank God for the free gift of grace that becomes our endless joy! 🙂