1 John 1:5-7 (NKJV) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
There it is written as plain as day in black and white, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” What on earth could this mean? Does that really say that if I refuse to walk in His light and have fellowship with others that it puts the forgiveness of my sins in jeopardy? I don't know how you read that, but when I see it; it looks pretty obvious to me. Jesus thinks that us walking in the light of forgiveness is a pretty big deal. Too often, even church people find reasons to stay in unforgiveness. We tend to hold onto our wounds and our opinion despite what His Word says about it. Too often, we let that unforgiveness create in us a bitterness that ruins our entire relationship with not only others but with God.
I want to offer a suggestion to everyone who reads this. Whatever you are mad about, try to let it go. If there is anyone you are holding unforgiveness against, let them go. If you will take the time to look at your life, you will have to admit this truth. The unforgiveness in your heart has cost you in your relationship with your Father. It has caused you to draw back in your commitment to the church. It is holding you captive and you may not even know it. It is time to stop justifying your position and simply let go of your anger. It is time to move beyond the anger and hurt and give to others what the Father has freely given to you. It is time to get back in the river of His love and swim out deep. If you continue to refuse to forgive others, you will never swim in deep waters again. By the way, your unforgiveness isn’t hurting the other party, but it is killing you. Releasing your unforgiveness may sound hard, but not nearly as hard as trying to live a life apart from your Father.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) ...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
I remember those days as a youth pastor when the hardest Sunday of the year for me was graduation Sunday. It meant that things were changing and that a group of kids I had poured my life into was moving on. While I knew I would still get to see them on occasion, I also understood that things would somehow never be the same. I always checked my own heart and life during those days and weeks leading up to that day. I wondered if I had told them enough that “I loved them.” I wondered if I had taught them all they needed to know to survive our “crazy” world I was sending them to. I wondered if they really were convinced how much Jesus really loved them. Honestly, I often wondered if they could make it without me and their parents constantly being there. It was in one of those moments of wonder that I heard the Father speak something beautiful and comforting to my heart.
He reminded me that it never was me that sustained them. No matter how much of me I had poured into them, it was ALWAYS Him that sustained them. He reminded me that the part I played, while important, was only part of their story. He reminded me that He would see their story to completion. He reminded me that He always finishes what He starts.
So I don’t know if this message today is a message for Aaron, some moms and dads, or to the graduates themselves. It might very well be a message to all of the above. The message is this: God isn’t finished with them oryou yet. Sure, there will be days ahead when mistakes are made. Despite that truth, remember this. He will be right there with them. He is their hope and their joy and He is God. He will see them through the hard parts and He will see to it that they finish the race. I am confident in His Word when it says that He who started the good work will see it to completion. May these words be a comfort to all concerned. God is FAITHFUL!