Title: You don't need baggage at home
By Randall Vaughn
"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him" (Psa 103:11-13 NIV)
I would ask if you have ever promised something to God, then the next week, next day, or next MINUTE, failed in that promise, but then, everyone has at some point, so why ask?
You know exactly what I mean! (Right now, just as I am, you are probably thinking about the many times that has happened.)
Years ago, I heard a sermon illustration that made a great impact on my life. I would like to share it with you:
The setting of this illustration is the "throne room" of God.
You see a man, weeping bitterly, on his knees before the throne, saying,
"Father, I am so sorry. I have sinned. I did _____. Please forgive me."
Father looks at him, steps down from the throne, lifts him up from his knees, wipes his tears away, and with a love and compassion that has no earthly equal, says,
"Son, you are forgiven. I love you. Always. Never forget that."
They share a long loving embrace, and the man leaves the throne room.
The scene forwards to the next day.
The man is before the throne again. He is weeping even more bitterly than before. He is broken before God. He is so ashamed that he cannot even lift his eyes to Him.
The man says,
"Father, I am so ashamed. How could you love me now? I promised You that I would not do _____. I am so sorry, Father. I did it again."
Father looks at the man, and with a love that the man cannot comprehend, says,
"You did what again?"
I have been "that man" so many times. And so have you.
You may ask, "But is that real? Can God REALLY forget my sins and failures?"
Absolutely. Love enables the "forgetting".
(How? For an in-depth explanation, read the "One Minute Message" titled, "Can God Really Forget?" in the OMM Archive.)
My son is now eight years old. I love him more than I can express.
He is an exceptional child, and he is very loving and obedient - most of the time. But there are those times...
When my son disobeys me, I have to address it. Love demands that I do so. I have to punish him accordingly. I have to keep my word and my promise as to what I have said I would do.
But do I stop loving him when he disobeys me?
Do I remain angry at him?
Do I remind him of his "failure"?
Does he cease to be my son because he intentionally disobeys me?
I love him REGARDLESS of what he does, not because of what he does. That does not mean that I am pleased with what he does all the time. But I love him, REGARDLESS, all the time.
There is nothing he could do to cease to be my son.
He is born of my flesh and blood. He could cease to be in a loving relationship with me, but he can never cease to be the son of Randall Vaughn. He could disinherit himself from me legally or even legally change his name, but he can never cease to be the son of Randall Vaughn. He will always be the son of Randall Vaughn.
Is there anything he could do to cause me to cease from loving him?
It is MY choice to love him. It has nothing to do with him. It has nothing to do with what he does. He is not involved in that decision. It is my choice - exclusively - therefore, he could not do anything to cause me to cease from loving him.
I may not be pleased with him all the time, but I love him all the time. No exceptions.
I am just an imperfect human being. If I love my son that way, how much more does God love you, His precious son or daughter?
Regardless of what you are feeling right now, you must understand that there is nothing you could ever do (or have ever done) that could stop Him from loving you. No exceptions - no matter how bad you think your "past" may be.
It is HIS choice to love you. And the decision has already been made. You have nothing to do with that decision. You were not (and are not) involved.
Choose to love Him. Choose to accept His love and forgiveness. Take Him at His word. That is all He asks of you.
And remember, when you fail (not IF but WHEN), He is always ready to receive you, without condemnation, without rejection, without condition, when you turn to Him.
It doesn't matter if your "failure" was five minutes ago, five weeks ago, or five decades ago. Time is irrelevant to Him.
Turn to Him with all your heart and accept His forgiveness, His restoration, and His limitless unconditional love.
He is ready. He is waiting on you - to come home.
Leave all the guilt, all the condemnation, and all the "baggage" behind you, where it belongs.
You don't need "baggage" at home.