Troy and I have had the privilege of teaching Jr. and Sr. High kids in Sunday school and youth group over the years and we have learned a lot from them. There have been times in order to avoid studying the lesson they will ask questions. In one particular class they wanted to know about our confirmation classes and what did we learn. We have learned over the years to take the situation and turn it into a “teachable moment”.
I told them I remembered the very first question my Pastor asked in confirmation. They all laughed and told me it was so long ago, how could I ever remember J Of course they wanted to know the question. Our Pastor walked into the class and asked us if any of us thought we were good enough to go to heaven? If we did, we needed to raise our hand. No one raised their hand. The Pastor shocked us by saying you are right, none of you are good enough to go to heaven and you never will be. He had our attention.
Of course he went on to explain, heaven is not something we can earn for ourselves, but Jesus paid the price for our sins, so we can go to heaven.
Our class wanted to know what I had ever done to think I didn’t deserve to go to heaven when I was young. I shared with them, I knew I was a sinner, and I wasn’t good. I asked them, if they had ever felt remorseful over their sins? Sometimes was their answer.
I have noticed two extremes in the lives of Christians they are either so consumed with guilt they consider themselves unworthy; or they never stop to think about how they are living their lives because they know God will love them anyways.
In both cases they miss out on the joy of understanding God’s grace and forgiveness. I don’t know if you have experienced either extreme, I know I have.
Two Bible verses come to mind: Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” As we repent and ask for forgiveness God removes our sins and remembers them no more.
Psalm 139: “23Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!24And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Sometimes we do not see the sin in our lives, and this is a good Bible verse to reflect upon. Asking the Lord to show you how you might live differently.
Again, I want to emphasize there is nothing we can do to earn favor with God. Jesus has done it all for us. My prayer for you during this Lenten Journey is you will experience the joy of understanding the precious gift of Salvation God has given you and how much He loves you.
I have found listening to music a wonderful way to reflect. This is one of my favorite Hymns/songs during the Lenten Season.