Encouragement for sinners

  • God will finish what he started in you: “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
  • God is faithful to repeatedly forgive and continually cleanse: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
  • If Jesus tells us to forgive our brother seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22), how much more will he forgive us?
  • Counterintuitively comforting: “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:31) It’s easy to focus on the exception. But, oh, the rule! “Every sin”!
  • God doesn’t accept us on the strength of our repentance or faith. Genuine faith and repentance suffice, even if it is eeked out with a mouse-squeek of a weak, “Help, God, help me.” He loves to come rushing to our aide. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
  • Confess your sins to a brother you trust (James 5:16), ideally in a local church. He can say out loud what God’s word says: You are forgiven. God loves you. You’re not “too far gone.” You’re still believing.
  • God “justifies the ungodly” (Romans 4:5) when they look to him who justifies the ungodly.
  • Feast at the Communion table with fellow believers. Gobble up the bread and wine. Both a meaningful and mysterious encouragement. I am accepted by God. The blood of Jesus is on my doorpost. I am shielded from God’s wrath. I am given a seat at the table. A reminder of the love of Jesus for us that we can taste. We are human. We need this.

Added Oct 8, 2021

Believers invisibly serving others (including your own family), yet discouraged or mistreated or seemingly forgotten, let this wash over you:

“God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints…” (Hebrews 6:10)

Your glory and honor will come:

“To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.” (Romans 2:7)

And the dawn is imminent:

“Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.” (Psalm 112:4)

Persevere! Let us have “full assurance of hope until the end”! (Hebrews 6:11)