February 20, 2013 - Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Luke 11:29-32

No one is beyond the forgiveness of God: not the people of Nineveh who, 3000 years later are still remembered as being particularly cruel, nor King David who killed a trusted soldier in order to cover up the affair with his wife. God will not spurn a humble, contrite heart. There is no sin which God will not forgive. The sins we have committed are not preventing us from being saved, but our defense of sin is. God wants to forgive us, but we hide our sins. No one can hide their sins except from themself. All our sins are being done in full sight of heaven and hell. God wants to forgive us, but we have excuses for why we committed the sin. God wants to forgive us, but we say that what we did is not a sin. God wants to forgive us, but we would rather pretend that we do not need forgiveness.

God is infinitely good. The smallest sin we ever committed is, therefore, an infinite offense. If we understood the enormity of God’s love for us, we would understand why there can never be a small sin. No matter what we have done, whether or not we would be judged by the world as very bad people, we need hearts contrite and humbled.

How will our hardened hearts become contrite, humble hearts? Only God’s grace can do this, but we accept this grace when we repent. Repenting means confessing our sin and committing to never do it again. We are in constant need of repentance because we are constantly failing. We must repent today and every day until we die. The alternative is to accept sin into our life, to stop fighting against evil, to compromise our soul; the alternative is a heart impenitent and proud.

Heaven is full of prostitutes and murderers and drug dealers and thieves and adulterers; the saints, with only one exception, were all sinners with contrite, humble hearts. When we are before the judgment seat of God, we will not need to defend our sins. Indeed, we must not try to defend the indefensible. It will not matter on that day how many sins we committed or what they were. Only our accuser will be concerned with that. It will only matter whether we repented of them all. We are guilty; our only hope is forgiveness.