C.S Lewis wrote, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Let us always be mindful of our deep and endless need for forgiveness, and grateful for the limitless forgiveness that is extended to us through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Let us be grateful that He did not wait for us to make the first move. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He initiated forgiveness of our sins, and in doing so, released its healing power into the lives of all who accept.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Conversions from atheism are often gradual and complex, no doubt. For many converts the road is slow and tedious, tiring and trying. But in the end unbelievers who find God can enjoy an inner peace that comes from a clear conscience in knowing they held to truth and followed the arguments faithfully. Of course not all converts from atheism become Christian or even religious. Some converts only reach a deistic belief in God (an areligious position that God is “impersonal”) but the leap is still monumental; and it opens new, unforeseen horizons.
Matthew 22:36-40 English Standard Version (ESV)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
You shall love your neighbour as yourself. Every Christian should have heard that phrase, but have you ever really thought about it? This is one verse that I believe can be turned on it’s head, You shall love yourself as you love your neighbor.
I used to think that being humble meant that I could not love myself, but if you hate yourself, then the second greatest commandment would be more like hate your neighbour as you hate yourself. God definitely doesn’t want that!
God wants us to love ourselves, To hate yourself would be to hate someone that God loves.
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Drug addicts don’t wake up one morning and suddenly decide that they will become so addicted to drugs that they will throw away everything to get another high. They usually start out with “just this one time”. Then the addict changes to “just one more time” and the unfortunate keep adding just one more time it till they are willing to do unthinkable things just to get the next high.
Many sins start out really small, committing sins that can easily be rationalized away by most. I am sure many affairs have started out “I am just thinking about my hot secretary, it isn’t like I am touching her, and my wife will never find out.” I am not saying that every small sinful thought will turn into a life shattering event, but it can. We all commit these “little” sins from time to time. We can’t help it. It is human nature, but the closer we draw to God the chances of this happening gets smaller. In an age where our culture is calling good things bad, and bad things good focusing on God, Family, and the duties of the church are increasingly important. They will help you avoid the safest road to hell.
Note: by hell I am not just referring to the place where sinners experience judgement, but an earthly hell that we experience when our life falls to pieces.