Thursday, May 27, 2021

Starting Over - Martin Wiles

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! 2 Samuel 12:7 NLT

He stared at the floor, head in his hand, wondering how in the world he had done what he’d done.

Justin’s life wasn’t what he wanted—or had intended. But he didn’t know what he was capable of until he concocted a plan to change it.

A friend of Justin and his wife needed help. She faced divorce and feared she wouldn’t get custody of her child. Justin stepped in and promised her he could help—for the right price. Supposedly, he knew a “man” who, if paid, would make things go right in court.

But one payment for Justin for his help wasn’t enough. He desired more. He wanted quite a few “play toys.” So, he kept prodding his friend for more money, threatening her if she didn’t pay. Thousands of dollars racked up in his secret bank account.

Things seemed to go well until the woman he was extorting tried to take her life. That’s when the sordid story came out and authorities arrested him. The judge charged him with extortion and kidnapping and placed a heavy bail on him. He made bail, but when the sentencing came, the judge gave him as much as five years in prison and five years’ probation—plus restitution.

Justin wondered how he’d gotten where he was. Hopefully, he will realize he can start over. David did. As king, David also lusted after something that wasn’t his—another man’s wife. He tried to cover up his one-night fling that resulted in the woman becoming pregnant, but he couldn’t. Her husband had too much integrity to fall for David’s ploy. Although David had her husband murdered and then married her, God sent some hefty consequences for his sins.

Like Justin, David didn’t confess immediately. God had to send Nathan the prophet to tell him a story about a rich man who took a poor man’s lamb to feed a traveler—even though the rich man had more than enough sheep to spare for the weary traveler. David saw himself in the story…and confessed.

We can label sin as something else—mistake, goof up, indiscretion—but we’re all tempted to sin in some way or the other. Our sinful nature draws us to things we shouldn’t do, say, or think.

The good news is that none of our sins are beyond God’s forgiveness, with the exception of one: unbelief. As long as we repent and confess, God forgives and gives us the chance to start over—as He did with Justin and David. He probably won’t take away the consequences of our sin, but He’ll work all things together for our good in the end.

Unlike David and Justin, we need to confess quickly when we’ve sinned. The longer we hesitate, the more trouble we’ll find ourselves in and the more likely we’ll commit another sin to cover up the sin we’ve perpetrated.

Satan will afflict us with false guilt by telling us God can’t use us anymore or that we’re not Christians after all. But we don’t have to listen to his lies. We can cry out to God, and God will prove what a liar Satan really is.

Don’t ever think you have gone too far to start over.

Prayer: Father, we thank You that Your forgiveness is always enough to cover our sins.

Tweetable: What's your first response when you've failed? 

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