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For God...

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17 NIV

In the 1981 comedy film Stripes, the down-on-his-luck taxi driver John Winger, played by Bill Murray, decides to join the Army after a series of mishaps all occurring in one day. He persuades his best friend Russell (Harold Ramos) to enlist with him. Here are a few lines from their interview with the recruiter.

Recruiter: Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor? That's robbery, rape, car theft, that sort of thing.

John Winger: Convicted? No.

Russell Ziskey: Never convicted

In today's verse, while Jesus Christ didn't come to condemn (convict) us, it doesn't mean we're innocent. We have all sinned. Yet, despite our crimes, God offers us pardon through Jesus Christ.

Sometimes, we may find it hard to accept this message of forgiveness. Satan whispers in our ears that God can't possibly forgive us after what we've done. When it's not Satan directly, he acts through others to accuse and judge. We even question ourselves.

In the hope of today's verse, we can reject those voices telling us we're unworthy of God's love. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." God desires to loose us from our chains of sins, giving us spiritual freedom in this life and hope of the eternal.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your only Son to offer us salvation. We confess our lack of innocence; we have sinned and fallen short. We acknowledge that we find forgiveness and freedom only by your infinite grace and unfailing love. Forgive our sins, and help us reject those voices telling us we're unworthy. Give us the courage to share the good news of our deliverance through Jesus with others. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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