First John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Have you neglected to ask God for forgiveness? Have you been slow to seek cleansing before God? (2Cor. 7:1) Is your heart soft toward God? (1Peter 3:8) Does your soul burn with devotion for Christ? Are you struggling to be excited about the things that God has created you to be excited about - His glory, His heart for the lost, His church for you, His Word, His presence? Have the things of this world dulled your affection for worshiping Jesus? Do you have a "a need to perform" mentality when it comes to feeling accepted by God and others?
Today I preached at a regular monthly speaking engagement I have had each month for the past fourteen years. It has been rare that each month all the members of this small monthly congregation are together again for a time of hymn singing worship and my preaching. And every time I preach there I am very mindful that these dear precious senior men and women may not make it to our next monthly service. I preach with the burning thought that any of these people could rehearse any of my sermonic sentiments as they draw their final breath and experience their final heart beat. It's in these moments that I want my monthly congregation to recall that being forgiven by God, cleansed by God and freed from hurt/guilt/shame/regret is theirs for the asking because of the wonderful, glorious, grace of God.
When we too are on our bed of transition from this life to the next, I hope that we can lie there with the knowledge that we have asked for and received from God forgiveness, cleansing, tenderness of heart, and passion for His glory and cause. I hope that today we will do busines afresh with God. Not the kind of business where we can offer God anything in exchange for anything from Him. But the kind of business where we accept and seek all that Christ has infinitely worked for us.
The unbelievable message of Christianity is you can have peace with God through no effort of your own! Oops, did I say "unbelievable"? Sorry. I meant "truly unbelievable". This is because when God saves us, He does by His grace, and with that grace comes faith (trust and belief in God) and God's love-
1Tim. 1:14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This means, that even the faith to believe in God is a gift!
Eph. 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
We are made "right" with God through no effort of our own. It is the grace of God that establishes our relationship with God, But it is the grace of God that enables us to maintain our fellowship with God. None of us know when our last breath or heart-beat will be. It may be tonight. I pray that before that time we will each fully surrender afresh to Almighty God and dedicate ourselves to making Him more glorious before our world.