"If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities."
Psalm 130:3-8 (NKJV)
"If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?"
In Romans 3:23, we also read: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."
When coupled with this verse from the Psalms, it is a sharp reminder that mankind's sinful nature—the nature that could separate us from God and His holiness—has plagued us since the Beginning.
We get things wrong. We hurt each other. We sin against God, and that sin leaves what could be an indelible mark upon our lives.
"But there is forgiveness with You..."
Thankfully for us, Christ is there—ready to take that sin head on, conquer it, and free us from it—as soon as we're ready to hand it over to Him.
Hope, mercy, and abundant redemption. These are the things that Jesus promises for those who call upon His name and submit to His authority.
Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we did not have His forgiveness to cover our sins? It's a legitimately and rightly frightening thought.
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope."
For the first week of Lent, we looked at the Psalm where David speaks to the truth that is whispered to our souls when we are still in the womb. The soul longs for reunion with our Heavenly Father... a reunion that Christ alone can facilitate.
Two weeks ago, we looked at the transforming hope that Christ offers, and how that impacts the way we look at our present circumstances. Lasting hope isn't found in our circumstances... It's found in Christ Jesus.
Our soul longs for reunion with Christ, but when we trust His word and His promises it transforms the way we look at everything, including our own collective sinfulness and brokenness.
"O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption."
There is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves. Absolutely nothing.
When we end up in tough situations because we obeyed our own sinful natures, there is nothing we can to to put ourselves back on the path to righteousness. Instead, we trust and hope... We wait to be found and redeemed at the foot of the Cross.
This does not change when the sin is a sexual one, and when the path leads a woman or man right into an unwed pregnancy. (We shared an amazing post on this topic by Chad Ashby: https://www.care-net.org/churches-blog/brothers-and-sisters-unwed-pregnancy-is-not-a-sin)
When there is a woman or man considering abortion, condemnation and shame may bring about a desired short-term outcome: the preservation of a baby's life. But will it bring restoration? Will it bring healing?
Furthermore, Care Net research also revealed that four out of ten post-abortive women got their first abortion while they were actively attending church.
Our best weapon in the fight against abortion within our pews is the continuing reminder that Christ's blood covers ALL sin. That His mercies really are new every morning. That His redemption cannot be exhausted or overcome. That we are all called, like the Woman at the Well, to claim His forgiveness and then "go forth and sin no more."
And, most of all, that we—as the Bride of Christ—are willing to welcome those with unwed pregnancies into our churches and our lives so that we can pursue together the refining fire that is a life with Jesus.
This week, please join me as I pray:
- That we would be more aware of the sin in our own lives than those of others, and that this would inspire us to continually examine ourselves for the strongholds that are keeping us from becoming better ambassadors of Christ.
- As we approach Easter Sunday, that we would be increasingly humbled by the incredible gift that we were offered... when we could do nothing to earn it, never deserve it by our own merit, and never fully comprehend the depth of the Father's love for us.
- For those who are are still far from God, that the Easter season would bring them to a place of repentance and faith and that they would be brought into a community of believers who would challenge and encourage them.
Miss a week? Catch up here:
Week 1: https://www.care-net.org/get-involved-blog/never-too-insignificant
Week 2: https://www.care-net.org/get-involved-blog/unneccessary-faith
Week 3: https://www.care-net.org/get-involved-blog/about-hope
Week 4: https://www.care-net.org/get-involved-blog/seeing-the-heart