No matter how many times I read the Bible, I have difficulty grasping what Jesus is calling me to do. His disciple, Peter, makes it sound simple enough: “And Peter replied, Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins...” (Acts 3:38)
I don’t know whether I’m struggling so hard with “turning from sin” because I am resisting Jesus’ call, whether I’m over-thinking it, whether God’s enemy is messing with me, or whether I am thwarted by my sinful nature. Possibly a bit of each, but most certainly the latter. After all, I am a sinner by nature; it’s what I do best.
True, I am filled with good intentions. I try hard to do the right thing every day. But there are things Jesus asks of me that I struggle with and I know I often fall short. I know also that ultimately I sin again.
I’ve reached the conclusion that answering Jesus’ call was never intended by Him to be a one-time action. It was never meant to be something I could accomplish today and check off my calendar’s “to do” list — only to be forgotten about as I turn the page on tomorrow.
For me, following Jesus’ teachings requires a focused, ongoing effort to try to sin less today than I did yesterday. To focus not on whether I am perfect in Jesus’ sight, but to focus on trying to do the best for Him that I can today — and then build on that tomorrow.
Thank God for forgiveness for I need it daily! Literally, thank God.
For knowing that Jesus has already died for my sins makes my sins bearable. Thanks to His sacrifice, I have the strength to brush myself off each time that I stumble and carry on.