WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 4, 2020
TOPIC: NOBODY IS TOO MUCH OF A SINNER TO BE SAVED
BY T. O. BANSO
“When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, ‘Oh, Lord, please leave me — I’m too much of a sinner to be around you’” (Luke 5:8 New Living Translation).
After Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit, they saw that they were naked. When they heard the voice of the LORD in the garden, they went to hide from God.
Genesis 3:8-10 says, “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself’” (New King James Version).
Please take note that Adam didn’t say he was ashamed because he was naked; he said he was afraid because he was naked! Why was he afraid rather than being ashamed? Because the issue at stake was the commandment of God that he had broken.
The glory of God covering Adam and Eve had departed, and fear set in. Every law-breaker will live in fear. But it was useless hiding from God.
It is useless for a sinner to run away from Jesus, as Jonah did when God sent him to Nineveh but he headed for Tarshish (Jonah 1:3).
God loves sinners but hates the sins in their lives. It was His love that made Him send Jesus to die for the sins of the world that He might save humanity (John 3:16).
The sinner must not let the magnitude of his sins drive him away from God. Many sinners erroneously think because they are terrible sinners they are not going to obtain mercy from God. No. Paul was a terrible sinner, a murderer, a persecutor, yet God saved him.
Hear Paul’s testimony in 1 Timothy 1:15-16: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (New King James Version).
The Bible says whosoever comes to Jesus, He shall in no wise cast out (John 6:37). God says even if your sins are like scarlet, He will make them as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, He will make them as white as wool (Isaiah 1:18).
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus calls on all who are weary and heavy-laden (sinners) to come to Him, not to run away or hide from Him. He came because of sinners – those who are blind and sick spiritually. He said those who were well didn’t need a physician, but those who were sick. Jesus didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:10-13; Luke 5:27-32; Mark 2:14-17).
Talking to Zacchaeus, Jesus said in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (New King James Version). Jesus had invited Himself to the house of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, so that salvation could come to his house. Jesus was not bothered that He was accused of being a guest with a man who was a sinner. They were right! He had come to save sinners.T
The prodigal son went far away from his father and lived a riotous life. He wasted all his resources. But when he came back to his father, he received him, not as a servant as he had thought, but as a son (Luke 15:11-32). No matter how much of a sinner you believe you are, you must not let the devil deceive you that you’re beyond salvation or your sin is beyond God’s forgiveness.
In Luke 5, when Peter looked at his sinfulness, compared to the righteousness of Jesus, he asked Jesus to leave him. He said that because he was awestruck by the miraculous catch of fish in the same river he had labored throughout the night without catching any fish. He was amazed at the boat-sinking and net-breaking catch of fish Jesus gave him, a sinner, just because He cared so much for him.
Luke 5:8 says “When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, ‘Oh, Lord, please leave me — I’m too much of a sinner to be around you’” (New Living Translation). The New King James Version says Peter said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Peter admitted his sinfulness and he became a disciple of Jesus. That’s what every sinner must do and come to surrender his life to Jesus.
In Isaiah 6, Prophet Isaiah saw a vision of the LORD and the seraphims crying and saying to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Verse 3 New King James Version). His immediate reaction was, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (verse 5 New King James Version).
There’s no sinner God cannot forgive. In fact, He has forgiven the sinner already, upfront, when Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. Jesus is the sacrifice for your sins and the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7 New King James Version).
All that sinners need to do is to repent and receive the forgiveness that God has offered them. 2 Peter 3:9b says God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. That’s all God demands from sinners and once they do that, He’ll tell them not to sin again. Jesus told that woman caught in adultery “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11 New King James Version).
Jesus is inviting sinners today to come to Him. If they call upon His name, they shall be saved (Joel 2:32). “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let each one who hears them say, ‘Come.’ Let the thirsty ones come — anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge” (Revelation 22:17 New Living Translation).
Prophet Isaiah had earlier written a similar thing in Isaiah 55:1-2. Speaking in the same vein, Jesus said in John 7:37: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (New King James Version).
As Jesus offered that Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob salvation despite her marital misadventure, Jesus is willing to receive sinners today to His Father. He is the way, the truth, and the life; nobody can get to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
Jesus didn’t give that woman any stringent condition. He just offered her the water of life (John 4:10, 13). All that sinners need to do is to repent, as that criminal on the cross did, who took the advantage of his last opportunity and got his journey towards hell diverted to paradise (Luke 23:40-43).
What of the immoral or sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50? Jesus forgave her sins. Jesus said of this woman, “I tell you, her sins — and they are many — have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love” (verses 47 New Living Translation). Did you see that? Jesus further said to the woman that her sins were forgiven (verse 48). Her sins were many, yet Jesus forgave her.
God is not overwhelmed by the volume of anybody’s sins; forgiveness is available to any sinner who genuinely repents. If anyone’s sins are abundant, an abundant pardon is also available! “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Jesus, I come to You today, I repent of my sins and I receive forgiveness. I will not rebel against You anymore. I pray that all sinners will respond to Your invitation today, forsake their sins and return to You. Let the spirit of salvation pervade all nations.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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