September 15, 2013
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9
Let me ask, as you look back on your life, what would you change? What would you do differently if you were given a second chance?
* One person, when asked that question, said, "I regret having lived the first part of my life as a follower. I've done much of what I've done just because somebody told me to. If I could start over again tomorrow, I would ask more questions and seek more answers. When someone tells me 'no,' I would ask, 'Why not?' When someone tells me 'yes,' I would want to know why."
* Another individual said, "If I could do things over, I would tell my mom and dad I loved them more than I did while I had them on earth. I would have not worried about things that really do not matter that much."
Yes, most of us have things we would like to do over, including some things that are sinful and sinister. Do you need an example or two? How about the person who said,
* "If I could go back in time to two years ago, I would have never cheated on my wife, would have made her happy, and tried to be with her every day."
* "If I could go back to one year ago, I would have never said all the awful things I did to my son. I would never have let him leave the house."
About the only exception I know to this rule of doing things over is our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
In contrast to the times we have sinned, Jesus was perfect. When we said, "Yes" to the devil's temptations, Jesus gave a resounding, "No!" When we followed the ways of the world, Jesus was always doing His Father's work.
Finally, at the end of His life, as He hung upon the cross to destroy our sins, Jesus could look back and say with confidence and in victory, "It is finished." The job hadn't been partially done, nor had it been poorly done. His life didn't call for a bunch of "do-overs."
Without regret He could say, "My work has been done perfectly."
That fact was proven three days later when He rose physically from the grave. If Jesus had, anywhere along the line, made a mistake or done the Father's will imperfectly, the "son of the carpenter from Nazareth" (see Mark 6:3) would have stayed in His grave and there would have been no Christian Church.
But Christ is risen, and because He has, all of us who acknowledge Jesus as Savior are confident our sins have been forgiven, forgotten, and no longer able to accuse us.
This explains why none of us will ever want a do-over when it comes to our faith in the Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are many things I have done wrong and would like to do over and change. Today I am thankful Jesus' perfection covers my flaws, falsity, foolishness and sin. May I always live in a world that points others to the wonders of His love. In the Redeemer's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries