Daily Devotional September 16, 2020

Jesus Along the Way: Words of Grace and Hope.                        Pastor Tom Joyce

September 16, 2020

“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine that need no repentance.” Luke 15:7


I heard a sermon several years ago relating to repentance and the gift of forgiveness offered through Jesus Christ, and this statement stuck with me; “it is hard to dig yourself out of a hole when you are surrounded by people with shovels.” Sometimes it seems like no matter what we do to better our lives or to recover from our past, there are those who just will not let go of the past and accept that our hearts have been transformed by grace and that we are no longer the person we were when our actions caused harm to others and ourselves. Not so with God; when we turn back to God, repent, God offers another chance at life, forgiven and freed from a past that did not reflect the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. To acknowledge our shortcomings is to realize that we need Jesus more than ever, that making our own path often leads to heart-ache and pain. Jesus is saying, “let it go, turn back to me and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” When you repent, there is joy in heaven because you begin a new path that is paved with hope, grace, peace, and joy that can only come from Jesus. Jesus may “show up with a shovel” but only to help you dig out the sin in your life that does nothing but keep you from living life in the abundance of God’s grace. In a world that “cancels out” those who think differently or who has a past that is judged to be unworthy, there is hope because there is grace, and that grace comes from turning to the One who forgives all who repent and seeks to live a new life unshackled from a life of sin.  Turn back to Jesus along the way, and you will move forward with joy as the song by Bill Gaither proclaims, “He touched me, O he touched me, and O the joy that floods my soul! Something happened, and now I know, he touched me and made me whole.” (“He Touched Me,” Bill Gaither, 1963) 

Rev. Tom Joyce

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