Ministry God Story: How Many Sins Is Too Many?
Ministry God Story:
How Many Sins is Too Many?
by Katie Wilson
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
“But God showed HIS great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”
“If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
Do you ever just need a GRACE reminder? I know I do!
When I first started at Lincoln Village Ministries, I had the blessing of spending time at a local middle school. I would help the counselor file papers, sit with kids waiting outside the principal’s office, take coffee to the staff and custodians, or simply sit in the parking lot and pray through the Book of Nehemiah. The gifts of presence and prayer have changed my life through the years. They are gifts we can all pay-forward and when we do, I believe Heaven smiles. You see, Jesus gave and gives both of those gifts and we are called to “therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (Eph. 5:1)
“When our faith gets tired and our hope seems lost” (lyrics from my new favorite song, “We Dance” by Bethel) it helps to remember God’s faithfulness in the past. He is writing a personal love story with each one of us and our memories with our Savior will help build our faith in our present deserts. I would like to share one of my first God-Stories from my time at Lincoln Village Ministries. I pray it inspires you to remember God’s faithfulness in the past and encourages you to continue “Story-Writing” with the Author and Finisher of your faith in the present and future.
“…HE who began the good work within you, will continue HIS work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Phil. 1:6)
Let’s go back to 2011:
I was taking a sweet, young friend of mine to the mall for a fun light day of shopping and snacks. My “young” friend is 14 and she is never at a loss for words, meaning the child can talk and never take a breath for at least 32 straight minutes. When we spend the day together, we will ping-pong conversation back and forth, from topics such as food, friends, past mistakes, family, texting, future hopes and dreams, sleeping, clothes, movies, weekend plans and then, out of nowhere, she will pull out the deepest questions of her soul. I won’t even see it coming, but in those surprise moments, I lift up that silent prayer as I listen–“God, please fill my mouth with YOUR WORDS. If I don’t get this one right, I could hurt her forever. “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”(Ps 81:10). I am claiming that promise right now, dear Lord! Please give me YOUR wisdom, show me YOUR TRUTH and enable me to speak it in such a way that she understands and becomes hungry for your written WORD herself!”
As we parked the car in the covered garage of the mall, she turns to me with wide eyes and sincerely asks,“How many sins is too many?” I say, “What do you mean?” “You know, how many sins is too many for God to forgive?” My heart almost stopped as I looked at her and saw the anticipation of a specific number, a hopefulness that she hadn’t passed it yet and a sadness that she thought it was probably too late. God had given me an opportunity to share the message of his GRACE. I slowly paused, prayed my prayer, believed HIS promise and presented HIS TRUTH!
“There is not a number sweet girl. God’s promise says, “If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins. He makes us new and clean. He remembers our sin no more! All sins are the same in HIS eyes; it is only the worldly consequences that differ. A murderer will go to prison and a liar will not be trusted, but in God’s eyes each are equally forgivable when a confession is made and a life turns to HIM! As long as we are still breathing in and out on this earth, we have an opportunity to say we are truly sorry and let HIM change us into HIS likeness. We can not cross a line, reach a number, or commit the unforgivable with a God of Grace. Grace is not deserved or earned. It is a free gift to us that cost Christ HIS life. Grace is not grace if we have to be good enough. Jesus Christ was the payment for our sins.”
She responds, “So, what you are saying is that I could not have already been too bad to get better and go to heaven?” “Yes, that is what I am saying–you are never so bad that you can’t get better and be forgiven!” A sweet smile covers her face; she grabs her purse, opens the car door and says, “Should we eat or shop first?”
As I process the change in conversation and silently thank God for this impromptu reminder of Grace and the importance of sharing it when given the chance, I simply laugh and say,”Shop!”
If you haven’t already, open the door to Jesus in your heart. Tell him you are sorry for your sins, accept HIS grace and move forward in HIS light. Share HIM every time you have the chance. Remember, no one, including yourself, is ever too far gone or has reached a sin number that is too high for God to cover through Christ.
That nostalgic look back always brings tears to my eyes! God, thank you for Your faithfulness and thank You for letting us play a part in Your Kingdom Love Story. You definitely don’t need us, but it is so awesome that You want us!
About the Author:
Katie W. is a Memphis born, messy masterpiece, who is confident in her Creator! After graduating from Vanderbilt, she married her college sweetheart and was Huntsville bound! 20+years and 3 children later, Katie spends her moments amazed by grace, which leads to “freedom writing”, God-dependent parenting, Scripture gold-digging, “opening her mouth wide and letting God fill it”(Psalm 81:10), and running her race with perseverance, while podcasting and posting her Jesus take-a-ways. Katie serves on staff at Lincoln Village Ministries and is an active member at Church of the Highlands. She loves the ministry of reconciliation and how it reflects the heart of God and is passionate about seeing the next generation hunger and thirst for THAT JESUS! Connect with Katie on her blog at Psalm8110.com