For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
We fall. We are consumed with shame and guilt. We cry out for forgiveness, for help... only to end up falling again.
I've been there. In fact, I'm there right now. I'm like a well-dressed child that ends up in the mud. I battle the thoughts of Him loving me less, being angry with me and turning away from me... abandoning me. "It was my fault anyway, I deserve it!" I say to myself, "He would be right in His judgment if He came and slander me to pieces right at this moment. I deserve death."
Yet He calls me with the most beautiful & kind voice. And I run and try to hide because I am the child He clothed with clean & expensive garments and I'm all dirty now and He's going to be angry at me and I can't pay back for the expensive clothes. But He calls me. And my bones are breaking with the desire to run back to God in repentance. His spirit burns my heart with conviction, my heart can't stay hardened. So I end up on my knees and I come to Him wrecked and dirty. And He just loves on me and gives me His grace. "But I don't deserve this Abba, I deserve your hate and uttermost disappointment. You can't use me anymore," I tell Him.
"You belong to me and I love you. I don't see your sin, I see His blood that covers you. I don't see you as unworthy, for I have called you to myself and made you worthy. It's my choice. It pleases me to use you. It pleases me to love you. You are precious in my sight. If you fall, I hold your hand to help you get back up again beloved. Your debt has been paid."
My wise friend put it this way "I think it comes to that thing about spiritual maturity... how it isn't about how you stop sinning but how soon you call for help."
You are worthy, useful & loved by a Holy God full of mercy and grace. It's not too late to come back.
I can be confident in this: If He loved me when I was nothing, He'll make me into something. He won't stop loving me any less.
(p.s. this sermon was a perfect fit for my need)