Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spiritual Warfare and Mercy

Jesus, the Son of God, is a friend full of mercy, just as His Father is. He is ready and able to restore those who have fallen deep in sin, whether from pornography, substance abuse, even murder. Earl sought such forgiveness after one life-changing evening. Earl was drunk; he knew it was wrong to slip behind the wheel of his dad's car. Moreover, his license had been revoked a month earlier when he was arrested for, yes, drunk driving. When his seven-year old sister begged to go for a ride with him, even in his drunken state he was aware the answer should have been no. Earl says he doesn't remember running the red light and he has no memory of the truck hitting the passenger's side of his father's car. However, he says he does remember the gurgling sound his little sister made as she died before the rescue crew could get her out of the car. The eighteen months Earl spent in prison gave him a lot of time to think about his actions on that tragic day. He was in my office several days after his release. The most astounding thing for Earl was what I told him about Jesus-that all could be forgiven in Him through faith. Earl said he was amazed that "Jesus died for my sin, my rebellion, drunkenness, and my responsibility for the death of my baby sister. All of that was paid for on the cross." He knew he didn't deserve deliverance for his sinful actions, but that's what Jesus offers all who come to Him confessing sins and inviting Him into their lives. He gives grace and, in withholding ongoing punishment, He shows mercy. That day Earl asked and received the forgiveness of our heavenly Father. He invited Jesus into his life. His joy was heightened as he realized he would see his sister once more. He told me that his sister had trusted Christ as her Savior one year before the deadly accident. "She's in heaven now, waiting for me. I know that one day I will see my sister." Such faith nearly always brings tears to my eyes. But it also reinforces in me the power of Christ's forgiveness. Through it, we can gain real peace. This is another reason I believe Christian counseling is the only kind of counseling that can truly work. Christ's forgiveness is the reality that opens the door to all the other truths about Him. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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