Not Again!


SAME OL, SAME OL

Ever make the same mistake multiple times in a row? Some times that's not a huge deal - like when you hit the wrong button on the remote, forget to brush your teeth, or walk to the wrong car in the parking lot and try to unlock it. Other times, it can be damaging - turning the wrong way on a one way street, saying something in the heat of the moment, or locking your keys in the car...with the engine running!


It can embarrassing at least and life-altering at worst.


Sometimes that the way it feels when we fall into the same sin over and over again. We can begin to feel embarrassment, shame, and despair that we may never get it right.


What makes it even harder to recover from is when other people know about it. Friends, family, spouse, co-workers, neighbors, and others can sometimes see the consequences of our poor decisions and we can feel pretty stupid.


After a while, it can become discouraging. You may ask yourself, "Why do I keep screwing up? Why can't I get this right?" That's a valid question with a simple answer. You're fallible. You are not perfect. You never will be this side of heaven. I know that's not very comforting, but it's true.


Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." All of us fall short. Not one of us will ever get it right 100% of the time. So what do we do when we do mess up?


THE PRODIGAL HAS RETURNED...AGAIN

I love the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Especially the part at the end. Read it for yourself...

So [the prodigal son] got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Can you imagine if Luke 16 was the story of the Prodigal Son - Part 2? And Luke 17 was the Prodigal Son - Part 3? Then Part 4? And on and on?


I think it would've look like this...


Fortunately for us, God, who is portrayed by the father in the story, doesn't act like that towards us. Even though he could seeing as how we mess up over and over again. Sometimes I think I'm as bad as the Israelites...


Israelites: We love you God and will serve you!

God: I will bless you.

Israelites: Nevermind. We found another god.

God: I will curse you.

Israelites: We changed our minds. We love you and will serve you again.

God: I will bless you.

Israelites: Nevermind. We want to do it our way.

God: I will curse you.

Israelites: We're back, God.


But God is merciful. He is gracious. He is patient with you in your failings and shortcomings. So what do we do? How do we fix this mess for the umpteenth time?


YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN

Just like the prodigal son, you can come home again. It doesn't matter what you've done. God is waiting to welcome you back. He loves you. He wants you near him. He wants to forgive you, comfort you, and help you live in his presence again.


Think it's too good to be true? Then read 1 John 1:9...

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

God is a God of forgiveness and redemption. He will wipe your sin away, and restore you back to a right relationship with himself. All you have to do is confess. Tell him what you've done wrong. Ask him to help you walk in the spirit. Ask him to show you in his Word how to win the next time. Thank him for purifying you...again.


I know it may seem unreal. I know it may seem unlikely. But God is not waiting for you to mess up so he can squash you like a bug - He's waiting for you to confess so he can forgive you and welcome you home again.


You can come come. Again. And Again. Let that sink in.


Let's pray.

God, you don't have to forgive me, but I'm really glad you do. I don't want to keep messing up. Help me to find victory over this sin that keeps tripping me up. I need your word and your Holy Spirit to guide me and give me strength. Please help my life to bring you glory. In Jesus name, Amen.
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