Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah. He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010. Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.
Your Sins are Forgiven…
Mark 2:5 “Son, your sins are forgiven”There can be no greater need in the human heart and conscience than to hear that our sins are forgiven. So many of us live with shattered lives and broken dreams, because of past mistakes, errors in judgement, hasty words, bad actions and perverse deeds.Regrets and fears sometimes stalk the conscience of even the very best of human beings. After her death in September 1997 Time magazine published a cover story on Mother Theresa entitled “Mother Theresa’s Crisis of Faith”. In this article written ten years after her death and quoting from her correspondence, they showed that even such a highly revered person was plagued by doubts about her relationship with God. This only showed how human she was and many of us can identify with her strugglesHow wonderful then to hear these the best of words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ “……. Your sins are forgiven”! In the story in Mark’s Gospel the man who was ill was not presented to Jesus to have his sins forgiven. He was a paralytic and his friends frantically tore a hole in the roof to let the man down in front of Jesus to be healed. But the Saviour is wiser than the wisest of men and perceived a greater need in this man than simply the healing of his limbs, great though that need undoubtedly was. There was a much greater need. He needed his sins forgiven. This is a great reminder to us that sometimes the outward symptoms we experience occasionally mask a greater need. Often when people are struggling for instance with a persistent depression or other troubling affliction it is because the prevailing problem is not the chief problem. There is often a hidden need. Forgiveness is needed for some sin or failure buried deep away in past memories.
The thing for us to notice is that this carpenter from Nazareth not only had the insight to know this about us but also has the power and authority to forgive us because of who He was and what He came to do for us.
Perhaps your conscience is heavy as you read this. What can you do? You can turn to Jesus in full confidence that not only does He receive all who come to Him but that He has the full authority to forgive all our sins forever.
Prayer:“Lord, see my heart, know my need. Please forgive me for all my past sins. Know my heart and set my conscience free and may your name be glorified. Amen”