God will forgive

Published 9:00 am Monday, June 3, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I love to garden. When spring comes, it’s therapeutic to dig in the dirt, bury seeds, and spend the summer water and pruning, waiting for the harvest. In the winter, my family and neighbors enjoy the fruit of the labor and our tables at Thanksgiving have the beauty and bounty of [God’s] blessings. This motivates me to do the hard work. It mirrors human souls – sometimes we dig in the dirt and just get dirty and have no growth, no harvest. I suspect this is why Jesus spoke often about seedtime and harvest. Isn’t this a lesson for spiritual growth? – S.G.

Dear S.G.: It’s often into broken ground that seeds of spring are planted; they germinate to grow into a bountiful harvest. And it’s into broken hearts that God – in love – plants His Word to prepare His people to do His great work.

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The Apostle Paul said, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ …establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17, NKJV).

Who can measure the love of God? When we read of God’s justice, it is justice tempered with love. When we read of God’s righteousness, it’s righteousness founded on love. When we read of God’s atonement for sin, it is atonement necessitated because of His love, provided by His love, finished by His love.

When we read about the resurrection of Christ, we see the miracle of His love. When we read about the abiding presence of Christ, we know the power of His love. When we read about the return of Christ, we long for the fulfillment of His love. No matter how black, dirty, shameful, or terrible our sin, God will forgive. Like a fresh running spring, we are to overflow and let our lives touch the lives of those around us. “Humbly accept the word [of God] planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21, NIV).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)