“Help us, O God of our salvation, For the glory of Your name; And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, For Your name’s sake!” Psalm 79:9
A few years back I had the opportunity to catch up with a close childhood friend that I had not spoken to for well over 15 years and the discussion, with me being a Pastor came around of course to faith in God. Our families were different when it came to God. Mine would NEVER miss church and his family only attended on Easter and Christmas. For this reason he had no problem praising my choice of going into full time ministry and credited my good upbringing, my good marriage, my good family and other things along those lines. I laughed and thanked him for his kind words, but I immediately reminded him that I participated in all the sin, mischief and destructive acts that he did growing up and his immediate response was: “Yeah, but you’re different; you’re a good person Eric, I could never be like you.”
Those words moved me to such compassion for him at that moment, for I knew who I was before Christ and only Christ has made me what I am today. I don’t think my friend realizes the debt I feel I owe him for teaching me the value of loyalty and friendship. How good his parents, his brother and sister were to me was an unrealized blessing as I grew up. I went on to tell him about the incredible mercy, grace and love of God that is all shown in and through Christ and His work on the cross. How none of us are worthy: that only in our faith in Christ and His atonement for our sins are we forgiven and accepted of God. He appeared saddened by what I said and in the end he just wouldn’t believe that God could love someone who had done all the things he had done throughout the course of his life.
I pray God allows me the opportunity to speak with him again some day in the future and that God surrounds him with others to speak into his life that one day he will trust Jesus as Savior.
Even those in Old Testament times knew that only God could provide atonement (appease, make reconciliation, purge, cover, forgive, hide, put off) for our sin and it wasn’t for our name’s sake, but it was for God’s name’s sake and for His glory. As Pastor Todd taught us on Sunday we are Holy because God is Holy. We are because He is.
Thank God today for your salvation.