In Old Testament Times there was a payment, sacrifice, to make for sins so the people could get right with God. They had to sacrifice their animals, their food, the things that made up their lifestyle: the things they liked, things of personal value to them. OMG, I can’t even imagine if we had to make a personal physical sacrifice for every sin we commit in a week! Every half-truth, mean thought, snide answer to a parent: There goes the cell phone, the iPad, the laptop, the truck, half the food money, our beloved pets . . . OHH NOOO! If we had to make a personal sacrifice for every sin we commit, we’d all end up homeless and poor in a very short time.


But God had mercy on us and He sent His son Jesus to pay for everything up front. Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (v. 23).


God loved us so much He sent His son to give us a new way. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And Jesus loved us so much, He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).


Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”


God no longer wants sacrifices from us; He just wants us to accept what He did in sending Jesus. He is just so happy when we believe in Jesus. Jesus said, “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice:’ for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9:13).


Jesus Christ, having no sin at all, “had offered for all time a single sacrifice or sins” (Heb. 10:12).


What if we did have to sacrifice something we like every time we sin? Yikes. But seriously, God does have one requirement that many of us have forgotten about. He requires that we repent. That means we actually need to take a few minutes each day (most likely) to acknowledge to the Lord, that we’ve sinned. We may even thank God and the Lord Jesus for making the sacrifice for us instead, and ask Him to help us get better at not sinning.


First John 1:8 reminds us, “If we say that we have not sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” But then this is the absolute mercy of God: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).


Love, Carolyn


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