When I was a kid, we always knew that when the dog slunk around the house and avoided our eyes we would soon find an “accident” in the living room. When you know that you have done wrong and offended someone, it is a powerful deterrent to wanting to have a close and intimate conversation with that person. Guilt makes you want to run away. When we are guilty of unconfessed and unforgiven sin, one of the first casualties is our desire to pray.
Here is the beauty of a relationship with our God that is based not on our performance and behavior but rather on his grace, that is, his decision to love and forgive us unconditionally. Jesus came to this earth not to pin medals on spiritual superstars but to rescue sinful and ashamed fools like you and me. He said once, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
When you are aware of your shortcomings, when your conscience makes you sick inside, when you are too ashamed to pray, that is the very best time to pray and claim the forgiveness that was bought for you for just such a time. God’s mercy is bigger than your sin. He will never despise a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17); in fact, his particular specialty is in healing broken hearts and providing rest for restless spirits.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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