Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.'
In my worst moments I do some terrible things. I say things with the sole intention of cutting and hurting other people. I put myself first so often at the expense of others. I remain indifferent to so many other people's trials and difficulties as long as I make my own life as easy as possible. Looking back on this week I can see how often I have spent my time doing what I want whilst leaving those things I don't want to do for my wife to do after a busy and stressful day at work. Looking back further than that I can still remember things I have done which have caused real damage. So I look back to times when I have been irrationally angry, when I have been spiteful, when I have been oppressive and I can look on people who I have been repeatedly unkind to.
Then I look to Jesus and I recognise that in terms of my relationship with him I have done some terrible things. For years I rejected him and went completely my own way. I repeatedly marginalise and sideline him. I often rebel against his ways and decide I am still going to go my own way. My love for Jesus at times feels insignificant or even non existent.
I am certainly not the person I should be!
But actually those things don't represent my worst moments. No, my worst moments are when I see myself like that and don't care. My worst moments are when I am lazy and waste my life and it doesn't bother me. My worst moments are when I don't give a monkeys that I am living completely for myself, that my focus is on making my life as easy as possible at the expense of everyone else (including the people I love most in the world). My worst moments are when I find myself dismissing people and having no time for them and I think that it's o.k. to be like that. My worst moments are when I find myself ignoring the God who loved me enough to die for me and I couldn't care less.
But in my best moments I feel that. My best moments are not when I don't do those things (they are not my best moments but rather my imaginary moments). No my best moments are when I look at my life and I feel just how badly I am living my life. In my best moments I am ashamed that I allow my wife to do all the housework when I've had an easier day than her. In my best moments I feel the pain that my words and actions have caused to so many people throughout my life. In my best moments I am traumatised that I ignore Jesus and fail to live for him. In my best moments I cannot believe I so often fail to love God, read my Bible, pray to him after he came to earth and suffered death and hell for me. In my best moments I recognise that if I was God I would be blisteringly angry with me or have given up on me altogether.
It is in these best moments that the words I put at the top mean so much to me. In my worst moments the promise of being without sin seems insignificant to me. But in my best moments it seems like the most wonderful thing. To no longer hurt people. To no longer rebel against God but to be free of that is such a wonderful promise which in my best moments I cannot wait for. Of course this is not the pipe dream of some hymn writer. No this is just what Paul writes in Romans 6v6-7
'For we know that our old self was crucified with him (Jesus) so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.'
In my worst moments this means nothing to me. But in my best moments I long to cling on to this promise now and so in Christ's strength I start resisting sin knowing that one day I will be free from it completely. The thought of being saved to sin no more not only spurs me on to fight sin now but it also gives me so much excitement as I look forward to the day when that salvation will be complete and I will not only sin a bit less but will be truly freed from it forever!