What Should You Do When You Sin?
"If you return to Me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me." (Jeremiah 15:19a NLT)
When you became a believer in Christ, you were born again into God's family, and you cannot be unborn. Although the fellowship with God can be broken by sin, the relationship is still there. You're only one step away from returning.
So, what should you do when you sin? One word: Return! Come back to Christ. It's that simple.
Isaiah 1:18 says, "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow" (LB).
If ever there were a sin you'd think was unforgivable, it would be denying Jesus three times on the night he was betrayed. But Jesus knew Peter would deny him, and he even knew Peter would come back to him. In fact, before it even happened, Jesus said to Peter in the Upper Room, "I have pleaded in prayer for you that your faith should not completely fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers" (Luke 22:32).
Jesus knew that Peter's ministry would be more effective after his denial than it was before. And, sure enough, it was! Peter wrote two of the books of the Bible called 1 and 2 Peter. Then he shared his memoirs with a relative, and that's the Gospel of Mark.
You may think God's forgotten you. He hasn't. The Good Shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to go after the one. He knows how you've fallen away. If you have - either by one giant step or a series of petty steps where you just slipped away and you're not as close to Christ as you used to be - you need to pray what David prayed when he came back to God after committing adultery. He said, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation" (Psalm 51:12 NLT). David did not have to pray, "God, restore to me my salvation," because he hadn't lost his salvation. He had lost the joy.
And some of you have, too. Come home to Christ today.
Talk It Over
- What keeps you from returning to Christ after you've sinned?
- What do you need God to restore in your life that has been broken because of sin?
- How can you be more effective for Christ by returning in repentance to him? What do you want to accomplish for God's Kingdom?