Lost and Found
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
John Vassar was an agent for the American Tract Society in the 1850s. He left a Bible in the home of a Christian woman whose husband was an infidel. When the husband discovered the Bible, he chopped it in two. Later, in an hour of despair, he began reading Luke 15, the story of the prodigal son, in his half of the Bible. Desperate to read the conclusion, he begged his wife for her half, read the story over and over, and was saved.
It’s easy to tell when the grace of God has opened the spiritual eyes of a sinner—he comes to a clear conclusion that he is a sinner! And it’s also easy to tell when personal sin is not clear to an individual—he sees sin in everyone but himself. The parable Jesus told of the two brothers (Luke 15) has an example of each. The younger, prodigal brother recognized his sin and repented before his father. The older brother, however, was indignant that his younger sibling had been forgiven. He couldn’t extend grace to others probably because he may not have experienced it himself. Which “brother” would you have been in Jesus’ parable?
Being forgiven by God only makes sense to those who know they’ve sinned.
I once was lost, but now am found.