This past weekend we read Jeremiah 29:11.
I have friends who were on the list. The Ashley Madison list. Someone hacked into Ashley Madison—the life is too short so let’s have an affair site—and released the names of those who had an account on the site. When that verse was read and with my friends in mind, I thought what would Jesus say to those caught on Ashley Madison?
From what I’ve read about Jesus from the first four books of the New Testament written about Him to what I’ve experienced with Him, I believe there’s three things He’d say.
Don’t try to clean yourself up before coming to me. I’m the only one who can make you clean. It’s like washing up before taking a bath. Jesus is the only one who can make us clean because He died for our sin. He was our perfect substitute and sacrificed His very life so that we can avoid the punishment of our sin. With Jesus taking on our punishment for our sin, it doesn’t mean that we get away with our sin. We’ll suffer some consequences of our sins. For those exposed, my friends might lose a marriage, friends, reputation, or a job.
I’ve never left you. Although my friends stepped outside of God’s will for them, Jesus didn’t go anywhere. If they’re saved, the Holy Spirit still lives in them. Instead of feeding the Spirit, they fed their sinful nature. The thing that I keep hearing from them is the shame and guilt they feel upon being exposed. What makes me sad is the shame and guilt is now after they’ve been exposed and not before they clicked on the site. I don’t want to lose sight that all of us have done this…trusted in our limited knowledge and sinned against God. I love the promise that’s made in Deuteronomy 31:8 and Hebrews 13:5.
Take up your cross every day. Being a follower of Jesus takes faith. It’s hard work because we have an enemy that is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy us. Along with the devil, our sinful nature is relentless with wanting to get its way. It’s only by His strength we’re able to surrender to His plans, purposes, and will for our life. It only takes one self-centered decision to ruin your life…my friends can attest to that.
What do you believe He’d say?