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Have you ever done something, something terrible, something depraved, something so sinful that, when you're done, you say, "That's not me." You commit that same sin again, blow up for the thousandth time, and walk down a dark road you don't want to go down. Why do we do this? Well, Jesus spoke in the Gospel according to St. Luke saying, "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26). Think about it. Today, we are worse than we were yesterday, which is worse than the day before and the day before. Every time we are forgiven of our sins, absolved and washed clean in the blood of Christ, we are cleansed of all our demons. What do the demons do? Do they leave us alone from that day forward? Does the devil forget about us? No, they come back with reinforcements, demons worse than the ones before. We know this. We experience this. We suffer the temptations of sin that morph daily and we succumb to the same sins with different faces. And when we're done, we look at ourselves in the mirror and go, "That's not me." "Who am I?"
Well, who are you, who am I? You are a weak sinner who is getting worse everyday, and so am I. Is this a license to just live however we want to live and sin as much as our little evil hearts desire? No. It is not an encouragement to sin that grace may abound. No, but rather it is a reality of our sinful flesh and the aggressive nature of the devil. The devil is not a house kitten who purrs at our feet, but rather a roaring lion devouring us. The devil is aggressive and won't stop until he rips us out of Jesus' hands. But what does Jesus say? Does He say that if the devil is persistent enough he will one day rip us out of His hands? Does Jesus say that one day you will sin enough that even He can't forgive you? No, Jesus says, " My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28). He says, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). Jesus keeps you in His hands by forgiving you, no matter how many times you sin. No matter how many times you don't know who you are because of how you feel and what you've done, Jesus reminds you of who you are in Him, by forgiving you your sins, and restoring you to a merciful relationship with His Father.
In the Large Catechism, Luther put the grace and mercy of Jesus this way saying that Jesus is like, "an eternal, unfailing fountain. The more it pours forth and overflows, the more it continues to give. God desires nothing more seriously from us than that we ask Him for much and great things." (Large Catechism III.56). This is how it is with Jesus. The more His mercy and forgiveness pours out for you, the more it showers you with His grace and absolution. Are you going to fail today? Yes. Are you going to have that moment when you look in the mirror and have no clue who you are? Yes. Will your feelings betray you and will you buy into the devil's lies about you? Yes. HOWEVER, does Jesus' words trump the devil's lies? YES! YES! YES! Does Jesus forgive your sins today, just like He did yesterday, and will forgive them tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day? YES, YES, and more YES! Does Jesus' Word change for you? NO. His feelings toward you will never change, and His word of forgiveness will never change. He will never change His mind about you. No. You are sealed in His Blood that He shed for you on the cross. Your Name is written in the Book of Life, sealed in the blood of Jesus that can never be erased.
Be at peace. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam be drowned anew that you may hear only the peaceful voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I love you. I forgive you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.