Acts 22:4, "I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison."
"There is no way that God could forgive me for that. I have hurt people I don't even know. I have hurt the loved ones in my life. And, in many ways, I have hurt myself. How can God love me when I hate myself?"
Have you ever felt the sting of these words in your own life? If we were to go back in time and talk to the Apostle Paul, he would probably say he felt the sting of these words. He was a persecutor, an executioner, and a destroyer of families—a man who did vile and evil things. Then, Christ came into his life and changed everything. But sometimes, guilt would still rear its ugly head. Through it all, Paul had to remember that God's love and mercy were greater than any sin. He rested in that knowledge, and it brought him peace.
How about you? Are you at rest because God's love is greater than any sin you have committed? Do you have confidence, knowing that if you have a relationship with Jesus, God doesn't see Your past sin; He only sees His Son in you, perfect and righteous? You now have the power, strength, and discipline to turn from your past and choose to live life God's way according to the truth of the Bible.
Work on memorizing the verse below, and let the power of its truth bring you peace. Romans 8:1-2, "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death."
Heavenly Father, I come to You today free from all condemnation and guilt. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that I might stand before You, pure and blameless. In Jesus' name, Amen.