During my early childhood, I only occasionally attended church with my mother. It was strange, even foreboding. There was no welcoming youth group or special services for children. I sat in the wooden pews confused by the sermons and bewildered by the peculiar actions of strangely garbed men waving censers, filling the sanctuary with the sickeningly sweet perfume of incense.
On this particular Sunday morning, however, my usual confusion was replaced with guilt. I was grounded, being punished by my parents. They were rightfully upset with me because I directly disobeyed them. As I sat in the pews, I wondered if they would ever forgive me. I had already apologized but it seemed that it was not enough. Desperate, I reached into my pocket and fished out a ten-dollar bill that I received from them for my birthday. I used to carry it with me because it would make me feel rich. Clutching it tightly, I quickly placed it in the offering plate as it passed in front of me.
I was only six years old and ten dollars was a lot of money, in fact, my entire savings. In my innocence and naivete, I thought I could make things right with my parents by giving the money to God. Why did I do this? Was I aware of some greater cosmic truth or had I inadvertently created some forlorn version of redeeming my guilt?
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him…
Colossians 1:19-22 (ESV)
Even in my childhood, a glimmer, a faint shadow of God’s redemptive plan for myself and everyone who has ever lived was embedded within my soul. We see this in many religions of the world. There are deep yearnings and beliefs amongst many people that if they sacrifice something of great value, it can make them right with their god and creation. Only many years later, did I learn the complete Truth of God’s plan to reconcile our guilty feelings.
It was not the sacrifice of my last dollar that made things right with God. It is only by confessing and repenting of my sins and placing my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, that I was finally able to deal with my guilt and sins. It is not by my actions but by those of God. God sacrificed something of great value to Him. He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on behalf of my sins and accept the punishment that I rightfully deserved.
It was an echo of a greater Truth that prompted me to give my last dollar. Thanks be to God that He revealed His complete Truth through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.