Thank God for conviction!

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is

longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should

come to repentance.

How much does the God of all creation love you? He poured out His life for you

on the cross!

He gave His life because He wants every man, woman, and child who ever lived to

come to repentance and receive eternal life in Him and with Him. But some

people just don’t get it. Hence the need for conviction.

Depending on the context, conviction can have different meanings. In a court of

law, conviction refers to the formal declaration of guilt by a judge or jury: “he had

a prior conviction for robbery”. When speaking of an individual’s opinions,

conviction refers to a strongly held belief: “she doesn’t hesitate to share her

convictions regarding prejudice”.

The conviction of which I’m speaking is a mixture of both: it is the realization in a

person’s heart and spirit that they have sinned against God, and that sin needs to

be washed away. We don’t truly accept the forgiveness for our sin that God

provides through Jesus Christ until we are convicted of our sin – until we receive

the Holy Spirit’s “guilty” declaration in our heart and we strongly believe we need

to be cleansed from it.

Depending on the specific person and specific sin, that may be a quick and easy

process or a long, drawn-out and difficult one. With Peter’s betrayal of Christ it

only required a single glance: “But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are

saying!’ Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the

Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord,

how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’

So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:60-62). With David’s adultery with

Bathsheba and murder of Uriah her husband, it required a parable and a direct

accusation by the prophet Nathan: “So David’s anger was greatly aroused against

the man [in Nathan’s parable], and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives, the man

who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb,

because he did this thing and because he had no pity.’ Then Nathan said to David,

‘You are the man!’” (2 Samuel 12:5-7a). And this was David, “a man after God’s

own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14)!

However long we’ve been a Christian, and however deep our relationship with

Jesus might be … we all have blind spots in our lives: areas that need the forgiving

touch of Christ but we have a difficult time seeing them. And though the coming

of conviction can be very painful, it is actually a gift from God. David was “a man

after God’s own heart” not because he didn’t sin, but because each time he

sinned he turned back to the Lord and repented.

Conviction is one way God leads us to repentance – He doesn’t want the lost to

perish, and He doesn’t want the saved to carry the burden of unforgiven sin.

Pray that the Holy Spirit would shine a bright light of conviction in your life, and in

my life, too! And pray for all those in your circle of friends and acquaintances

who don’t yet know the saving power of Jesus, that they might experience that

same light of conviction, turn, and be saved.

Word of God: speak!

Non nobis Domine+

by Fr. Dana Jackson

© 2020


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