I want to talk to you today about the fact that as Christians we have all just have to keep going. Perseverance is victory. If we don’t give up then we are going to make it to heaven. If we don’t give up we are going to see our prayers answered. The key is that we don’t give up.
Many people in the Bible made mistakes. They made mistakes but then they kept on going. They didn’t quit, or give up, or give in to discouragement. They kept on going.
Look at Jonah for example. God called him to go to a city called Ninevah and tell the people there that they were disobeying God and that they should turn away from their sins and return to the Lord. When Jonah heard this message from the Lord this is what happened: “Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.”
Jonah felt bad about disobeying God so he prayed and asked the Lord to forgive him and help him do God’s will. Then we read in the Bible: “This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh.”
Maybe God has asked you to do something for Him. Maybe He has given you a burden. Maybe there is something in your life that you are not doing and you feel bad because you are neglecting it. Maybe you are not telling your family about Jesus. Maybe you’re not going to church. Whatever it is, if you would like to change, then you would be wise to pray and ask God to help you so that you can follow the destiny and plan God has for your life.
Maybe you have sinned against God so badly and for so long that you think you are unworthy of being a Christian and living for God. Maybe you have given up or think that God cannot forgive yours sins. God even forgives murderers and then blesses them. If you come to God and ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and pray and ask Him to help you, He will forgive you, even if you have murdered someone.
Look at King David. King David committed adultery with a woman and then murdered her husband to try and cover up what he did. But God found him out and David was caught. He was guilty of murder and adultery. But then we read in Psalm 51 how David asked God to forgive Him. This is what we read: “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.”
God forgave David and David went on and stayed as the King. David served God and continued to be a man after God’s own heart even though he had made some pretty big mistakes.
In the New Testament we read about another murderer. His name was Paul. Paul used to be a non-Christian and he persecuted and killed Jews who had left the synagogue and become Christians. But one day Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and this is what happened: “As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’”
Jesus came to Saul in a vision and told Saul to stop persecuting Jesus and those who followed Jesus. Maybe you have persecuted Christians. Maybe you have made fun of your Somali brother or sister who has become a Christian. Maybe you have even killed some who have changed their religion to Christianity.
The Good news is that God is willing to forgive you. Even if you have killed someone God will forgive you if you ask Him to forgive you and if in your heart you want to be forgiven and live for God.
If you are a Somali I am asking you to stop persecuting and judging Christians. It is a sin to persecute someone because of the choice that they made and the religion they want to follow. If you are persecuting Christians it shows the evil that you have in your heart.
“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. 19 For out of theheart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. 20 These are what defile a man”
It is our heart that is sick, all of us. All of us need a new heart. A heart of flesh. God has to come into our hearts and change our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh.
What causes people to kill one another? What causes one group of people to think they are superior to another group and oppress them and take what is theirs? What causes people to yell and scream and persecute others? What causes people to hate others?
It is our hearts. Our hearts are what hold jealousy and hatred and self-ambition, where we think only of ourselves. When we see ourselves sacrificing our families and children for money this is a sin caused by greed that is living in our hearts.
My dear Somali brothers and sisters. Live in love. Do not hate anyone. Forgive each other your sins and live for God.