I read the words, every sinner has a future and every saint has a past, on a billboard on a local freeway. Those words touched something in my spirit.
Each time I saw the billboard, I’d remember the person I was before becoming a Christian. I was not someone who was acceptable, in any form of the word, in the presence of God. I had such a past that when I think about some of my behaviors now, I hang my head in shame. The church, by all rights, should have imploded when I came in the doors or I should have immediately burst into flames. I’m always amazed at the depth, breath, and length of the grace and love of God has for us in our sinful conditions.
I embraced the title of saint that signified my sin cleansing, soul changing experience with God. Because of my new birth experience I was given a future. I was born into the family of God and given His name. I had to learn that just as I’m an heir to my parents, I’m an heir and joint heir to all that God has through Jesus Christ. My past infractions were placed into a sea of forgetfulness. This opportunity enhanced every part of my life and everyone in my life, family, friend, or foe, was affected positively.
More important, this billboard reminds me that I have no right to frown on someone who hasn’t had the new birth experience or living a certain kind of life. We all are in some mode of transition. We all have a past. I have no right to remind, hold against, or make public someone for their past, no more than I’d want that done to me.
It keeps me humble. I know if Jesus withdrew His grace for a minute from me, I’d be back doing some of those same things. It encourages me that I do have a future, no matter what my past may be or what hardship I may encounter.
Be encouraged to know that you don’t have to live in a terrible today. You can put those failures in your past, then forget them, God will. Enjoy a bright promising future and press toward a better tomorrow with a loving God.