A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. Matthew 12:20 (ESV)
Do you feel horrible when you sin? Does it really bother you that you offended God and grieved the Holy Spirit that lives in you? Do you even get mad that you “did it again”? Does is make you wonder sometimes that you’re even saved? Do you ask, How could God still love me when I keep stumbling over myself in my Christian walk?
Guilt for our sin should always lead us to repentance, but never leave us in despair. Our heavenly Father remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:14). If he counts iniquities no one will stand, but with him there is forgiveness (Psalm 130:3-4). Our heavenly Father runs to meet us when we come to him in repentance (Luke 15:20).
God’s great compassion is fully recognized in his son Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19 ESV) It was Jesus’ humble compassion that motivated him to minister to the sheep that he saw as having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36). He stood in the synagogue one Sabbath and shared his purpose for coming into the world. He read from the prophet Isaiah,“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV) Our Savior came into the world to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He came to lay down his life for his sheep (John 10:11).
Our walk with God may look like a bruised reed; we just bumble and stumble, yet humbly realize our total dependency upon God. It may look like a smoldering wick, yet there is still a little spark or else there would be no smoke. Neither of these will Jesus destroy. Rather, he will mend the brokenness and fan the smoke until we are fully formed in his image (Romans 8:29).
The scriptures remind us many times over of God’s faithfulness to perfect us. The apostle Paul wrote, Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV) Jude concurs, Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy. (Jude 1:24 ESV)
In his book The Bruised Reed Richard Sibbes wrote, ”Christ will not leave us till he has made us like himself, all glorious within and without, and presented us blameless before his Father.” Yes, hate our sin, strive for holiness, but remember—There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 ESV)
Are you bruised and smoldering? Come to the Father.
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Corinthians 1:7-9