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SPOTLIGHT
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Hope and forgiveness for all

Published on -4/19/2013, 10:27 AM

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I wrote to the Reader Forum recently about my concern that Christians should keep our focus on our mission, which should be the message that there is hope and forgiveness for any person who comes to Christ.

Judging from another reader's response to my letter, I may not have made my point as clearly as I should have.

This message of Christ's love has made a big difference in people's lives. I am one of those people. I am so thankful for the many missionaries God sent to me. It certainly was not a waste of time introducing and connecting me to Jesus. They did not make Jesus the "default position," as the other writer characterized it. Rather, Jesus became the benchmark for my life.

If I relied on a "default position," it could bounce from one "default" to another. However, with Jesus as my benchmark, I travel on a road filled with God's forgiveness, mercy and grace. That allows me to keep looking to Jesus as I travel toward and become more like him. This has made a huge difference in my life. I no longer need to use other people as a way to determine the level of my moral character. As I look to Jesus, I see improvement take place in my life and I also see a lot more improvement to be made. Jesus is the one who is perfecting me.

I also see this work of his in other brothers and sisters in Christ. This awesome family of God includes those who have been incarcerated, divorced, have had incidents of sexually transmitted infections, have had abortions, and have engaged in gay sex. And the family of God includes people such as me who have been engaged in self-righteous behavior.

My brothers and sisters in Christ have tremendously blessed me. God is good.

I am thankful to the Lord for all people, and that includes those in the medical profession engaged in therapeutic intervention. I have been tremendously blessed by such and have seen others be blessed by them.

The Rev. Jerry Sprock, pastor, First Baptist Church of Hays

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