A reputation can be a tough thing to escape. Some are good, some are bad. I know about a guy with a record, he steals; he steals a LOT. But a bunch of people love him because of WHAT he steals, and it’s always the same thing.
Before I tell you what this guy steals, let me tell you how glad I am that you’re joining me for “Mornings with Bishop Robert” today. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend! Join our email list to get a free copy of my book COUNT TO ONE, get Mornings with Bishop Robert sent directly to your inbox each morning, and lots of other great benefits. Click the link in the description.
Who’s the guy with the record for stealing I mentioned? It’s none other than Rickey Henderson, the man who holds the record as the all-time stolen bases leader in American Major League Baseball. Henderson stole 1406 bases over the course of his 25-year career. It’s a great reputation, actually.
Have you ever heard of US Marine Major Donnie Dugan? You may not recognise the name, but early in life he did something he didn’t want people to know about. Major Dugan is a pretty tough guy, a tough-nosed, highly decorated career marine. But he had a secret. Something he didn’t want anyone, not even his wife, to know. As a young boy, Dugan was a child actor and was hand picked by Walt Disney to be the voice of the lead character in the 1942 classic, Bambi. That’s right, Major Donnie Dugan is Bambi. Not exactly the image a commander in the US Marines wants to portray.
Today’s verse says AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST, SO FAR HAS HE REMOVED OUR SIN FROM US
Here’s the problem with reputations. They can change in the blink of an eye. Building your reputation is like mountain-climbing. It’s a slow hard slog to make good progress. It’s easy to slip and lose a lot of ground. Then it’s really difficult to regain your ground. And that’s where God’s view of us is so important, because He is the one who sees every aspect of our past, present and future all at once. Here’s why that’s so important.
When you give Jesus your life and begin to follow Him, He takes away your sin. Then you and He can live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. ALWAYS. The sin that separated the two of you is eliminated. The same God who spoke everything INTO existence commands even the memory of your sin to be gone from His presence.
How far away does He send them, you may ask? He removes our transgressions as far as the east is from the west. Consider that for a moment. If He had said “as far as the north is from the south” then your sins would only be about 40,000 kilometers away. You can only head north for so long before you are automatically heading south. Now for some of you, 40,000 kilometers may be far enough. Not for me. My sins were so vile I’d still be able to smell them from that distance.
But when He says “as far as the east is from the west” that’s a different story. You can travel east forever and NEVER get to west. He removes our sin to Neverland, so to speak. He will never recall them, never bring them back to His mind, never let them accuse you. Because He has removed them.
When you give Jesus your life and begin to follow Him, He takes away your sin. You offer YOU, it pleases Him so greatly that He offers you HIM !!! And He gives you His proclamation of peace between the two of you. You give glory, He gives grace.
Because He knows that you desperately need to be freed from your sin.
He knows that His peace is really what you’ve been asking for, even if you didn’t know that yet.
He knows who He has created you to be, even if you don’t know that yet.
He knows your future, so He knows your reputation in advance.
So, about your reputation … Go live it, and build it and let Him get the glory for it.