GUILTY! My ears rang with that one word! That word would change my plans, my future and my world. The judge was angry, very angry! He then read the court sentence.
I was a convicted felon. I would lose my driver's license. I would pay all court costs and would fulfill a long list of obligations. Then he stopped to ask me a question: “Do you understand what it means to be found guilty?” I answered that I did. He went further: “Do you know what you lost by crashing your car into that house?” I quietly said that I did.
His voice softened and he said, “Then if you do what is required of you, I will erase this conviction on your 18th birthday. It will be as if it never happened.” For the first time in weeks, I felt hope. I began to believe that the weight of my guilt would not follow me the rest of my life.
On my 18th birthday, my record was swept clean just like the judge promised. It was as if I had never broken the law. It was like I was never convicted of a felony. I was free!
You may be feeling the same kind of guilt I felt that day so long ago. You know you did wrong. You may have stolen from someone. Perhaps you broke a promise to “love, cherish and obey.” You may even have taken someone's life. The weight of your guilt is heavy and it stops you from living!
I have good news for you. There is a way that you can have your record swept clean. There is a way that your guilt can be erased! God knows that everyone has done wrong. He understands that the wrong things we do create guilt. He also knows that the penalty of sin (the wrong things we do) is death! BUT, God made a way for us to find forgiveness and hope. It comes through the gift of God's One and only Son, Jesus.
Jesus never sinned, but He was willing to take our sins on Himself. He paid for our sin on a deadly cross. He was innocent but paid our sin debt! Three days later, He rose from the dead with the power to give us new life and hope now and forever!
It begins with a simple prayer like this:
“Dear Jesus, Please forgive me! I am sorry for the wrong things I have done. I am tired of the guilt I feel. I need to feel hope again. Please clear my record and give me a new start in life. I will follow You today and always! In Jesus' name, amen!”