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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lady of the Night, Part III

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."1

The previous two Daily Encounters shared how I had been approached in a city out East by a lady of the night and how we got into an interesting conversation. (You can read the previous two issues at: Click on October 20 and 21).

Now I knew the reason why Toni was a prostitute. She was craving a father's and mother's love which she had never received. She was also acting out her inner hurt, anger, and self-hatred in self-destructive ways. She was desperately craving for love and acceptance—obviously in all the wrong ways and places.

Apparently there was another couple involved in this "business." They could see that things weren't going too well for them. They were closing in on Toni and trying to get her away.

I reached around to block them for a moment, put my arm around Toni's shoulder and said, "Toni, I will probably never ever see you again, but there is something very important that I want to tell you. I hope you will never forget this as long as you live. It is this: no matter what you have ever done or have failed to do—and no matter what it is, and no matter how you ever feel or don't feel, please remember that God loves you and so do I."

And with that I let go of Toni and she was taken away.

As I sat down again I felt deeply moved in my spirit. Two people had related—heart-to-heart and not merely head-to-head as in so many conversations. Then I was struck with the thought that in God's sight there wasn't that much difference between Toni and me; the only difference being that, to overcome the voice of her inner pain and emptiness, Toni became a sexaholic. To overcome my inner pain and emptiness I became a workaholic—"for God," no less! But with God, who looks on the heart and not merely on the outward appearance, there wasn't any difference—Toni and I had both sinned and come short of the perfection (wholeness) that God had envisioned for us both.2

In God's sight we were both equally sinners. And then as I sat there in deep contemplation, waiting for my friend to get off work, another truth hit me. It was this: It was a lack of love that drove Toni into acts of sin. Only love will ever take her out again!

Love, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness. That's the message of Christ and true Christianity. It's the message that we all need to hear—and experience. And it's the message that Christ has for you and me today (and the message He wants you and me to give to everyone else in need). As another has said, "Christianity is experiencing divine love, divine acceptance and divine forgiveness and communicating this to every life we touch."

So, dear reader, God wants you to know, too, that no matter what you have ever done or have failed to do, He loves you and has the gift of acceptance and forgiveness for you. It's yours for the taking. Why not respond to God's love today by confessing your need and asking for His forgiveness and healing?

For help be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian—without having to be religious at:

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to be accepting and non-judgmental of fellow sinners and be one to whom they feel safe to confess their sins—and help them to turn to You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. John 1:9 (NIV).
2. Romans 3:23.


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