When I was eleven years old, I attended children’s Bible camp where I committed my life to Jesus Christ. At thirteen years of age, a friend of our family gave me a copy of John Bunyan’s novel, The Pilgrim’s Progress, written in 1678. I tried to read it, but it was far beyond my comprehension of language and understanding of the allegory. Mother recognized my struggle and bought me Little Pilgrim’s Progress, written by Helen Taylor in 1947. The story was the same but written so that children could grasp it and understand.
Pilgrim is travelling through life, hoping to get to heaven at the end, but he is carrying a huge load on his shoulders. Pilgrim meets different people who try to encourage him to let go of his burden. He is getting worn out from trying to lighten the load but to no avail.
By the end of his journey, Pilgrim understands that his burden is sin. He comes to the cross of Christ and realizes that only Jesus can forgive, but he must ask Him to do that. In His mercy and grace, God sent His only Son to die for our sin on Calvary.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
Scripture calls the believer a child of God. As we live life, we do wrong, but the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us to understand Scripture and to admit our sin. If we repent and confess, God forgives.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)
Jesus not only died for our sins, but He also rose from the dead, defeating death, so that the believer need have no worry about life’s end.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15 NIV)
We are secure in Jesus Christ. If you are still afraid of death, pray that God will release you from this slavery. If you are not afraid of death, thank God for your freedom!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help us to recognize when we do wrong and to ask for forgiveness. Help us to live free of the fear of death. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright © 2023, by Ruth Rowe <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada
Used with the permission of PresbyCan and author.