Straighten for us the way of godliness
Many spiritual fathers, religion teachers and
spiritual guides think that the way to repentance is
through advices and teachings which are difficult to
follow. Such advices are useful for those who are
growing in the grace not for beginners who might feel
that spiritual life is too hard to follow so they just stay
away. Whereas on the other hand spiritual life is not as
difficult. Jesus Christ rebuked the scribes and
Pharisees who make things hard as they “For they
bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them
on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will
not move them with one of their finger” (Mt
23:4). He also said “woe to you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of
heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves,
nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Mt
Jesus Christ cared for the needy so that they
might enter His Kingdom.
In the Parable of the great supper the master said
to his servant “Go out quickly into the streets and
lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the
maimed and the lame and the blind…” (Lk14:21). No
doubt those poor, maimed, lamed and blind are
symbol of the needy whom by the grace of God are
able to enter into His kingdom.
Also in the parable of the vineyard workers; the
landowner gave the laborers who were hired about
the eleventh hour the same wage as that of the
others (Mt 20:6-10).
There are many examples of God’s kindness in
treating the sinners:
As how he treated the Samaritan sinful woman who
had five husbands and the one whom she was with
was not her husband (Jn 4:18). God treated her
gently, was not harsh with her on confessing to Him,
He rather encouraged her to seek the living water and
to worship God in spirit and truth. He also said to her
“You have well said, ‘I have no husband…in that you
spoke truly”. He didn’t force her to tell details about
her sins…and so the woman believed that he is Christ
and went to preach the people of her city…
And with the same kindness He treated Peter the
apostle who denied Him three times, and told him
“Feed My lambs…Feed My sheep” (Jn 21:15-17).
And with that same kindness He also treated
Thomas the apostle who doubted His resurrection, He
appeared to him and showed him His wounds and
made him touch them saying “Do not be unbelieving,
but believing” (Jn 20:26-28).
We contemplate as well on how He treated
David and Jacob the son of Isaac:
David made a big and diverged sin, for which he
repented in tears. Then David died and Solomon
became the king whom the bible says about “his
heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the
heart of his father David” (1 K 11:4). God punished
and said “I will surely tear the kingdom away from
you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will
not do it in your days, for the sake of your father
David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I
will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My
servant David” (1 K 11:11-13).
How amazing is the way God honored David His
servant and considered him an intercessor for
Solomon without even asking for it, God even spoke
about his heart which was perfect before the Lord.
As for Jacob who sold his birthright to his brother
for a stew of lentils (Gn25:29-34) , then deceived
Isaac his father who was blind at that time and told
him “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as
you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game,
that your soul may bless me…Then he said, “Are you
really my son Esau? He said, ‘I am’ so he blessed
And though Jacob’s deceived his father, God
appeared to him in a vision and blessed him.
God appeared to him in a revelation where he
beheld a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top
reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were
ascending and descending on it and said to him “your
descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you
shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the
north and the south; and in you and in your seed all
the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I
am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and
will bring you back to this land” (Gn 28:12-15).
God once more blessed Jacob when he struggled
with Him and changed his name telling him “for you
have struggled with God and with men, and have
prevailed” (Gn 32:28,29).
For that and for other reasons as well, David
chants his beautiful song saying:
“Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His
mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the
hand of man” (2 S 24:14).
That was what also happened with the woman
caught in adultery. She fell into the hands of the
Scribes and Pharisees who wanted her to be stoned,
but the Lord saved her from them all so they left her
and went away, then He said to the woman: “where
are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned
you?... Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no
more” (Jn 8:2-11).
Also the fig tree planted in a vineyard, which had
no fruits for three years and they wanted to cut it
down, as why did it use up the ground? But the
tender heart said: “Sir, let it alone this year also, until
I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit,
well. But if not, after that you can cut it down” (Lk
13:6-9). That is how God works: He is so patient with
the sinner giving him a chance during which the grace
works in him preparing him for repentance and for
bearing good fruits
God seeks the sinners, asks for them and draws
them to repentance.
If you are defeated, don’t ever be desperate of
your defeat. If you not able to save yourself; God is
capable of saving you if you put yourself into His
hands and tell him “Restore me, and I will return” (Jr
If you are not able to do spiritual work and do not
want to repent; there is the apostle says “for it is God
who works in you both to will and to do for His good
pleasure” (Phil 2:13). Seek the Lord so that He might
give you the will, the desire and the power to work
and He will work in you with His Holy Spirit…
The Lord says “for the Son of Man has come to
seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk 19:10), He
didn’t say that He came to save who made a mistake
or who fell; he rather said a phrase which is full of
hope “come to seek and to save that which was lost”.
He also said “I have not come to call the
righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Lk 5:32).
He used sometimes to sit with the sinners and tax
collectors to draw them to Him and to the life of
righteousness, and when the Scribes and Pharisees
complained against Him he told them “I have not
come to call the righteous, but sinners, to
repentance” (Lk 5:31).
Examples of how God seeks the sinners to
bring them back are:
His seeking Zacchaeus the tax collector who
was famous to the Jews for his sins, God entered his
house and the Jews complained and said “He has
gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner”, and
God defended him saying: that he also is a son of
Abraham and said “Today salvation has come to this
house” (Lk 19:9).
By this kind treatment Zacchaeus repented and
said “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor;
and if I have taken anything from anyone by false
accusation, I restore fourfold” (Lk19:8). As God goes
for the sinners, by that He restores them to the life of
And that was what God did on seeking the
lost sheep and the lost coin:
The lost sheep was lost due to ignorance and lack
of perception, that same sheep God sought him till He
found him then He laid it on His shoulders rejoicing
As for the lost coin, it was someone else who
caused its loss; it was also searched for till it was
found and there was a reason for rejoice (Lk 15:8,9).
Luke the evangelist concludes these two parables
by God’s saying “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in
the presence of the angels of God over one sinner
who repents” (Lk 15:10).
God cares for the sinners, He saves them
from exile and captivity.
God says in the book of Ezekiel the Prophet “I will
feed My flock, and I will make them lie down… I will
seek what was lost and bring back what was driven
away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was
sick” (Ez 34;15,16) he also says “I Myself will search
for My sheep and seek them out… and deliver them
from all the places where they were scattered… I will
feed them in good pasture… There they shall lie down
in a good fold and feed in rich pasture” (Ez 34:11-
• David the Prophet chants with this patronage and
says” The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He
leads me beside the still waters. He restores my
soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness…
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are
with me” (Ps 23).
• Jesus Christ our Lord says in the prophecy of
Isaiah the Prophet “The Spirit of the Lord God is
upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to
preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me
to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to
the captives, and the opening of the prison to
those who are bound” (Is 61:1). So if you are one
of those poor, captives or those who are bound;
you have hope in the Lord’s work for your sake
and for saving you from whatever you are in…
God, in His tenderness, cares so much for
those who are so much weary.
He is the comfort of the fainthearted; the harbor
of those in the storm.
That is why the book says “But where sin
abounded, grace abounded much more” (Ro 5:20).
And here we see God’s promise “I will keep you from
the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole
world” (Rev 3:10). He also gives the trial along with
the way to escape out of it (1 Co 10:13).
No matter how bad has the sinner become; God
takes care of him as the bible says “Remember the
prisoners as if chained with them—those who are
mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body
also” (He 13:3) . So if you are chained with a sin and
it has come over you don’t be desperate as the
church is praying for you…
And if you are not able to fulfill our debts to God
so remember what God say in the parable of the
debtors “And when they had nothing with which to
repay, he freely forgave them both” (Lk 7:42). Be
sure that God-as the chanter says- “He has not dealt
with us according to our sins, nor punished us
according to our iniquities” (Ps 103:10).
Many have been granted forgiveness, with
God’s love and kindness, not with their deeds.
Some have been given forgiveness by only one
word, others were given forgiveness not by crying but
with their tears.
Some were given forgiveness by their remorse, or
by being silent. God accepted all of them and granted
The right thief who was crucified with Him, he
only said one phrase “Lord, remember me when You
come into Your kingdom” and at the same time he
heard the saying of the Lord “today you will be with
Me in Paradise” (Lk 23:42, 43).
And the tax collector who stood afar of the temple
and said “God, be merciful to me a sinner”, and God
said about him that he went down to his house
justified. (Lk 18:13).
God perceived the heart of every one of those
two, and the sole phrase was sufficient as it was
coming out of a remorseful heart without other
The sinful woman who washed God’s feet with her
tears and wiped them with the hair of her head, she
didn’t say even one word but her tears though spoke
for her so God forgave her and said “her sins, which
are many, are forgiven, for she loved much” (Lk
It is the state of the heart which matters not how
much we talk.
The woman caught in adultery; what did she do
for forgiveness? Nothing except feeling of remorse
and in silence, hence God told her “Neither do I
condemn you” (Jn 8:11).
And the Samaritan woman: what did she do for
repentance? Nothing, she just responded to what the
Lord God said to her and believed that He was the
So you’ve got to pray saying “How long, O Lord?
Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me? How long
shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my
heart daily?... How long will my enemy be exalted
over me?” (Ps 13).
Or you can say to the Lord “If You, Lord, should
mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is
forgiveness with You” (Ps130:3) “Do not enter into
judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no one
living is righteous” (Ps 143:2).
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