For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the Lord from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is a statute forever. (Leviticus 16:30-31, ESV)
Take time today to reflect on your year. How did you do? How can you better follow what God commands you to do. How can you serve Him more fully. More of Him and less of you.
In light of the fact that God is the Almighty Creator of this universe (Genesis 1:1); the one who made us (Genesis 2:7), then we must admit that He is ultimately in charge of us. He created us to have a relationship with him and it was perfect. He is Holy, meaning he is set apart from anything or anyone on this planet. Because he is holy he desired for us to be holy too (1 Peter 1:16 and Leviticus 11:44). He says, “Be Holy, for I am holy.” Unfortunately, because we have a choice in how we respond to God, sin entered the world because people wanted to use their freedom in a selfish way (Genesis 3). They decided to do things their way rather than obey and follow God. Their choice in favor of sin rather than obedience to God caused them to be separated from God. We are now born into that sin and no longer have a perfect holy relationship with God. He is also Just. By this he must be the perfect judge. He cannot merely overlook this sin because it goes against everything that he is. He requires justice and he promises that he will punish sin (Isaiah 66:15 and 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). The wages of sin is death and complete separation from God (Romans 6:23). I’ll say it again, we have no option other than complete separation from a holy God (Isaiah 59:2). Your payment for your sin will be required and that is what Hell is all about. By the grace of God, however, he has provided a solution. Thankfully, God is Love (1 John 4:8). He is the purest form of it. He came up with a perfect solution to the sin problem. This solution is a love so crushing that when you think about it, no human would ever do what he did. This loving, good news is that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, God in living human form (Colossians 1:15), to pay, in-full, the price of your sin by becoming the ultimate sacrifice (John 3:16). He died in the most brutal way possible, death by the Roman cross. He lived the life we could never live. A perfect life (2 Corinthians 5:21). He died a death that we fully deserved (1 Peter 3:18) yet he conquered that death by raising again from the dead to prove to the world that only through him could this debt be paid (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Because we still have a choice, it is up to God and you to accept the free gift of grace he is so lovingly giving to you (Romans 10:9-13, Acts 20:21). Living a good life, being kind to others, doing good deeds, and giving to charity will not get you into Heaven, it is only by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). You must turn from your sin and trust in Christ (1 John 1:9 and Acts 3:19). Give your life completely to God and have faith in Him (Philippians 3:9). Ask him to forgive you of your sins and ask God to take control of your life (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Thank the Lord that he is Holy, Just, and Loving.