Basketball Paul Finds Forgivness

Tommy, my best friend stood under the goal and looked at me as he held the basketball. He looked away and then since I was the only one from our 6th grade team close he threw the ball to me. All the other players were behind me and no one was between me and the basket so I got set and made a kind of a jump shot.I watched the ball sail through the air and fall neatly into the basket. I turned around with a grin thinking the parents and other students in the stands would cheer for me…but they laughed. I looked over at my coach who was talking to one of the referees as my friend Tommy came up to me. “What happened?” I asked.“You made a basket for the other team!” Tommy said with disgust. Suddenly I realized my mistake and I felt terrible. Somehow I had gotten mixed up. When did we switch goals? I wondered to myself. I looked back at the coach and he looked at me and waved his hand for me to stay in the game and he sat down and waited for the game to resume.The referees reset the clock, charged our team a time-out and blew their whistles to start again. My basket made in error was ignored and it was like it never happened. I looked at Tommy as he ran back to where the whole thing started and I wondered what to do. I felt like crawling under a chair and hiding but I knew I wouldn’t fit. Finally, I decided, the best thing for me to do was to keep on playing and try to do better.Tommy threw the ball to me and I threw it back to him as he stepped in bounds. I ran down the court and took up my position as right forward and glanced over at my coach. He nodded at me and I felt better, but not great. I played the rest of the game as hard as I could and although I don’t remember whether we won or lost that day I remember the lesson I learned. In life we will make mistakes and we can either keep on going, or we can give up. We have to make the choice. 
The Christian life is like that, too. Sometimes we mess up. We get tangled up in sin. We have a choice to make then. Will we confess to the Lord and accept His forgiveness, or will we give up on ourselves? God doesn’t give up. He sent His Son to die for all our sins. And His grace is greater than all our sins. Romans 5.20 says: God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. NLTLike my coach restored me to my playing status with a simple nod, the Lord will restore me to fellowship with Him when I look to Him for forgiveness. And then I can get back in the game.Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Rom 4.7 NLT

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