Some of the happiest people I
know are on probation. At first that may sound strange, but people who have
been convicted of a crime and are given a probated sentence have been given a
second chance. Their hearts were pounding as they stood before the judge
awaiting their sentence because of the fear of incarceration. After receiving
probation they were so grateful that they didn’t have to go to prison that they
were willing to do whatever was asked of them.
In a spiritual sense we
believers are all on probation, because we have all been found guilty and
worthy of death, but when we confess our sins (plead guilty) and throw
ourselves on the mercy of the Judge, we can be granted a probated sentence
which is good news. Now we get an opportunity to prove ourselves worthy of
this second chance by carefully following instructions. We should be elated
that we are no longer living outside the law.
Frequently the requirements
for probation include;
2. Community service
3. Frequent meetings with a
probation officer, for assessment of our conduct.
Does that ring a bell?
As believers we are expected
to correct our wrongs like Zacchaeus did, and we are expected to “steal no more
but work with our hands so we will have something to give to the needy”.
We have been given weekly and annual probation appointments, (Sabbaths, new
moons and feasts) which we are warned not to forsake. (Hebrews 10:25) And
these meetings are administered by a loving probation Officer who is a close
relative of the Judge who speaks often to Him on our behalf. This is all
wonderful news, but here is the sobering part. If we fail this test of
obedience we could be called a re – probate, or “reprobate” which means to fail
So let us rejoice ---- with
trembling, that is.
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