Charlotte was a very cute little girl. She was full of energy and loved to play. When she first started kindergarten, she was a little shy. But it didn’t take long for her to come out of her shell and make lots of friends. One day when the teacher stepped out of the room for a moment, little Billy dared Charlotte to steal a piece of candy from the large bowl of candy the teacher kept on her desk to reward her students for good behavior or for correctly answering a difficult question. Charlotte turned to Billy and emphatically said no. Billy asked her why not. Charlotte stated confidently, “Because my daddy loves me and he told me to be a good girl.” In eighth grade, Charlotte’s best friend was Suzie. Charlotte and Suzie hung out together all the time. One night when Charlotte was spending the night at Suzie’s house, they stayed up late to watch a movie. After everyone else had been in bed for a while, Suzie sneaked over to a cabinet in the kitchen and came back with a bottle. “What’s that?” Charlotte asked. “Vodka.” Suzie said. “I’ve been wanting to try this because I always see my parents drink it when they have friends over. Here, let me put some in your Coke.” Charlotte put her hand over her glass. “I don’t want any. Please put that back.” “Why?” asked Suzie. Charlotte said, “I love my dad very much and he has warned me about alcohol. I trust him and promised him I wouldn’t do this.” Although she was a little disappointed, Suzie cared about Charlotte a lot. She reluctantly walked back to the kitchen and put the vodka away. By twelfth grade, Charlotte was a beautiful young lady. She was very popular and made good grades. Because of her grades and the fact that she never got in trouble, Charlotte’s parents had given her quite a bit of freedom. Thursday nights were family night. Charlotte, her mom and her dad always had dinner together on family night. But tonight, Charlotte wasn’t looking forward to dinner. She had spent the afternoon talking with her mom and knew that she had to tell her dad what was going on. Charlotte had never really seen her dad angry before. But more than anything she was just afraid of disappointing him. She also felt very guilty. Her dad had worked hard to provide for the family and she didn’t want to make things any harder on him. About half way through dinner, George, Charlotte’s father, finally said, “What’s wrong? It hasn’t been this quiet on a Thursday night since Scooby (the family dog) died.” He didn’t get an answer. In fact, Charlotte had not looked up from her plate or eaten a bite since they sat down. “Charlotte.” George said, “What is the matter?” George saw the tear run down Charlotte’s cheek. Charlotte looked up and said, “Daddy. You know I love you. I have always tried to be a good girl. I’ve always listened to you and tried to do the right thing.” “What is it baby?” George asked compassionately. “I’m pregnant.” Charlotte said as she burst out crying. George was shocked. As hard as he tried he couldn’t hide the disappointment. His mind raced with thoughts of Charlotte’s future (high school graduation, college, married,…). George looked towards his wife Cynthia to ground himself. Cynthia was crying too. George was overcome with emotion. He felt anger, disappointment, frustration. In just a few moments, it seemed like hours were passing by. And then he felt Charlotte’s hand on his. “Daddy. I am so very sorry. Do you forgive me?” Through the flood of emotions he was feeling, one rose to the surface and drowned the others. Compassion. With tears running down his own face now, and thinking about many of the mistakes he had made in his own life, he felt embarrassed and ashamed of the anger and disappointment he had just been feeling. He got up and walked around the table where he knelt down beside Charlotte’s chair. “I love you, Charlotte. Of course I forgive you. Let’s figure out what we are going to do to take care of you and my first grandchild.” Charlotte reached over and hugged her father tightly. Although he knew there would be tough times ahead, George felt a measure of peace as he heard Charlotte whisper in his ear, “My daddy loves me.”


Focus Verse: 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

Additional Verses: Psalm 103:8-13, 1 John 4:16-19, John 14:15,


Our Christian experience should not be much different than Charlotte’s. First she recognized the love her father had for her; just as we recognize the love God has for us (John 3:16, 1 John 4:16). As she matured, she realized how much she had grown to love her father. Similarly, as we are sanctified and mature as Christians, we recognize how much we love God (1 John 4:19). Then, because of her appreciation for all he had done for her, Charlotte tried to do the things she knew would please her father. Because of our love for Christ, we should strive to keep his commandments (John 14:15). And finally, when she fell short, as we all do (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8), Charlotte humbly approached her father, confident in his love for her, and asked for forgiveness. Just as Christians, we know that God will forgive our sins when we ask Him to (1 John 1:9, Psalm 103:8-13).


Heavenly Father, my Lord and Savior, blessed be Your holy name forever and ever. Thank You for the many ways You have demonstrated Your love for me. Thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for my sins. I pray dear Lord that I please you as I try to live my life according to Your will and Your commandments. And I am so grateful that when I sin, I can humbly approach Your throne of grace and ask Your forgiveness; knowing that You are faithful and just to forgive me. I love You more each day Lord. And I thank You for Your incomprehensible love for me. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.