Because her many sins have been forgiven, she has loved much.
But he who has been forgiven little loves little.

Luke 7:47

I had just returned from visiting friends across the river in New Jersey. From my apartment on the 22nd floor of Manhattan Plaza, I had a postcard view of the Empire State Building to the east. To the south, I could see the Twin Towers.
The year was 1982.
I sat at my no-frills metal desk clenching a Bible, the same King James version I had bought in Adelaide, Australia while doing research for the screenplay It’s a Beautiful Day. It was not a fancy, leather-bound book. It had cost, perhaps, five or six dollars at the time. And now I was squeezing it so tightly I might have torn it to pieces. “Thank you, Jesus,” I said repeatedly, overcome with emotion. “Thank you, thank you.”
I pictured a man at sea who had fallen overboard in a raging storm, reaching frantically for anything he could find to stay afloat. As I pulled the Bible to my chest, I realized I was that drowning man, and that God’s Word was a life preserver for my soul.
How far I had come in a year and a half!

When I bought the Bible in October 1980, it was to do research for a screenplay. Yes, I was enamored with spiritual things in general at the time, having delved into Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam in the years prior. But, frankly, I didn’t think I would find much of value in the Christian religion. I’ve shared the story before… how I opened the holy book in a small hotel room in Alice Springs, Australia and stumbled across the Sermon on the Mount.
I was undone by the beauty and simplicity of Jesus’ words in Matthew chapters 5–7. I can’t say I became a Christian overnight; in truth, I didn’t understand the notion of “becoming a Christian.” I assumed one was born, or brought up, in a particular religion and that was that. Nonetheless, I began reading the Bible while simultaneously attending a church in Staten Island, and while traveling through Europe in 1981, I committed my life to the Lordship of Christ.
The months that followed were a honeymoon for sure! What joy I found in being a Christian!
During that happy time, however, an unsettled feeling grew in my soul. What could the matter be? I was a Christ Follower; I was committed to Bible study and church attendance; I was sharing my faith with others and doing good deeds. I couldn’t figure it out, but I could pray. I no longer remember the exact prayer, but it was something along these lines: “Lord, I want to know you. I want to walk with you as the disciples walked.” And then I prayed the words of David: “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24).

Then came that fateful Sunday in New Jersey. 

I had left my friends’ house and was walking through a nearby stretch of woods when it dawned on me. Somehow, in the process of giving my life to Christ, I had missed out on being truly sorry for my sins! In pursuit of holiness, I had lost sight of repentance! Oh, I had given intellectual assent to the need for forgiveness, but where was the brokenness… the conviction of sin? Where was my Peter-the-fisherman moment of crying out, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8)?

It wasn’t there. And the realization broke me.

With sudden and awful clarity, I saw my sin for what it was—vile, deadly, toxic. And I was undone… rendered speechless by the revelation that a kind, forgiving, and sinless man had died in agony that I might live in victory. My sins, which had not seemed so terrible before, now towered above me like a skyscraper disappearing into the sky. “O, wretch that I am! Who shall rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24, 25).

I made my way back to Manhattan in silence. In Europe, I had asked Jesus to be my Lord. In New Jersey, I asked him to be my Savior.
May I ask you, dear friend: Is Jesus your Lord? If he is, then praise God! Is he also your Savior? Only you can answer the question. Only you can truly know if he has forgiven you of little or forgiven you of much. Why not settle it now? It’s as simple as saying you’re sorry for your sins and meaning it with every fiber of your being.
Can I lead us in a prayer?
Dear God, open our eyes to our sins. Keep us from condemnation and lead us to repentance. Help us learn from “sinners” who have repented of much… who are entering heaven ahead of the righteous who have no need of repentance. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
With much love this fall season!
P.S. Feel free to reply to this email with your comments. I read each one!

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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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