Our Lord gave a great example among the disciples and for us today when He began to wash the disciples feet, but when Peter refused Jesus said he would have no part with Him if he denies being cleansed. His message is we are to focus on serving Him and others as well. (John 13:8,12-17) Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Even though there be some who do not care how they live their life, we as Believers are to be an example to others that they see we love the Lord and all that His word stands for. It is a gift from God to help others to know our lives really do have a purpose and our Saviours sacrifice was not in vain as our actions reflect our faith! (1 Timothy 4:10-16) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
The best example given to any one of us of forgiveness is found in the following testimony given of Paul!
For anyone who feels they have sunk so low that surely God would never forgive them, raise your head up and accept the redemptive power of God offered to everyone who is truly sorry and repents of the way you are living and He will with open arms accept your plea if you truly turn from your sin and accept His free gift of redemption and never look back for it is now your past and He removes your sin as far as the east is from the west and can now live for the one who gives you a future! We have the beautiful example of God’s saving grace seen in the life of Paul who persecuted and threatened the very church he would turn and serve.
Read in his own words his testimony spoken to King Agrippa as he tells him of what happened to him on the road to Damascus. (Acts 26:9-19) I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange (foreign) cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, O King, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.
It is not even a question if God can forgive and show grace to those who will turn from a wrong way of life to one that is lived in obedience to him. Repentance is there for all who need it. (Isaiah 1:16-20) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.