In the United States 95 percent of convictions are the result of plea bargains. People charged with crimes plead guilty to lesser charges to get shorter sentences. Sadly, the vast majority of plea deals come from poor people unable to pay attorneys. Yet the principle of pleading guilty has its benefits. King David found this out many years ago. He had violated God’s will by taking a census of his fighting men. When God confronted him through the prophet, David confessed his sin and pleaded for God’s mercy. Though God punished the king by sending a plague, He spared the city of Jerusalem because David confessed his sin. We read in 1 Chronicles 21:28 “When David saw that the LORD had answered his prayer, he offered sacrifices there at Araunah’s threshing floor.” David offered sacrifices of thanksgiving and declared he would build a Temple on that spot to memorialize God’s grace. Like David, we all sin, yet God is willing to forgive and restore us to His favor when we confess our sin and ask for forgiveness. God forgives because His Son Jesus Christ has paid our sin debt. Once forgiven, in gratitude, we offer ourselves to love God and show respect, kindness, and justice to others.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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