Saturday, January 22, 2011

devotionals

i love the fact that there are so many good devotionals available to us ... in every form ... online, in print, youtube ... the formats really seem endless ... the Lord gets my attention - or answers a question - or gives a hug - through these means (and through my blog buds) ...

so i just wanted to share these good thoughts on forgiveness, from my "living truth" devotional  (http://livingtruth.ca/) ... 'cause at one point in my walk i had such a hard time forgiving myself - i needed to be reminded about what God does with our sin ... blessings on your weekend!!!!



What God does with our sin

"He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our transgressions from us."
- psalm 103:10-12

Why do we find it so difficult to accept God's forgiveness?  First of all, we must still live with the inevitable consequences of sin, the domino effects that our actions have set into motion.  The man who repents of his adultery still must reconcile with his wife or face divorce.  The forgiven alcoholic who has lost his job must still face life without a pay check.  Forgiveness will not bring back the aborted child.  Forgiven people sometimes have been sentenced to die in a gas chamber.

Another reason so many of us are reluctant to accept forgiveness is because we think we deserve to feel guilty.  We think, it's not fair for me to be free of guilt, given the wretch I am.  But guilt can never pay for sins.  Guilt of the most torturous kind does not commend us to God - we don't make ourselves any more presentable to God by enduring the misery we know we deserve.  Our guilt cannot add to the value of Christ's death on the cross for us.

In light of God's grace, it is sheer arrogance for us to hang on to our guilt.  C.S. Lewis put it like this:  "I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him."

We might be troubled by our forgiven sin, but God is not.  Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, our confessed sin has been so thoroughly put away that it no longer presents a barrier to our fellowship with the Almighty.  Forgiven sin is only what we make it to be:  Either we can allow it to plague our conscience, or we can send it to where God has already put it.

When I was a boy of about ten, my sister gave me a Magic Slate.  I would draw pictures and write words and phrases on it, then lift the transparent page and watch what I had written disappear without a trace.  Just so, our lives are written on God's tablet, but he can blot out the words we have said, the thoughts we have entertained, and the deeds we have done.  Yes, the consequences of our actions may remain, but our sins themselves are no longer visible.  God has put them out of His sight. - Erwin Lutzer



"if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" - 1 john 1:9 -

8 comments:

Mari said...

That's a great analogy! Thanks!

Felisol said...

Dear Saija,
I like the phrase "In light of God's grace, it is sheer arrogance for us to hang on to our guilt."
I guess much with my person is just that;Sheer arrogance.
I hope I will remind a saved sinner and look forwards with hope instead of backwards in anger.

I can see; I need to get old; I've got so much learning left.
from felisol

Pat said...

A perfect lesson example. Why are we so prone to be so unforgiving to ourselves? It's not from God, that's for sure, so that only leaves one other source whose name I won't mention but it begins with an S and ends with an A!

Deborah said...

Amen!

Sandy said...

I love devotionals too and
this is a great one. I don't
think I'll ever look at an
etch a sketch the same again.
Blessings on your weekend,
Saija.

Fred said...

Amen indeed. I need to stop by more often. So much I've missed.

Pat said...

Let me correct my previous comment. It starts with an S and ends with an N....not A, that would make it santa instead of satan.
Had you wondering though didn't I?

Nancy said...

Isn't that a comfort to know God as big as He is cares about little old us and has forgiven even our smallest, and biggist sins if we have truly had a contrite heart of repentance.