If you're anything like me, you’ve required much forgiveness throughout your life.
“Much” is an understatement, and even purposefully vague, but you know what I mean.
There’s no need for us to recount our faults and failings here – neither our sins of old, nor our sins of today.
We know what we did. And if we ever forget, Satan is right there, reminding us with the Top-Ten reel that plays in our head, etching it on our brain
Small, But Important
There’s a tiny little two-letter word in The Lord’s Prayer: as.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
As well as?
In the same way as?
Why do you suppose Jesus told His disciples to include asking for forgiveness and forgiving others in our prayer?
Maybe we should forgive like this:
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:8-12)
(With Our Hands Over Our Ears) “NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA”
These days people don’t want to hear how truly depraved we are, how sinful and disobedient we are.
It’s much more pleasant to hear how blessed we are – and we are.
And so much nicer to hear how much God loves us – and He does.
We Tend To "Relativize" Our Sin:
“Well, at least I don’t kick puppies, or murder, or _______________…”
“I’m a pretty good person (most of the time), at least compared to so-and-so.”
“That’s not my truth, (so that really doesn’t apply to me).”
We are so very good at rationalizing and explaining away behavior that is wholly unacceptable to our holy God.
I know, But...
Sure, we know that God has His commands, and sure, God’s Word says,
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
But, did he really mean those words for us? For my family? For me?
Am I really what God would call sinful? Yes.
Do I really need the gift of forgiveness? Yes.
MUST I forgive others? Yes.
A couple verses after the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, in Matthew Chapter 6, we see this:
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
You Know, And He Knows
The eternal God and Creator of all, knows your name. He knows the very moment you were conceived. God knows everything – even the stuff you wish He didn’t know.
”If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
”This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24)
So, Confess. Repent. Ask God To Forgive You.
When you feel that sting of conviction, that arrow piercing your heart, and you ache from shame or guilt, then repent, and hear that your sins are forgiven.
Don’t let that just sneak by you – your sins are forgiven, Sister!
Our Lord loves you so much, that He gave up His life for you. Jesus bled and died for you. He sought you out and claimed you – even though you sought him not!
You, my friend, are free to live as a child of God, redeemed by the blood of Christ shed for you. How awesome is that?
Put Satan In His Place
I know all too well that the father of lies loves to remind us of our every deed. He makes us question God’s love for us, and doubt God’s promise of forgiveness.
Satan needs to be put in his place! Get behind me Satan!
There is nothing I can do to earn my way into heaven. Frankly, I’m relieved that it’s not up to my works! (How would I ever, ever know – for sure – that I did enough?)
Jesus already paid the price for my sins – and the sins of the whole world. Once, for all.
Thank You Lord, for Your forgiveness of all my sin – the wrong I do, and the good I fail to do. Help me to remember every day to turn to You, and to trust in Your saving grace. Amen.