Verse of the Week: I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Encouraging Thought: God is gracious and merciful. That’s why He forgives over and over again. In Exodus 34:6-7, God proclaims “…The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
God is so good that He bestows upon you the forgiveness that you don’t deserve. However, there is something you must do in order to receive that forgiveness. You must confess your sins. That means you admit to God that you sinned. And when you confess to God, he not only forgives you of the sin that you confessed, but He cleanses you from all unrighteousness – that includes the sins you may have forgotten about or the sins that you didn’t realize were sins. Then Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Hence, you now stand righteous in the sight of God.
Words of Wisdom: People are not as forgiving as God. And often times, we hold onto a grudge because we don’t feel that the person who offended us deserves our forgiveness. That may be true. They may deserve your forgiveness no more than you deserve God’s forgiveness. But God forgives you anyway. So why does God forgive His children when they often refuse to forgive each other?
My sin offends a holy and righteous God. But God is loving, kind, and gracious; and He cares about me. So if I recognize that I’ve sinned against Him, and I confess my sin, He promptly forgives me and cleanses me from all unrighteousness. As far as God’s concerned, it’s all about doing what’s best for me; restoring my fellowship to Him and helping me to grow spiritually.
On the other hand, someone else’s sin offends me. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still all about me. How I feel. How I look. How badly I hurt. Those who refuse to forgive are angry, bitter, resentful, and self-centered. Is that how God wants us to behave? I Peter 1:15-16 says, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” If a holy God can forgive all those who sin against Him, and we are commanded to be holy in “all manner of conversation,” meaning that God expects us to maintain godly behavior and a holy lifestyle, then we have a responsibility to show others mercy and forgiveness like our Savior displays toward us.
II Corinthians 5:20 says, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…” As believers, we represent Christ in all we do. Let us, therefore, exemplify the mercy of God in our lives “And be…kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)