Sunday, August 28, 2011

Receiving Forgiveness: You Can Be Forgiven

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
 Psalm 103:12

Previously I covered forgiving others so we can be forgiven by God. I also covered walking in forgiveness, or not being overly sensitive to every hurt and slight that someone does. Now, I want to cover receiving forgiveness. Many have fallen short, in fact, all have, but when we ask for forgiveness, God forgives. He also forgets. Something that is a struggle for most. I hear it on TV all the time, "I forgive you, but I won't forget." I think we all should thank God for not being like us.

Despite our transgressions, God is willing to forgive us so we can stand before Him spotless. But there are some who feel that God won't forgive them. They are constantly on eggshells, making sure they are practically perfect in every way. And when they mess up, it's all over. They walk away from God, believing they are the lowest of the low. Sometimes churchfolk call them backsliders or baby saints or the carnally minded. And also straight out sinners. There are tons of people who feel following God is hard because you cannot have any fun. Because you know most people like spending hours coveting celebrities and being greedy and using the Lord's name in vain and so on. And maybe it is no fun being a Christian. That is not the case. I laugh quite often daily. I might not have fun every day but I am pretty sure my level of fun is average. Being a Christian is hard work, no doubt. But heaven is worth having so hard work you must do. And Christians do have fun.

This is for those struggling in Christ, whether they spend Sunday morning wallowing in filth, or feeling filthy sitting on a pew. When you ask God for forgiveness, He forgives you. Christ most definitely understands the temptations and the stress you are going through. He understands your vices. He does not judge you. Just as the woman found in the throes of adultery and brought to him, He forgave her.

Peter, full of brashness and pride, told Christ he would not abandon him, but Christ told him he would deny him three times, and sure enough, Peter denied him. Peter was forgiven. Thomas doubted and needed to see the scars before he would believe Christ was back. David, a man after God's own heart, had Uriah killed to cover his adulterous act with Bathsheba, but he was forgiven. All were forgiven and so are you.

God's grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Pray to him, and come boldly before the throne and ask for mercy. As God's child, and one who believes him as your Savior and head, you can do this. Most assuredly, you must do this. Don't continue the pity party, and backsliding, step to God and ask. I talk from experience. This blog reassures me as much as I hope it does you.

We all stumble and fall. The church (or should I say some churchfolk) would hold you in disdain, and become very judgmental toward you, but God is not like that. For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again (Proverbs 24:16a NKJV). Get back up, ask for forgiveness and continue on your way. David said that even though a good man's (or woman's) steps are ordered by the Lord, "though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; [f]or the Lord uphold him with His hand (Psalm 37:24). 

Know that when you ask God to forgive you, He does. Now act like you are forgiven. How? God's forgiveness is liberty. So act like you are free. Be like the eagle flying high in the sky. Nothing is binding you. 

What ways do you feel are holding you back? And strictly rhetorical, but why do you feel that way? 

Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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