Jesus forgives the lawbreaker, not the law keeper. Foolish and naïve is the man or woman who thinks they can continually keep the law without the pardon of God’s grace. Forgiveness is a daily requirement for those who want to keep short accounts with their Savior, family, and friends. It is when we try to justify our bad attitudes and behaviors without repenting that we get into a crazy cycle of self-sufficiency. Knowing and acknowledging the need to do something does not free us from sin. We may kid ourselves, but discerning people know if we’re daily doing business with God or just going through the motions of religious activity. Unless we repent of our sin from a contrite heart, there is no remission. The forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist, taught this (Luke 3:3). Jesus gave His life so He could give us life. Jesus sweat blood so we could have sweet forgiveness.
The Bible describes a trinity of sin for the unforgiven. In our own strength, our disobedience is labeled as transgression, sin, and iniquity. But the Trinity in heaven annihilates the trinity of sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, and draws us into the love of our heavenly Father. His love leads us to Jesus, who gave His life on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. We confess to Christ our need for His gracious forgiveness. In Christ we are free. We are free from guilt and free from guile. God’s Spirit uncovers our sin, cleanses it with our confession, then covers it with grace. If we conceal our sin we will not prosper (Proverbs 28:13). Mercy comes to the man who confesses. Miserable is the man who conceals. Come clean with Christ, and His grace will be your residue.
Furthermore, be a blessing by forgiving the unforgiven. God forgives us so that we can forgive others. Extend forgiveness to those who do not deserve your forgiveness. This is grace. This is what Jesus would do and what you would want if you were in their same situation. Unconditional forgiveness is freeing. Indeed, one reason you forgive others is for your own sake. Otherwise, unforgiving relationships cause a root of bitterness to grow deep into your heart and rob you of joy. Avoid withholding forgiveness to hurt others. Otherwise, you will get hurt. Let go, and give to God your unfair friend, insensitive supervisor, proud parent, uncaring spouse, or selfish child. Pray for them to be healed, and you will be healed. Forgiveness does this. It heals the soul with eternity’s elixir.
Taken from Reading #22 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
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