On Saturdays I'll be talking about a "serious" topic for the A to Z Challenge. If you're a new visitor (especially if you're visiting from the Challenge)--welcome!! I'm so happy you're here. Check out my "About Me" page HERE, some of my favorite posts on marriage HERE, and my two most popular posts HERE and HERE.
Of all the blessings of being a child of God, forgiveness is one of the ones I'm most thankful for (besides salvation!), but it's the one I often find hardest to accept.
The concept is a difficult one for our minds to wrap around sometimes. Here's how God's forgiveness works: We sin. Jesus died to pay the price for that sin. We confess our sin and our desire to repent, to turn away from it. God says, okay, your sin is gone. My Son eliminated it. It's no longer on your record, I'm not going to remember it, and now you get to try again, and I'll help you.
Sometimes there are consequences, even when we are forgiven, but the guilt is gone.
What Satan often tries to do (and sometimes succeeds) is to make us think that we're still guilty. Or that we have to do something to earn forgiveness.
We're not. And we don't. Forgiveness is a gift. It's not something we deserve, it's not something we earned because we're good enough, or because we're faithful enough.
We have forgiveness--we NEED it--because we're not good enough. That's why it's a gift. It's all about grace: God's undeserved kindness toward us, because of His Son Jesus.
Another amazing thing about forgiveness is that we get to share it. Because we've been forgiven, we are free to forgive others.
Sin is a part of life. It's inevitable. It's inescapable. But IT HAS BEEN CONQUERED. Christ's death destroyed forever the power of Satan, sin, and death. We still fight the battles against our sinful natures, but the war has already been won. Because of this, we have the ability to pronounce forgiveness to others. Because we have been shown God's grace, we can show grace to those who sin against us. And we can tell them the good news of God's forgiveness.
It's funny, I struggle with remembering that I'm forgiven, and with forgiving myself. But I have no trouble reminding others that THEY are forgiven! Sometimes I need to preach to myself as much as I need to encourage others.
That's when I turn to God's Word, and the words in 1 John chapter 1:
"If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9)