Wednesday, May 8, 2013


There are so many uplifting hymns – such as:

I hope you clicked on the link and listened to the young ladies singing that hymn. It speaks a lot to God’s forgiveness.  I’ve been thinking about that lately. I am so grateful that my sins are gone – by the merciful grace of a loving God.

I was directed by a cousin to Adam Hamilton’s book, Forgiveness, and I’ve enjoyed the first few pages into it. Early in the book we find an explanation:
But what is it we are actually looking for when we seek forgiveness? We are not asking the other person to excuse what we’ve done, but rather to pardon us. We are looking for reconciliation, for the restoration of our relationship. We are asking for that person to release the right to retaliate.
God’s retaliation is simple – He does nothing. He does not “send” anyone to hell. He has told us what hell is, how people get there and He has given us the perfect way to keep us from ever experiencing hell. What we do with that gift is ours to decide. It’s not forced upon us, we are given choices. Why blame Him when the choices we’ve made send us on our merry way?

There is peace in our relationship with God when we are assured our sins are gone. That relationship becomes strained when we return to sin – and don’t think that doesn’t happen! That’s why the Lord’s prayer contains daily applications:

After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Note that He said our prayers are to be in this manner, not so much in these exact words. I think it would be valid for us to be specific when we ask Him to forgive our daily debts – the ones we commit as well as the tasks He’s given us that we’ve omitted doing.

When we do ask for forgiveness, are we also asking for the natural consequences of our sins to disappear, too? That’s probably not to be expected. Too often there are serious consequences in going against God’s commandments. Most of those have secular laws, too, that must be faced.

Unfortunately, there are also societal situations where following God’s commandments offend others. Continuing in a close relationship with God helps us determine whether we are pleasing men, or God. Paul faced – and answered – that question:

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:10-12)

Best we answer that ourselves, isn’t it? While we’re asking forgiveness.

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