Thursday, October 17, 2013

Freely Given

I’ve mentioned before the Jimmy Carter devotional I’m reading. Chapter 43, dated June 16, 1996 has an illustration that touched my heart because my Beloved Husband works beautifully with wood, too.
Carter explains that even sixty-plus years of marriage cannot keep a couple from having serious disagreements. One day, after a strong argument, he went to the woodshop, sliced a piece of walnut, sanded it smooth and wrote:
To Rosalynn: each evening forever, this is good for an apology or forgiveness, as you desire.
He continues, “She has used it several ties, and so far I’ve been able to honor it.”

That’s nice, between a husband and a wife. She has a physical token of her husband’s love. She knows by having it that her husband will listen to her, apologize if she requests or offer forgiveness.

But, there’s a much larger application, if we’ll use God’s word as our physical token of His love, accepting that we can come to Him asking Him to understand us, asking for His forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJV)

Just a minute – you say you have no sins? That there’s no reason to be asking for forgiveness?

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:10 KJV)

That takes care of us – we know we’ve failed Him. What about God? Has He failed us?

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 136:1 KJV)

That Psalm continues, ever repeating the refrain – He is good, His mercy endures for ever. That’s not the only place we hear how God is:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:17-21 KJV)

Can you doubt His love after knowing:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

Can we understand His mercies?

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV)

Can we take this Bible, this physical token of God’s love for mankind and His reaching out to His creation, and ask forgiveness? Ask to be included among His children, to share in the riches of his mercy and grace? It is open to us as a gift.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)