#Thankful for God’s #Forgiveness

This is another of my devotionals that was published in an anthology titled Anytime Prayers for Everyday PeopleIt is included in the section titled Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving.

When I want to thank God
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 NKJV

If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You.
—Psalm 130:3-4 NASB

You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to You.
—Psalm 86:5

All the prophets testify about him
that everyone who believes in him
receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
—Acts 10:43

. . . I will pray.

Benevolent Father,

It happened again. Just when I started feeling as if things were going well, I messed up. Instead of keeping my focus on You, I let myself be pulled into a bad situation—something that is not what You want for me and certainly does not glorify You. How does this keep happening? Never mind, I know. You try to warn me, but I always insist on going my own way.

Forgive me, Lord—again. Wash me clean and help me to be vigilant, listening carefully to Your Spirit inside my heart. My desire is to please You, but we both know that I can’t make that a reality without Your help. Let me live ever aware of Your presence. As I practice living in Your presence, I believe that sin will lose its power over me.

I know, Lord, that You are a kind, loving, and merciful God, and I know You desire only the best for me. I am so thankful for Your willingness to forgive me each and every time. I praise You above all others, for You are the one who has washed me clean.

Amen.

When God pardons, He consigns the offense
to everlasting forgetfulness.

—Merv Rosell


[From Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. Copyright © 2006 Bordon-Winters LLC]

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Are All Our Sins Forgiven?

Shared from GraceThruFaith.

Are All Our Sins Forgiven?

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

I’ve received a number of questions about a recent series of online articles disputing the idea that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present, and future on the cross. The articles make the claim that the Bible teaches no such thing. So let’s find out. Does the Bible teach that all the sins of our life were forgiven at the cross or doesn’t it?

Colossians 2:13-14 reads as follows, When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

The Greek word translated all in this passage is pas. It means each, every, any, all, the whole, all things, everything. This would seem to support the claim that all sins past present and future were forgiven at the cross. It also supports Paul’s statement that at the moment of belief the Holy Spirit was sealed within us as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory (Ephes. 1:13-14).

Taken literally, this means the Holy spirit is the down payment that guarantees the redemption of the acquired possession (us). This guarantee went into effect when we first believed. (By the way, for those of you who only speak King James-ese, all translation interpretations on this site are from the Greek text that brought forth the King James Version.)

Read the rest here.

Renaming Sin

Shared from Ligonier Ministries blog.

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Renaming Sin

By James Boice

Three hundred years is a long time. What kept Enoch walking with God for three hundred years? He had an awareness of judgment coming. He had a sensitivity to the ungodliness of the age. And he drew closer to God as the reality of these things pressed in upon him.

Read the rest here.

This cannot be posted often enough (reblogged from Isaiah 53:5 Project)

This is from The Isaiah 53:5 Project blog and is too good not to share with you!

This cannot be posted often enough

I have posted this before but it’s an important message and sharing it is the sole reason this blog exists so…

How Can you become a Christian?

Realize Who God Is

It all starts with a realization of Who God is. The Bible says He is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1) and creator of man (Colossians 1:16). God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), righteous (Psalm 145:17), perfect (Matthew 5:48) and is the judge (Romans 2:16) of all mankind. He is all-powerful (Luke 18:27), all-knowing (Psalm 139:2-6), and is everywhere (Job 28:24). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (Psalm 102:25-27), and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). He is sovereign (Romans 8:28-30), good (Psalm 25:8), merciful (Daniel 9:9), and gracious (Psalm 103:8). Understanding these attributes helps build a proper foundation to our need for Him.

Realize That You Are A Sinner

To become a Christian, you must realize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that your sin is rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). Think about every time you have lied, stolen, lusted after someone, hated someone, disobeyed your parents or used God’s name disrespectfully. You will never be good enough to enter Heaven on your own merit (Ephesians 2:8-9) because committing even one sin deserves judgment (Revelation 20:12) according to God’s law (James 2:10). No amount of good deeds can ever erase your sin.

Read the rest here.

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Are There Degrees of Sin?

This is a great Q&A from the GraceThruFaith site. And while you’re reading the rest of this at their site, please take the time to browse the the wealth of good information and resources there. 

Are there degrees of sin?

Q. I do not believe God considers all sin to be the same. I base this on the words of Jesus. He was responding to Pilate who had said, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” In John 19:11, “Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” I realize that any sin, no matter the magnitude by our earthly standards, separates us from God. We all need salvation through Jesus. Even so, don’t you think that Jesus’ words in John 19:11 means that God does in fact see sin in degrees?

A. Pilate was an unbeliever who didn’t have any idea who Jesus was. He was acting in ignorance. But at some level the priests who handed Him over had to know they were putting the Son of God to death.

Read the rest here.

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Red Stained Purity

I have not taken the time recently to thank Patricia Knight for contributing so well to my blog. Her devotionals are very well written and I love her insights. I especially appreciate the way she weaves Old Testament with New Testament passages together to tell her stories. 

Thank you so much, Pat, for blessing us with the gift of your writing!

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What embodies more potential for beautiful memories, reflects a significant investment, and is absolutely dazzling in pure white?

A wedding gown.  Brides-to-be typically spend many hours shopping for their unique gown, the one dress they’ve dreamed about for years. Prior to the wedding, the bride protects her gown from prying eyes and from damage.

Imagine the reactions of horror when red wine splashes on the front of the pure white gown the afternoon before a candlelight ceremony. Red, indelible stains on pure white; a shocking contrast.

There’s no way to effectively remove dark stains on white satin and lace. The gown is ruined. Panic erupts throughout the wedding party. Every bride seeks perfection for her wedding day. And yet, her gown of choice must be sacrificed until an appropriate substitute is found a few hours before the wedding.

Jesus left His glory and His throne in heaven where He was one with His heavenly Father, both of whom participated in every aspect of creation, to be incarnated a man on earth. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the purest person who ever lived. He is God. He is radiant and unblemished, flawless and undefiled.

Wherever He taught on earth, Jesus lived the way He preached. Motives for His actions were holy. His heart was pure from lack of sin. As pure white as new-fallen snow, Jesus  glistens as a pearl inside an oyster shell; as unblemished as a newborn baby’s skin, as brilliant as bolts of lightning flashing against an ebony sky. There is nothing on earth with which to compare Jesus’ purity, for He is heaven-sent.

In the Old Testament, God’s temple laws required specific unblemished animals to be sacrificially offered regularly for individual sins. Spilled blood was God’s requirement to atone for sin. The animal must be perfect, neither spotted in color or physically defective. For centuries the covenant of sacrificing animals was performed by priests to redeem the people’s sin. Though it wasn’t the optimum system, it was God’s approved method until the promised Messiah, His only Son, was born on earth as the ultimate sacrifice for man’s sin, a permanent solution for the ages.

As long ago as 600 B.C., the prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus’ impending sacrifice.

As the Messiah Jesus would shed His blood to forgive our sins.

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Isaiah provided a figurative account of the consequence of forgiveness: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). The offer of forgiveness is conditioned upon belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, necessitating a change of heart and lifestyle to conform to our Savior’s humble, loving ways.

Death by Roman crucifixion was agonizing and atrocious, but no one has ever suffered on the cross as Jesus did.  In addition to the horrific physical torture and pain, Jesus bore the sins of all people from the past, present, and future generations of the world. A perfect sacrifice for our sins, Jesus was pristine, pure, and sinless.

His life for ours, for people of all time;
Jesus, the guiltless one for the guilty,

the sinless one for the sinner.
 

As Jesus bled and died, He did so that we may live a spiritually victorious life. Three days later Jesus arose from the grave, conquering sin forever. 

To man, sin may seem inconsequential, but God hates all sin. Sin creates a great and awful chasm between God and man. During crucifixion, blood streaming down Jesus’ perfect body was a vivid contrast to His innocent life, staining His unblemished body, and redeeming the sins of believers forever.  Our sin cost God His very best, His own Son. Jesus offered Himself as the sacrifice required by the justice of God if man was to be saved from his sins.

We are so precious to God, He offered the ultimate sacrifice—His only Son—to redeem our sins. Our Savior’s blood gushed from His wounds to stain a perfect, lily-white life without sins, to save the multitudes. Beyond the physical torture, Jesus assumed our burden of guilt bearing down on His already tormented body. The Roman officers dishonored our Lord’s innocence by striking and spitting in His face, verbally taunting Him, pulling his beard, and grinding a wreath of thorns down over His forehead. His back was flogged, shredding the skin that was pressed against the rough timber of the cross. By the time He reached the top of Golgotha hill, Jesus could barely walk. His body was weakened, dehydrated, bleeding, and mangled, already suffering greatly before He was nailed to the cross.

Jesus’ glory will never fade; His power will never deplete. But His love will become ever more endearing. Jesus commanded us, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6: 20-21). Jesus commands us to consider our priorities on earth in view of life after death.

Like wedding vows, Jesus represents purity, a major investment for the future, and a decision that will change the course of a persons’ life. There the similarities end.  Christ is our living Savior, Lord, and King, who loves us, died and rose again to redeem us from our sins, providing the only means to secure life eternal in heaven.  What is your individual response to such a love-saturated, free gift that entitles each believer to fellowship with our Savior in heaven for an eternity?

Some brides pay exorbitant amounts for a perfect wedding gown. However, one drop of our Savior’s blood is more magnificent than the most exquisite gown intricately embellished with glittering diamonds.

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What is Habakkuk Syndrome?

Blogos is a great outreach of Got Questions Ministries. It is a collection of blogs that are—according to the site—”dedicated to the Logos – Jesus Christ and the Bible.”

If you recall, I did a series on Habakkuk last year. You can read it here, here and here. This article by S. Michael Houdmann fits in very well with the series. While you’re at Blogos, take the time to look around and read some of the other great blog posts.

 

What is Habakkuk Syndrome?

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

Other than in my daily “through the Bible in a year” readings, I don’t read the minor prophets very often. But, my favorite book in the minor prophets is Habakkuk. I read through Habakkuk recently, and I was astounded at how easily the message could have been written to the USA in 2015 instead of Israel in 600 BC.

To summarize the Book of Habakkuk:

Habakkuk asks God how long He is going to allow the wickedness in Judah to go unpunished (1:2-4).

God declares that He is going to send the Chaldeans/Babylonians to destroy Judah (1:5-11).

Habakkuk questions God as to how He can use the Chaldeans when they are even worse than Judah (1:12-2:1).

God essentially tells Habakkuk to trust Him, and assures Habakkuk that He will judge the Chaldeans as well (2:2-20).

Habakkuk declares his faith in God and trusts in His salvation (3:1-19).

Living in the USA in 2015, I sometimes feel like Habakkuk. It blows me away how quickly the USA has descended into depraved wickedness. Romans 1:28-32 could be our national slogan.

Read the rest here.