Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Happy The Home When God Is There"1 (Lyrics)
One particular day, when I was feeling riddled with shame for something that I had done before my salvation, a dear friend warned me, saying, "Lois, every time you doubt whether God would love and forgive you, it's as though you have taken His Son Jesus off the cross! Without sin, there would have been no reason for His sacrifice!" Her words of wisdom hit home like a lightning bolt, and I have never forgotten them.
Isaiah 43:25 – I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (NIV)
God says that He forgives and forgets our sins if we truly repent and ask for forgiveness. He no longer remembers those transgressions from that moment forward. They have been erased.
Isaiah 44:22 – I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free. (NLT)
That, my friend, is pure grace and unconditional love! There are no sins too big or too small to be forgiven. To walk in freedom, we must take the first step:
Romans 10:9 – If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (NLT)
Living a life of freedom and grace means trusting God's Word. After all, He has never broken a promise. So, when the enemy tries to confuse us with his lies and haunts us by stirring up our past, I find it helpful to have that promise written in plain sight to use as a lifeline when I am under attack! I chose today's Scripture verse from Isaiah 43:25 to post on my refrigerator. It is a constant reminder that our Lord has created in me a clean heart.
Living in freedom, love, and grace, we have no excuse not to forgive others.
- To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation. We set that person free from the negative bonds that exist between us. We say, "I no longer hold your offense against you." But there is more. We also free ourselves from the burden of being the "offended one". As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us or, worse, pull them as a heavy load. The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God. – Henri Nouwen
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." – C.S. Lewis
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, give us hearts ready to forgive and forget the sins of others. May we, Your children, reflect Your grace and love as we walk in the freedom with which You have blessed us. May our actions point to the cross, and may we be ready to share the good news of Your salvation wherever we go. Amen.