The Forgiveness of God
Psalm 32:8-9 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” (NIV)
As I view my precious and innocent baby granddaughter Gracie, I am reminded of the song “Jesus Loves Me”. Notice the first verse: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” which about says it all in man’s walk with God through the days of our lives. Although baby Grace is without blemish or sin, there are the rest of us that stand in need of the love and forgiveness of almighty God.
So how do we reconcile our sin with the forgiveness and grace of God? Consider some questions that apply to this conundrum for all mankind. Does Jesus love me? Absolutely yes! How much does Jesus love me? Jesus died on the cross to set me free from sin and death! Will Jesus forgive me of my sins? Yes, if you desire him to! What does it mean that I must desire for Jesus to forgive me of my sins? It means that I must sincerely seek the forgiveness of God by recognizing my sins, praying to God for forgiveness from them, and then repenting of my sins while walking in the light with Jesus Christ as his blood cleanses me of my sins (1 John 1:7). The point is that forgiveness cost God everything when Jesus Christ died a cruel death on a wretched cross for me to experience the forgiveness of my sins. Even on our best day, all of us fall so pitifully short of perfection in our lives to merit God’s forgiveness based on our own flawed efforts.
Psalm 32 is a psalm of forgiveness, and in the life of David he stood in constant need of God’s forgiveness, just as you and I do. Psalm 32 points to some characteristics of forgiveness that we as Christians should understand as we pursue God’s grace in our lives.
- First, forgiveness of sins is a blessing from God. Man cannot forgive sins. You may forgive another person for what has been done to you, but you have no capacity to forgive another person of their sins. (Psalm 32:1)
- Second, forgiveness means that our sins, once forgiven, are forgotten and not held against us by God. God doesn’t nurse grudges and he isn’t here to tease us or frustrate us. When we sincerely seek and receive forgiveness, we MUST move on with our lives. Men hold grudges, but God does not. (Psalm 32:2)
- Third, there are consequences of not seeking forgiveness in our lives. The effect on a person’s mind and body, who does not seek God’s forgiveness, has a stunning negative impact because of the guilt of sin. (Psalm 32:3-4)
- Fourth, forgiveness is immediate, complete, and effective in removing the sin burden and resetting our lives. (Psalm 32:5) No one need carry the weight of an unresolved sin burden in their lives.
In our devotional text we find how God helps us as we reset our lives and walk daily in this world, holding onto his strong right hand. In fact, our Lord instructs us, teaches us, counsels us, and watches over us day by day in our Christian walk through his inspired Word or Bible, and his Holy Spirit who lives on the inside of us. The key to benefiting from God’s close interaction with us is to be seeking him in our lives consistently, and listening to his voice attentively, so that we might choose his right path. Unfortunately, too often we turn away and seek our own path, and in those times God must deal with us with loving severity and hardship to get our attention to focus on what is most important in this life. Whenever you feel this pain or pressure, be assured that God never means to harm you, but only to grab your attention to turn you to life and righteousness, away from death and sin.
THANK YOU, FATHER, FOR YOUR INEXHAUSTIBLE LOVE FOR ME, THAT EVEN IN MY SIN AND REBELLION, YOU WILL FORGIVE ME OF MY SIN WHEN I TURN AND SEEK YOUR GRACE, O HOLY ONE! AMEN!
Article source: Mike White @ Summit church of Christ