The Grace of Forgiveness
A devotional by Allison M. Wilson
John 3:16, Romans 6:10, Romans 7:14-25, Psalm 103:12, 1 John 1:9,
Ephesians 5:26-27, Zephaniah 3:17 (NASB)
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 is one of the first verses I remember memorizing as a child. It’s taken most of my life to truly grasp a part of what that verse says, though.
God so loved the WORLD. Who does that encompass? Everyone, it seems. However, not everyone will embrace the sacrifice of Christ and accept that forgiveness. The forgiveness is offered, though, to everyone. Those who receive it will be saved.
Those of us who have believed in Christ as our Savior are forgiven for all of our sins. (Romans 6:10) Not just a few. Not just the “big ones,” as some might want to imagine. A “little white lie” on my part put Christ on the cross just as much as someone who murdered countless people. Yes, I’m forgiven of all my sins.
The problem comes when we, as believers, don’t let that forgiveness permeate our being. We continue to beat ourselves up for things we do wrong. We think we should be perfected in our behavior, though there’s nowhere in the Scriptures which says that will happen on this side of heaven’s gates. In fact, one of the most prominent writers of the New Testament tells us that he does the things he hates, and doesn’t do what he knows is right (Romans 7:14-25). If the apostle Paul couldn’t get it right, after being personally taught by Christ, why do we demand perfection from ourselves?
Our focus on the sin takes our focus off of our Savior. It may even be easier to give forgiveness to others who hurt us than it is for us to forgive ourselves when we mess up. We forget that we couldn’t save ourselves, and think we can change ourselves. As if it’s up to us to get it right.
Grace came for forgiveness. I don’t like to use the phrase “covered my sins.” My sins aren’t covered so much as they are washed away. They are no more. They are as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) I’m now a co-heir with Christ. All that God has promised to His Heir is mine, too! God wouldn’t be giving those riches to someone who wasn’t cleansed from all unrighteouness.
1 John 1:9 we are told that confessing our sins brings cleansing. That word “confess” means “to agree with” in the original language. We agree with God that what we did/said/thought was disobedient to His calling on our lives. His forgiveness was already given at the cross. Our agreement is just for our sake, not His. He already knows what we did wasn’t our best. He sees the perfected product that the sacrifice of His Son bought. The journey to that perfected product is where sanctification happens. In God’s eyes, you are already without spot, stain, or blemish. (Ephesians 5:26-27) We shouldn’t agree with the enemy that we are any different.
Walk in His truth of who you are and whose you are.
Let’s Pray: Father God, we allow ourselves to be swayed by our feelings and thoughts so often, rather than having our feet firmly grounded on Your Word of truth. Speak that truth to our hearts when the lies come to tell us that we’re not worthy, or not good enough, or that we’ve done something wrong to make You mad at us. Before Christ went to the cross to cleanse us, You wrote the words in Zephaniah 3:17 saying that You rejoice over me “with shouts of joy.” Let that sink into my heart to remind me that You are not disappointed in me. Your love has already gone beyond all my mess-ups and counted me a joy to You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.
A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.
She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.
Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.
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