Our Journey Online - Apr. 17, 2012
April 17, 2012
Why I’m Thankful for Forgiveness
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. —Ephesians 1:3-10
When we make the decision to turn from our sin and embrace Jesus Christ as our Savior, a whole lot of incredible things happen. One amazing gift that I’m thankful for is God’s provision in Christ for my forgiveness. I can work in my own effort all I want and never gain God’s favor. Only the blood of Christ, offered freely to all who believe can release me from the condemnation of sin. If we drill down into this topic more, we’ll discover more specific reasons why we should be thankful. Here’s my list:
I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness because I’m a sinner. If our deepest heart secrets were known, nobody could escape the sobering reality that we are all sinners. Jeremiah 17:9 says our hearts are wicked and desperately sick, literally, “terminal.” Put even a small group of us together and between us we’ve done it all.
I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness because it destroys the fear of death. I don’t dread dying but I’m going to live for Christ as long as I’m here. When I go, I’ll be with Him in heaven for all of eternity. How awesome is that?
I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness because it’s freely given. All you need to do to receive forgiveness is reach out and take it; that’s it. What else can you say that about? It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done; God’s offer stands.
Do you have it? Many people live under the “try hard and we’ll see” approach to forgiveness but that’s not God’s plan. He says, Stop trying and accept what is freely offered to you. God loves you and is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Can you look to a time in your life when you turned from your sin and embraced Jesus by faith for your forgiveness? If you have not done that you are not ready to die. While I hope you have many more years on this earth, only God knows the days that are appointed to you. If you can’t testify to that amazing gift of forgiveness, receive His gift right now. — James MacDonald
· Have I embraced the forgiveness of my sins through Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection? What is stopping me?
Prayer – Father, I know that I am a sinner and that on my own I am not prepared to meet You. I believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sin. I believe that He rose from the dead. Right now, in this moment, I turn from my sin and I embrace Jesus Christ by faith. Come into my life and forgive my sins. Change me. Make me the man or woman that You want me to be. I give my life to You today. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.