Hi and welcome to Day 14 of my series about developing an awareness of God's presence! You can refer back to Day 1 if you'd like to know my backstory for the series.
I encourage you to read all the posts in the series if you are just joining us. Each day's assignment builds on the previous assignments, and they are all vitally important! (Be sure to subscribe to receive my daily posts so you won't miss anything.)
Today, we are going to talk about receiving forgiveness from God.
Despite our best intentions, we all occasionally mess up and do something that doesn't match the character of God. (Things that don't match the character of God are called “sins.”)
When we commit sins, we need to say we're sorry, both to God and to whoever else we hurt. This is necessary in order to restore right fellowship with God and with people.
Many of us are ok with that. But the next step is something that many people struggle with:
After God forgives us, we need to forgive ourselves and move on.
This is where many people fail.
You might sin and try your best to make things right both with God and with others. But you keep on beating yourself up over and over. You live with this black cloud of guilt and condemnation hanging over your head. You won't permit yourself to be happy again (at least, for a long time). You think and treat yourself like you're a second-class citizen because you messed up.
But you're not a second-class citizen. If you know Jesus, you're a child of the King.
First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
When God forgives, He forgives completely. He forgets all about it. Jesus' death on the cross was COMPLETELY sufficient to pay the debt for your sin. No matter how heinous your sin was.
You must be truly repentant, yes. And repentance produces change. But if you're truly repentant and have asked God to forgive you, He has. When you talk about it to Him again, He doesn't know what you're talking about.
He has chosen to forget all about it.
So you might as well too.
After you repent and receive forgiveness, precious brother or sister in Christ, it's time for you to pick up your head and MOVE ON.
If you don'tfeellike moving on, read/pray through Psalm 51. It will help.
But whether you feel like it or not, you need to move on.
Do you tell yourself that you'll move on, but only after you've sozzled in guilt for a few days?
If so, then beware, my friend. You're on dangerous ground. What you're actually saying is that your own guilty feelings can somehow produce for you a more complete forgiveness than the blood of Jesus Christ can.
And that's a lie. ONLY the blood of Jesus can set you free. ONLY the blood of Jesus cleanses. “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh, precious is that flow, that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus” (Robert Lowry, 1826-1899, “Nothing But the Blood”).
It's the blood of Jesus that sets you free.
So here's your assignment for Day 13:
Watch this short video of “Nothing But the Blood” by Hillsong United. Let the message permeate deep into your heart and your spirit. The message is that nothing but the blood of our crucified Lord Jesus can pay for your sins.
And the next time you sin, repent. Change your mind. Tell God you're sorry and make it right with whoever you hurt. Then receive God's forgiveness, thank Him for it, and set your mind firmly back on the fact that you are a beloved child of God.
Have you ever struggled with guilty feelings? How did you handle them if so?