Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 2, 2012

"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin." Psalm 32:5

Forgiveness is like the eraser on the pencil.

Forgiveness is like a mulligan on the first tee.

Forgiveness is the cop letting you off with just a warning.

Forgiveness is a do-over when you have made a major blunder.

Forgiveness lifts the elephant off your chest.

In his great book, "What's So Amazing About Grace", Phillip Yancey tells the story of a prodigal daughter who grows up in Traverse City, Michigan. Disgusted with her old fashioned parents who overreact to her nose ring, the music she listens to, the length of her skirts, she runs away. She ends up in Detroit where she meets a man who drives the biggest car she’s ever seen. The man with the big car – she calls him “Boss” – recognizes that since she’s underage, men would pay premium for her. So she goes to work for him. Things are good for a while. Life is good. But she gets sick for a few days, and it amazes her how quickly the boss turns mean. Before she knows it, she’s out on the street without a penny to her name. She still turns a couple of tricks a night, and all the money goes to support her drug habit.
One night while sleeping on the metal grates of the city, she began to feel less like a woman of the world and more like a little girl. She begins to whimper. “God, why did I leave. My dog back home eats better than I do now.” She knows that more than anything in the world, she wants to go home. Three straight calls home get three straight connections with the answering machine. Finally she leaves a message. “Mom, dad, its me. I was wondering about maybe coming home. I’m catching a bus up your way, and it’ll get there about midnight tomorrow. If you’re not there, I‘ll understand.” During the seven hour bus ride, she’s preparing a speech for her father. And when the bus comes to a stop in the Traverse City station, the driver announces the fifteen-minute stop. Fifteen minutes to decide her life.

She walks into the terminal not knowing what to expect. But not one of the thousand scenes that have played out in her mind prepares her for what she sees. There in the bus terminal in Traverse City, Michigan, stands a group of forty brothers and sisters and great-aunts and uncles and cousins and a grandmother and a great-grandmother to boot. They’re all wearing goofy party hats and blowing noise-makers, and taped across the entire wall of the terminal is a computer-generated banner that reads – Welcome Home!

Out of the crowd of well-wishers breaks her dad. She stares out through the tears quivering in her eyes and begins her memorized speech. He interrupts her. “Hush, child. We’ve got no time for that. No time for apologies. We’ll be late. A big party is waiting for you at home!
That's forgiveness - God-style! He takes your penalty and gives you His peace and throws you a party!

August 1, 2012

"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess  my transgressions to the Lord”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin." Psalm 32:5

In my marriage ceremonies I always include a phrase that says, "And always remember that marriage is the union of two good forgivers."

Not only does it sound neat it is a realization that when two imperfect people join their lives together there needs to be a way to compensate for the those imperfections. Mutual forgiveness is the only way it will work.

The central theme of Psalm 32 is, "Forgiveness is good because sin is bad."

Because you are a sinner you need a God Who is a forgiver. You have One!

Not only is God a good forgiver but His forgiving is greater than your sinning!

You can look at that one of two ways. You could see it as a license to live carelessly and be casual about sin since you can't out- sin His forgiveness! I don't recommend that. Nor does God.
"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey —whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:10-16
Or, you can humble yourself under the grace and goodness of a Forgiving God and let that forgiveness bring you into an intimate personal faith relationship with Him! What could be better than a sinner having the joy of living with a Forgiver?!

You are a sinner and He is a forgiver. Sinners need forgivers! It sounds like a match made in heaven!