What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our Only Hope of Forgiveness

DAY SIXTEEN: Thursday, October 30, 2008

Read Psalm 130

"I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word." Psalm 130:5 (NLT)

A pastor finished his message early one Sunday, and he wanted to check his congregation's understanding. So he asked, "Can anyone tell me what you must do before you can obtain forgiveness of sin?" There was a short pause and then, from the back of the room, a small boy spoke up, "You have to sin."

The thing the author of the 130th Psalm was counting on God for most was forgiveness. In verses 3 & 4 he sang, "Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you." He knew his only hope of forgiveness was God's promise of mercy - not his own track record of good deeds versus bad deeds.

We too can take God at His word that He will hear our requests for forgiveness. We do not have to punish ourselves to be forgiven, nor do a certain number of good deeds to atone for our bad ones. Forgiveness is based solely and squarely on God's willingness to wipe our slate clean, because of His forgiving nature when we ask for pardon.

Our past sins need not be brought up again, and when Satan does, we can remind ourselves of our certain hope in God's Word that we are forgiven.

Action step for today: If you feel condemned over a sin, write it down on a piece of paper, ask God's forgiveness, then cut the paper into little pieces and throw them away.


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