Category Archives: Forgiveness

Tender Mercy

TODAY’S VERSE
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How great it is that we can come before an Almighty and Holy God, totally unworthy, full of sin and rebellion and yet experience such love, mercy, and forgiveness. David knew this. After getting a married woman pregnant and then purposely having her husband killed in battle, David came to the realization of how far he had wandered from God. He then comes to God in repentance praying, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” And that is exactly what he experienced. God was gracious to him. God forgave him and had mercy upon him. Isaiah knew about this kind of love as well. He paints a word picture illustrating God’s mercy toward us. He writes “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” How gentle we would have to be, not to break a reed that was already bent? How careful would we have to be, not to totally extinguish a smoldering wick that has already lost its flame? Isn’t it good to know that this is God’s attitude of mercy and grace toward us? Doesn’t it bring joy to your heart to know that you can take anything you have done or have not done and confess it to Him and experience His tender mercy? Today, might the words of Jeremiah, in Lamentations 3:22-23, fill your heart with joy and peace. He wrote, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to you today, with all my sins and wrongdoings and give them to You. I thank You for Your tender mercy. I thank You for Your forgiveness and compassion toward me. God, I understand that it because of Your great love that I am not consumed. Truly, Your compassions never fail, they are new every morning.
AMEN

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Restore Me

TODAY’S VERSE
Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
Psalms 80:3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Children of Israel had abandoned God. They turned their back on God and began to worship Idols. God was angry at their betrayal. But a few of the people cried out to God. They repented and pleaded with God for mercy. Three times in this Psalm the author cries, “Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” And God did. He has done the same for me. How many times have I turned my back on God with unbelief, doubt, fear and even apathy? How many times have I wandered far from God, pursuing other objects of affection, ignoring the love He has for me? And yet, God loved me when I was farthest from Him? I snarled at His hand of affection, yet He reached down to me again. Likewise, God hears your cries. He is waiting for you to call out to Him. He loves to answer the prayer of repentance. Might your prayer be today, “Turn me again to Yourself, Oh God; make Your face shine upon me that I might be saved.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, restore my soul to You. Forgive me for the times I have wandered far away from You and have mercy upon me today. Shine Your face upon me that I might sense Your love, mercy, and forgiveness. Lead me back to You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Rescue Me

TODAY’S VERSE
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.– What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15, 24-25 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have we found ourselves in this dilemma? We sit in the aftermath of some mess we have just created and wonder, “How in the world did I get here?” Paul knew what it felt like to utterly fail at trying to change his behavior. Who can’t relate to this passage? At the end of the day, we have all felt like the “wretched man” that Paul is writing about. Dr. William Backus, in his book, “Learning To Tell Myself The Truth” explains it this way, “The sinfulness of human nature, man’s deepest spiritual disorder, involves a quarrel with God. Springing from this rift are underlying false beliefs about God and His attitude toward us (Spiritual misbeliefs), which in turn lead to untruthful thoughts, thoughts that affect our feelings and behavior and created difficulties in our relationship with others.” Out of these core misbeliefs, come all sorts of evil. But Paul doesn’t stop there. He asks, “Who will rescue me?” Then he gives a resounding answer, “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Backus says it this way, “The reality of sin and its effects in our daily lives is not the final word. As Christians, we have the ultimate good news, the key to a healthier spiritual core.” Today, come to Christ for cleansing. Accept His total forgiveness. Ask Him to point out any Spiritual lies that are dragging you down. Throw off “wretched man” thinking and accept His grace, love, and forgiveness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know my temptations, struggles, and failures. I confess I have believed lies about You that I need to get rid of. Help me know what they are and begin my inner cleansing. Thank You that Jesus Christ has rescued me.
AMEN

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Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Temptation. Who has not felt its sting? Who has not been knocked in the gut and brought to their knees by this cancer of our soul? What keeps us in such bondage is the mistaken belief that temptations are “out there”. We see them as external enemies sneaking around waiting to ambush us. Now it is true that we have an enemy of our very soul, the devil, and he does seek to devour us. However, James shares that the root of our temptations come from within us. James says that “temptations come from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.” We can blame the magazine publisher or the movie producer but it is our own lust, our own unmet needs or misguided thinking that has caused us to dwell on pornography. It is our own misbeliefs and internal dialog that keeps us coming back to drugs so we can self medicate. That is why Paul makes it clear that God is the one that must help us. He writes, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” What God’s grace does not prevent, because of our own humanness, God’s grace forgives. The Apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Today, let Jesus untie the ropes that bind you. Like Peter, get up from the cell you are in. You are free! You have been liberated. Hear the words of Jesus, “Arise and sin no more.” “My son, my daughter, go, your sins have been forgiven you!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear liberator of my soul, I bring you my shackles. Take them. I bring you the key to my heart, unlock it. Heal me from the inside. Defeat my misguided thoughts, cast down the enemy of my soul. I look to you, who knows me better than I know myself. By your power, in your grace, because of your mercy, free me, forgive me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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No Shame

TODAY’S VERSE
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame and guilt have so many of us in bondage. If it is not actual shame, it is the fear of being shamed. Yet this is not the way of life God has chosen for us. David knew this. In today’s passage, David is appealing to God to forgive him. He came to Him with complete abandonment, crying out for mercy, asking God to cleanse him from all his sin. He was counting on God’s unfailing love and compassion. Likewise, we come to God, through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, asking that all our sins be forgiven. But do we really believe that happens? Are we really forgiven? We need to get to that same place of trust that David was in. We need to know and experience the freedom that comes from the forgiveness of Christ. David accepted himself as clean. Will you? Live in His forgiveness today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I refuse to believe that You are ashamed of me or that you will abandon me because of my transgressions. I confess my sin and accept the death of Christ on the Cross as the substitution for my wrongdoings. Help me Lord rise, not in arrogance, but humility, knowing that I am cleansed and accepted by Your unconditional love. I choose to accept myself as forgiven and not ashamed. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Unconditional Love

TODAY’S VERSE
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
John 15:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I have had Christians chide me for my passion over the unconditional love of God. What about the Holiness of God, the part of God that hates sin? Yes, I understand that God is Holy and that we are sinners and He doesn’t have to love us at all – but He does. He chooses to. He sees my sin and then He sees the sacrifice of His son. Jesus Himself said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” How much does the Holy Father love His only begotten? Can we fathom it? And Jesus makes only one request. That we understand it? That we rationalize it? That we argue over it? No, He asks us to remain in His love. Like myself, Brennan Manning taught for years about the love of God without personally understanding its depths. Manning speaks of his own awakening in his book, Abba’s Child. He writes, “I finally felt all the words I have written and spoken about stubborn, unrelenting love. That morning I understood that the words are but straw compared to the reality. I leaped from simply being the teacher of God’s love to becoming Abba’s delight.” What do you need to understand? Do you need to earn His love or do you realize you already have it? Today, make it a reality in your life. Accept the unconditional love God has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, dear Father. How long have I felt unworthy of your affection? How long have I strived to try to win Your approval? But today I quit. Today I quit trying to earn Your love. Today I surrender. I surrender to Your word and accept the love that You freely have for me. Thank you, Father, for Your unconditional love.
AMEN

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I Am Slipping

TODAY’S VERSE
I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Psalms 94:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever slipped? I have. It is a helpless feeling. Your legs fly up and your body comes down without warning. Once I slipped off a tree limb and landed many feet below on the ground. There were scratches down the side of my body from the many branches that I hit on my descent. Slipping out of control can be a terrifying experience. But there can be more fearful slips. Ever have the fear of abandonment or rejection that leads to anxiety so bad that you felt your heart would beat out of your chest? You feel like you’re going down a long winding chute picking up speed leading directly to annihilation. It is a fear of non-being, leaving you in terror, trying anything to bring relief. The Psalmist knew what it felt like. He cried, “I am slipping!” The good news is God can help you down from those mental and emotional cliffs that you are hanging on to by a thread. As difficult as it may seem, as terrifying you may think the outcome could be, God is with you to help and comfort. He will help you find a way. The Psalmist was in a dilemma. It was sheer horror that made him cry out to God, “My foot is slipping!” But when he did, God’s unfailing, better said, His never-failing love, supported him. When his anxiety was so high, when doubts filled his mind so much that he could not stand it, God consoled him, bringing real joy deep to his soul. God will do the same for you. Bring Him your fear, your anxiety, your terror. Bring Him to the spot where you are slipping. Reach up your hand and He will grab you. He will hold you with His strong arm. He will put your feet in a safe place.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am slipping. Please come to my aid. Catch me, hold me, help me find better footing. I need Your consolation. I need Your never-failing love. I need Your help. Guide me, comfort me, rescue me, in the name of Jesus I pray.
AMEN

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