Category Archives: Forgiveness

Making Sense

TODAY’S VERSE
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
Luke 15:17-20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“When he came to his senses.” It’s that quick. You can be struggling for years, and then there is a moment of clarity, an “aha” moment, a spiritual awakening. Like the tumblers of a lock falling in place, your mind is clear, and the truth is opened right before your eyes. It is a God moment. A combination of awareness, conviction, holy discontent, and a sensation that “now is the time.” The scales have tipped. There is more to gain from changing than staying the same. The prodigal son saw that there was more to gain from going home than staying in the pigpen. How about us? When is it going to make more sense to fellowship with God than the world? When will we understand that there is much more satisfaction in following Christ’s plan for our life than our own? When will we believe that He does love us unconditionally and that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less? These are the realizations that change a life. Have you made them yet?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I have come to my senses and realize the love You have for me. I choose to live for You and surrender all that I have for Your use. You are the Lord God Almighty, and I have come to realize that living for You makes all the sense in the world. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Forgive Yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! — Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 7:24-25, 8:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
No condemnation. That was something hard for me to understand. For whatever reason, I wrestled with God’s love and acceptance. It was easier to condemn myself than to feel forgiven. Just recently I was leading a group in a “forgiveness” exercise. As we were making a list of those who have offended us, I mentioned that one person we may need to forgive is ourselves. During the meditation time, I reflected on things I have regretted. Things I had done or not done. Things I had sought forgiveness for from those I offended. There I sat, still feeling a sense of guilt and shame. But at that moment, the Holy Spirit prompted me to “forgive myself”. With deep conviction, I told God how sorry I was for each offense and then began the process of “forgiving myself”. One by one, I decided to take myself off the hook, to let go of the guilt and shame and accept the forgiveness, not that I deserved, but that is offered freely to those in Christ Jesus. How about you? Are there things that you need to forgive yourself for? Things that you have long since asked forgiveness for, but still plague you? Today let yourself off the hook. Quit defining yourself by things God has already forgotten. Forgive yourself the way Christ does. “There is now no condemnation”. Christ believes that about you. Will you?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your amazing love, mercy, and grace. I thank You that there is no condemnation to those that know You as Savior.
I thank You for the forgiveness that You have extended to me. Help me to extend the same forgiveness to myself. In Jesus Name’.
AMEN

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Soften Your Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns.”
Jeremiah 4:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried planting vegetables in a patch of weeds? I did once, and it was a disaster. Instead of breaking up the soil and getting rid of the weeds, I had heard that laying plastic down and cutting a slit for the seeds was easier. It made sense to me. So I planted the seeds and thought the plastic would stop the weeds. Perhaps that would have been true if I used black plastic. But I used clear! Hello! Without knowing it, I created a greenhouse for weeds! So much for my shortcut. Barely a vegetable survived. How much better had I plowed the row, planted the seeds, and then systematically take out the weeds? This is what God wants us to do with our hearts. We are to take our spiritually hardened hearts and break up the soil. We do this by letting God’s word humble us, teach us, correct us, and guide us. Through His Spirit, God takes out the weeds that have grown in our hearts. When we allow this, God then replaces the weeds with the fruit of the Spirit. Is your heart hardened toward the things of God? Soften it today through prayer, a humble attitude, and His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You my heart. I ask You to break up the hardened ground and pull out all the weeds. Take the seeds of your word and create the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
AMEN

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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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