Monday, March 27, 2017

Forgiveness, God’s Business - Martin Wiles

I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. Exodus 34:7 NLT

Forgiveness is never easy, but when it involves the death of an unborn child, it becomes extremely 
challenging.

A pastor friend in India shared a disturbing story with me. Hindu fanatics carrying pistols, rods, and knives entered a church, attacked the pastor, his seven-month pregnant wife, and their daughter, and then tried to set the wife on fire. Fortunately, the family escaped. Less than a month later, my friend emailed to tell me the wife’s unborn child had died in her womb—a result of injuries received during the attack. Now she has a forgiveness decision to make. 

Throughout the Bible, God portrays Himself as a forgiving God. While He has standards and will punish those who stubbornly break those standards, He is more than willing to forgive those who recognize their sins and run to Him for help.

God never holds our past against us.

I have a past, you have a past, all God’s creations have a past. We can’t erase it; we can only deal with it. I’ve known a few people who wouldn’t come to God for forgiveness because they thought their past was too sordid for Him to forgive. Forgiveness is God’s business, and no sin in our past is greater than His ability and desire to forgive it. He willingly and joyfully forgives anything we ask Him to.

Understanding why God is able to forgive makes it easier to request His forgiveness. 

If His forgiveness is based on my ability to compensate for bad things I’ve done, I’ll never receive it. But God’s forgiveness is based on Jesus’ work on the cross, not my righteousness. Since Christ was perfect—and since His work on the cross was too, God can forgive any and all sin without violating His holy nature. The only condition is that I ask and believe.

God’s forgiveness has no limit—other than the limit I place on it by not asking.

When Jesus told Peter the disciple that he should forgive someone seventy times seven times if they asked, He was offering what represented a limitless number. God operates the same way. 

Believe God can forgive any sin you’ve committed. Then get on with serving Him.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for Your willingness to forgive when we come to You in repentance. 

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