Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Guilt’

Redemption

And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.

In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.  ~~  Jeremiah 50:19-20 (KJV)

Here is the promise of restoration. God says that Israel and Judah will be restored to the fullness of their land. That they will be a holy people because God will have forgiven the remnant he restores.

What a beautiful promise. After seventy years in exile, the people of God will come back to their land. God will see to it that their land is fruitful for their needs. They will be satisfied with the pastures and hills.

This restoration did not come easily. Israel was conquered by Assyria and then by Babylon. The people were decimated and imprisoned. Their young men were deprived of their manhood, made eunuchs to serve in the court of Nebuchadnezzar.

The search for guilt in the people of God will be fruitless because when God forgives sin, it is erased entirely. This is a picture of our redemption under the blood of Christ.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

There is a victory for the believer in the atoning blood of Christ. It is our only claim to God’s mercy.  ~~  Psalm 103:11-13 (KJV)

There is a victory for the believer in the atoning blood of Christ. It is our only claim to God’s mercy.

Father God,

Help us to remember that there is only one way to Your forgiveness, through the atoning blood of Jesus. Keep us ever faithful in speaking to others, lest we be drawn into tolerance of other paths – paths which can only lead to destruction.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

 

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Forbearance Fruit

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5: 19-23 – NIV)

Forbearance is not a word we hear everyday. I had always thought it was sort of a synonym for patience. But when I went to the dictionary, I found out that is was originally a legal term.

Word Origin and History for forbearance

n.     1570s, originally legal, in reference to enforcement of debt obligations, from forbear(v.) + -ance. General sense of “refraining from” is from 1590s.
This is a legal term in its roots. It means not to press the issue of what is owed.  How like God to have Paul put it in legal form.
You see, we owe God. We owe him for
  • our lives
  •  our salvation
  • the presence of the Holy Spirit
  • everything we have

But God himself paid the debt we owe him. Jesus shed blood to pay for us. How can we do any less?

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Thinking about it, there is really nothing more to say. Just considering all that God has done for us we are overwhelmed –  speechless.

Father, God,

We are so guilty and owe you so much. Help us to recognize your enormous love for us in your forbearance with us. Thank you for the gifts of your son and the Holy Spirit. Help us to be truly grateful and ever cognizant of your love.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

 

Transgressions

Focus verses: Numbers 15:30,31

Today’s readings talk about offerings for sin. God knows that we are fallible and will fall short of His designs for us. But he prescribes a method for bringing us back in to fellowship with Him. At least these readings detail those methods for the children of Israel.

We have a different mode of reconciliation. Jesus Christ. Because of His atoning death on the cross of Calvary, we can come directly to God with our failings, repent directly to Him, and ask His forgiveness.

And we can receive that forgiveness if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Our response to that forgiveness should be a turning from those sins and a renewed mind to follow the precepts of the Lord.

That’s the way it should work.

But there is a terrible caveat in today’s readings as well. The focus verses say that if someone sins defiantly, he blasphemes God and his guilt remains on him.

We seem to live in a society today where people sin deliberately, wantonly, defiantly. And we remain tolerant of their sins in the name of diversity. We fail to speak out when people defy God, and we act oblivious to the fact that when we remain silent, we are complicit with their sins.

Father, God,

Let us not grieve Your Holy Spirit with sins either of omission or commission. So touch us with Your love that our constant response is obedience to You and love for Your people – a love that speaks the truth of Your salvation.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.