As many of you have already realized, I write to The Church; those who have given their lives to the Lord and are seeking to follow Him with all of their hope, strength, understanding and desires. Those are the folks I am attempting to reach. I hope non-believers will read them, but my guess is that the messages will be meaningless to them. Probably seem like nothing more than foolishness to them.
This why I can hope that everyone who read this Morning’s Message, already realizes and understands that Jesus came as the Son of Man to rescue us from the great plight of mankind; that we each have a sin problem, and that we are powerless to help ourselves. Given the right set of circumstances and the wrong state of mind, each of us is capable of just about anything. Oh sure you may disagree with that, but I know what humans can do. Even if we could get our external lives under perfect control, which I don’t believe we can, we would probably rot on the inside with the heinous sin of pride. Let’s face it, we are all hopeless — except that Jesus came as the “Son of Man” with the “authority on earth to forgive our sins” (Luke 5:24).
I can remember being so devastated over a sin I had allowed to ensnare me that I continually — over and over — begged my God to forgive me (and no, I’m not going to tell you what it was, because it doesn’t matter what the sin was, the principal is the same regardless of the sin, just suffice it that I believe I was incapable of such actions). I confessed my sin with tears and weeping and turned radically away from it. Like the Prodigal Son, I saw my failure and I ran back to my Father.
Yep, I confessed and repented over and over. I continued to plead for forgiveness. Then one day while reading my Bible, the Lord opened for me the story in Luke 5:17-26 when Jesus Heals a Paralytic man, and He spoke to my heart and said: “My son, you have an authority problem . . . you believe that you can do your part, which is to repent. But you obviously don’t believe I can do My part, which is to forgive!” Ohm my! Then, I heard a song from Phillips, Craig and Dean, “When God Ran.”
When I heard him cry out, “He called me son!” I cried like a baby
I was broken. That is when I realized that my sin of unbelief was as serious as my prior sin of rebellion. Sin of “unbelief“? My unbelief that He could possibly forgive me . . . I wept and repented for my failure, but I never gave Him credit for being able to forgive me. Actually, I think I knew He was ableto forgive me, but I didn’t believe that He was willing to forgive me. But when the realization that He was both able and willing, it was the most refreshing, joyful experience since I first came to the Lord on Oct 27, 1979!
In his book I Should Forgive, But . . . , Dr. Chuck Lynch says when we keep confessing the same sin over and over, “each subsequent time the sin is confessed, rather than the confession bringing relief, it only reinforces the false belief that it has not been forgiven. Double, or re-confession, only deepens the false belief that it has not been forgiven.” I know he’s right, because my constant re-confessions didn’t bring me relief. They only made me more miserable and self-loathing. Relief only came when I decided to take God at His Word.
Now, don’t ever let me hear you argue that “certainly God will forgive me, but I can’t forgive myself.” Oh, so you’re more important than our Father? If you have truly repented — which means you have experienced Godly sorrow and a subsequent detour from the sin — begin to bathe yourself in the river of God’s forgiveness. The Son of Man has authority to give sins right here on earth. You don’t have to wait until heaven. You don’t have to wait for an altar call at church. You don’t have to wait for the end of a sermon and you don’t need any special Preacher to pray over you or to chant any number of “Hail Mary’s.” No, no! You can experience the freedom of complete forgiveness right here — right now — without restrictions. So right now, I encourage you to fall under Christ’s authority and accept His grace.
Lord God, my blessed Redeemer and joyous Salvation, I’m looking at Your face today with a shout of joy, knowing that You have restored Your righteousness in me. I can now tell others, “I have sinned and perverted what is right, yet I did not get what I deserved. For the Lord redeemed my soul and I continue to see His light” (Job 33:26-28)
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