Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
Forgiveness can be at the same time both a comforting and discomforting word.  On the one hand, to receive forgiveness from someone you have wronged or hurt is a liberating and inexpressible gift.  On the other hand, to offer forgiveness to someone who has wronged or hurt you can be an utterly difficult and painful task.  Of course, this dichotomy can be seen in just about everything that is truly noble and sacrificial.  That is, when it comes to sacred acts such as grace, compassion, love, patience, and kindness it is almost always easier to receive than to give (see Matt.18:21-35).

Forgiveness can be defined as an unmerited and unconditional act of mercy.  By its very definition forgiveness is undeserved.  No one deserves to be forgiven.  Forgiveness that is somehow earned or obligated is not really forgiveness at all.  The gift of forgiveness is to be given freely – otherwise it is not a gift, and it is not true forgiveness (cf. Rom.4:4, 11:6).  True forgiveness is genuine, costly and sacrificial.  It is willfully allowing the offender to go free by personally redeeming their offense.  True forgiveness bears no grudges, has no conditions, and seeks no revenge.  This is what makes forgiveness such a difficult and precious virtue.

As with everything that is truly holy and good, when it comes to forgiveness God is our greatest example.  Without question, the greatest – most supreme, most sacred, and most sacrificial – act of forgiveness came to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 2Cor.5:19-21).  Remarkably, God offers complete and eternal forgiveness to all who have sinned.  Repeatedly throughout Scripture we read of God’s perfect and infinite forgiveness (here are just a few):
  • Isaiah 43:25 ~ “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
  • Isaiah 44:22 ~ “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.  Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
  • Psalm 103:10-12 ~ “[God] does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
  • Ephesians 1:7 ~ “In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”
  • 1 John 1:9 ~ “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
God is a forgiving God.  But forgiveness is not just something that He does, it is truly an aspect of who He is.  That is to say, God forgives because He is forgiving.  Being in His very nature loving and gracious, God delights to express that love and grace through forgiveness.  So much so, that Scripture declares that God “remembers your sins no more”!  This is not to say that God has a lapse or loss in His omniscience.  Rather, in an act of His sovereign will, God chooses to forget and not count our sins against us (2Cor.5:19).  I once heard it said that God casts our sins into the deepest part of the sea of forgetfulness and posts a sign that reads, “No fishing!”

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #18):
Exodus 17-20; 2 Samuel 5-9; Psalm 51-53; Job 35-36; Jeremiah 27-31; Mark 15-16; 2 Corinthians 4-5


Recommended Reading:
“Putting Amazing Back into Grace” by Michael Horton

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