Saturday, June 08, 2013

June 8, 2013 … The Toughest To Forgive

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 159

Passage of the Day #1: 1st John 1: 9 [But do we believe it’s true when it comes to forgiving ourselves? ] [NLT]  
9 But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Contextual Study for today’s passage: 1st John, Chapter 1 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Mark 26: 70-72 [Peter couldn’t forgive himself when he denied Jesus. ] [NLT]  
70 A little later some other bystanders began saying to Peter, “You must be one of them because you are from Galilee.” 71 Peter said, “I swear by God, I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”  72 And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he broke down and cried. 

Reference Passage #2: John 21: 15-22 [Peter finding it so difficult to forgive himself for denying Jesus. ] [NLT] See this link

My Journal for Today: Have you ever been in a place where it was easier to forgive someone else for some grievous misconduct than it was to forgive yourself for something far less problematic? Can I sense a definite “AMEN” to that one?

As Christians it’s a reality that we often find it easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive ourselves. And when we find ourselves where it’s difficult to forgive ourselves, we need to realize that our inability to forgive self is a matter of pride and lack of faith in God’s truth.

It is pride, as Os Hillman points out for me in today’s devotional, because our inability to forgive ourselves is usually a matter of us believing that we’re too mature or too strong as Christians to have sinned. But the reality is always just the opposite, isn’t it? We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God; and until we are with Jesus in glory we are going to sin. So, holding out that we should never sin, being a disciple of Christ, is really a matter of pride, isn’t it?

But it’s also a matter of lack of trust in God’s truth as well. When we’re reluctant to forgive ourselves, we’re really expressing doubts in the truth of God’s own pronouncement in the key citation for today - 1st John 1: 9 - that God is willing … AND ABLE … when we confess, to forgive ALL sin and to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness … no matter what the transgression might be in God’s sight. The question is, when we can’t forgive ourselves, do we believe that?

When you go back and see how broken Peter was for his repeated sin of denial of our Lord (see the Mark 26 passage copied above); and then we see how it took Jesus, Himself, three times (see the John 21 passage above) to help Peter declare his love for Jesus after His resurrection, maybe we can see just how hard it is for anyone (yes, even one of Jesus’ inner core of Disciples) to forgive themselves.

However, if we’re going to help others to see the truth of the forgiveness of Jesus and the reality of forgiveness found in the Gospel, we’re going to have to learn to set aside pride and disbelief and come to the cross, asking for – and receiving – Christ’s forgiveness. And when we can do that, as Jesus charged Peter (in John 21), we can go feed His sheep in His Name, totally forgiven and cleansed completely.

As some of you readers here know, many times I use Christian songs in my meditation to help me more deeply grasp God’s truth; and here’s one of my favorites, sung by one of my favorite Christian groups, Phillips, Craig, and Dean, entitled, He’ll Do Whatever It Takes - linked here.    … I’ve had this song played in my blogs before, … but it’s worth hearing again to help us leave our sins at the cross and be forgiven.

 My Prayer for Today … Lord, I pray today that all who read here, know, as do I, that we are forgiven. … Amen

No comments: