devotions for women


The One True God is the God of Forgiveness

Day Twenty-Four
by Gini Crawford, MSW

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The One true God gives us abundant undeserved forgiveness. If God didn't forgive us unconditionally, we would never be forgiven. God knew as sinners we were powerless to earn His forgiveness. God's forgiveness demonstrates to us His love instead of His wrath. Where would we be if God didn't forgive us? Hopeless - destined to hell.

But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness; and You did not forsake them... But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Nehemiah 9:17; Romans 5:8 NASB®

The foundation of God's forgiveness is Jesus Christ! We gain God's undeserved forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross satisfied God's just anger over our sins, so we could have our sins completely forgiven. To know Jesus is to know God's forgiveness. This is because God's forgiveness is given to you only through believing in Jesus.

...For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life... that through His name (Jesus) everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. Romans 5:10; Acts 10:43 NASB®
In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7 NASB®

God gave the ultimate sacrifice to forgive us. Would you sacrifice your son so a person could be forgiven? I would not, but God did. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us. This act of love certainly shows us God is determined to forgive us. God's forgiveness keeps us from eternal punishment, and allows us to be His. (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19, 2:9-10)

...If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 NASB®

God forgives us without strings attached. Your father, aunt, friend, boss, neighbor, and so forth may not forgive you, maybe never, but God always will. When God says He will forgive you, you can believe Him. God's Word says, our sins are completely removed from us in Christ Jesus; they are remembered no more by Him. (Micah 7:19) I love being forgiven. Do you?

For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more... As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Hebrews 8:12; Psalm 103:12 NASB®

A story on forgiveness. A friend of mine in graduate school told me she grew up in a Christian family that was very unforgiving. In her teenage years her father and mother divorced. Then when she was in her forties, and near a divorce herself; she and her husband went to a marriage counselor. The counselor listened to both their perspectives on the marriage and then said, "The main problem in your marriage is both of you are conditional in forgiving the other." My friend said, "This comment shocked her, because she thought you should only forgive if the person deserved it." The counselor gave them a Bible study on forgiving. My friend told me the study changed her marriage, and her outlook on forgiving. When I met her, she was caring for her mother. My friend said to me, "My mother still isn't particularly patient and forgiving. Please pray for me to love and forgive my mom God's way, unconditionally. " Can you relate to my friend's life? I can.

How does knowing God is the God of forgiveness impact your life?


Life Application:

How do you forgive? Do you forgive unconditionally like God? Or does a person need to live up to your standards to be forgiven? If God didn't give us unconditional forgiveness, we would stay dead in our sins, because God's standard is perfect holiness. (Isaiah 6:1-7; Romans 3:22-23; Hebrews 4:14-16; James 2:10; Revelation 4:8) Remember, God forgave you and loved you when you were His enemy. God tells us to forgive others as He has forgiven us. Read Matthew 6:8-15; Luke 6:35-38.

On occasion do you feel God just can't forgive you? When we feel this way, I believe what we are thinking is, we can be right before God by our own works. However the problem is, we can never do works that live up to God's perfect standard because (to use a computer term) we have a nature that defaults to sin. Nevertheless, Jesus did something we could never do; He fulfilled God's perfect standard of holiness for us. Jesus Christ, the One True God, became a Man; He was born a Jew, which meant He lived under the Old Testament law His entire life and never broke even one of them. He died for our disobedient acts toward God, not His own. In dying for our sins He fully paid off our debt to God from those sins (Colossians 2:13-14). So let's not forget - we are forgiven because of Jesus and His sacrificial works, not from anything we have done, whether bad or good. Read Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 5:2; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9.

Take some time and thank Jesus for what He did to give you - His ceaseless and certainly unearned forgiveness.


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