Thursday, May 24, 2012
"It's Because I'm Forgiven. It's Because I am Free . . ."
Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus say their faith, he said to the man, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."
In a recent sermon, Pastor Wallace's focus is on the forgiveness of sin.
He recounts the story of a young woman in one of his former churches who comes to his office one day.
"Pastor, can I talk to you?"
"Of course, you can. Here, have a seat. What's on your mind?"
She hands her head shamefully and begins to confess to Wallace a sin she has committed which is laying heavily on her heart.
He listens. Attentively. Without comment until she finishes her story.
"Can Jesus for give me for this?" She asks, her voice trembling, tears streaming.
"The Lord is all about forgiveness," Wallace assures her. "Let's pray right now for Him to forgive you this sin."
After the prayer, the woman is all smiles. She leaves his office with a buoyant bounce in her step.
It is five years later and Wallace is now shepherding a different church. Imagine his surprise when he looks up one day to see this same woman at his office door.
"Pastor, I know you have another church now, but could I still talk to you?"
"Sure thing! It's wonderful to see you again. What can I do for you?"
Without a moment's hesitation, the woman's words spill out. She is confessing the same sin she confessed five years previously! Wallace raises his hand and interrupts.
"Wait, wait, hold on just a moment," he tells her. "You told me all about this before, remember?"
"Yes, but, I . . ."
"Have you committed this sin again?"
"Oh, no, Pastor, I haven't!"
"Then, you don't need to be forgiven. Jesus took care of this the first time around. He's wiped your slate clean. You have, indeed, been forgiven. But, my dear, you need to believe it."
Is the memory of a sin for which you asked forgiveness paralyzing you from moving forward in your life?
Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for Your precious Son, Jesus. Through Him, all our sins are forgiven. Help us to accept His forgiveness and forgive ourselves for our transgressions so we can go forward in our walk with You. Amen.
Psalms 105:1-22 or 105:23-45