Thursday, May 24, 2012

"It's Because I'm Forgiven. It's Because I am Free . . ."



Matthew 9:2
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.

Readings
Psalms 105:1-22 or 105:23-45
Zechariah 4:1-14
Ephesians 4:17-32
Matthew 9:1-8  

12 comments:

  1. I caught up on all the posts I had not read yet and they are really awesome. The Ralphie one was such a good analogy. I know you are talented, but reading several in a row just reinforces that thought. Reading your blogs gives me the same feeling as seeing an awesome performance. Cool stuff baby.

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    1. Oh, Danny, this is the sweetest thing you could say . . . I can't begin to tell you how much I treasure your faith in me as a writer and trusting the book will be a success.
      I love you, Baby!

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  2. It is very difficult to forgive your own self for something we might have done in life. It takes a lot of courage to do that. Thanks for such a beautiful prayer which would help me do that.

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    1. Yes, I agree - forgiving ourselves and/or forgetting a past sin is much more difficult than forgiving others. I'm so glad you liked the prayer and think it will help you. Wonderful!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings!

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  3. Martha I'm crying now!!
    If I had told you my story before, I would have thought you were talking about me!!!
    The only difference is that I used to change the Priest and go from one to another just to make sure, to feel I am forgiven, and I didn't feel the Peace until one Priest asked me if i had already asked for forgiveness before for that particular sin? I said yes i did many times. He asked and don't you trust Him when He tells you he forgave you already?

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    1. Oh, Nikky, this gives me goosebumps! I wrote this post a week before even posting, so there is no way I could have even known your story or had even a clue.
      God works in marvelous, mysterious ways . . .
      Thank you for coming by and sharing your own story - that took courage, my dear.
      Blessings to you!

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  4. Martha, I think the bigger sin is our unwillingness to accept God's forgiveness. Unfortunately we can't fathom it at times, because we equate Him with ourselves.

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    1. Yes, Corinne, that is a huge sin to not accept God's gracious forgiveness. And, it's so dangerous to, as you said, "equate Him with ourselves". That's putting Him in that proverbial box - not good!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings to you!

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  5. This is one of the most touching posts I've ever read. Your reflections made me go back to a movie I watched several years ago. The adultress said to Jesus, "I'm a sinner," and Jesus said, "You were."

    OMG! And this is how He looks at us with so much love...It could be so overwhelming...

    I dreamt last night how Jesus has helped me reconcile with some old folks I had a trauma with...only God could move me so much...

    I pray with you...may we always believe that God looks at us with loving kindness~ always ready to embrace and wrap us in His mercy.

    Thank you so much for reminding me this Martha :*

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    1. Oh, Melissa, it is always such a joy to see you here!
      What an amazing dream! I agree, only God can move us in the ways of forgiveness and love and mercy. All of us sin and fall short of His Glory, but can rest in the knowledge that He forgives us and loves us just the same. It is overwhelming to say the least!
      Blessings always!

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  6. This is so true for most of us. It is so hard sometimes to forgive ourselves for things we have done in the past.Loved this one, Martha. God bless you

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Rimly!
      So glad you liked this post. It is a difficult thing to forgive ourselves, but we have to work on that.
      Blessings to you, too!

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