He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. (1 Peter 2:24 NLT)
I found this unattributed piece on the Internet this evening. In today’s society I fear that many are like the thief in this story, looking to skate by until the next time. How sad each of us should be that there are folks that just don’t understand the scope of not only God’s grace, mercy, and love, but also His hate toward sin and the judgement to come.
The Meaning of Forgiveness
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child,” says William Shakespeare’s King Lear. Well, then, how about a thankless jailbird? If you want an answer to that one, ask District Judge Phillip Killien of Seattle. Recently, a young man appeared before Judge Killien on charges of car theft. The judge saw no reason to keep him locked up while he awaited court action. He released him on his own recognizance. A short time later, Killien’s own car disappeared. Police quickly found the stolen car, and the one who stole it. Then, Judge Killien was in court in a new role, not as a judge, but as a witness, against the same young man he had released, who stood accused of stealing the magistrate’s wheels. A Japanese proverb reminds us that forgiving the unrepentant is like drawing pictures on the water. Ignoring sin may gain the sinner’s temporary gratitude, but makes no lasting impression. A forgiven car thief is still a car thief if no change of character takes place. How about you? Do you seek to escape justice or to be justified by God’s grace and Christ’s mercy? God offers you liberty, not license, in the cleansing blood of Christ.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. (Psalm 51:17 NLT)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
During one of the testimonies tonight at Prayer Meeting someone said “God has been so good to me” and I immediately identified with the brother or sister who said it. But then this evening as I pondered on sweet Spirit filled service we had I began to think a bit more about that statement and changed my mind: He’s been so much better to me than I deserve is the real, honest truth.
I can’t even begin to tell you or praise Him enough for what He’s seen fit to do for me, with me and what He yet will. Scripture lays it out plain and simple: we are, in our natural, unregenerate state, completely the opposite of what God desires. We have a sinful nature that desires and seeks after everything but God. And yet God loved us so much to make a way for our sin-debt to be paid in full and our spirits to be quickened through and by Jesus Christ, if we will only come to Him seeking the forgiveness He wants to grant us and then follow Him as our Lord and Savior. A holy righteous God that sends His Son to suffer and die in our stead, why? Because He cares that much about us. No, I can never thank or praise Him enough. And He so very truly has been better than I ever deserve to me.