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Showing posts from March, 2014

The Reality of Forgiveness

When we look at how God paid the price so that our forgiveness is ensured, we must not get the wrong sense of God along the way.  We should not think of the payment only in economic terms or we will wrongfully conclude that God delights in suffering as must be satisfied by blood.  Rather, we must recognize that God insisted that Jesus pay the price because of the reality that our sin brought to the world.  Thomas Hopko says it this way:
He ‘paid the price’ not to God the Father in the sense that God delights in His sufferings and received ‘satisfaction’ from His creature in Him.  He ‘paid the price’ rather, we might say, to Reality Itself.  He ‘paid the price‘ to create the conditions in and through which man might receive the forgiveness of sins ad eternal life by dying and rising again in Him to newness of life. (See Romans 5-8; Galatians 2-4)
                Before Jesus paid the price the reality of sin and death was inescapable.  The reason for the cost is the reality not God’s he…

Celebrating Forgiveness

After a couple of weeks of repenting and facing the reality of our short lifetimes and numerous sins that we have participated in, our souls are moved to celebrate what the repentance has uncovered.Maybe we already knew we were sinners, that knowledge is nothing new.In coming to grips with the fact that we are more sinful than we ever let ourselves think, we learn how merciful, gracious and forgiving our God really is.If you haven’t discovered this one yet, you are actually more sinful than you can ever imagine-- The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah17:9)
In the midst of a season focused on true repentance, spring bursts through.Even if you live in the north where the flowers are not budding quite yet, there can be a time of spring, a season of anticipation and joy on your Lenten journey.
True repentance leads to joy.There is no question about it.If your time of focusing on your sins has made you more gloomy and pessimistic about yo…

What a Wonderful God We Love

Jesus said it best: Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little (Luke 7:47).The Lenten Season that focuses on penitence and being aware of the cost of Easter is the perfect setting for true sinners to experience deeper love for God.

The more God’s love means to you, the more you become aware of how far you have fallen.A soul that feels the depth of the love of God has no other response than to love God in a great way.Before we even get to the cross, death, burial and resurrection, the season of repentance itself brings great spiritual healing.
Did you wake up today amazed that God loves you as much as He does?If not, I’m not sure you are really serious about your repentance.Eckhart explains:
With the love of God, people will be able to accept and endure whatever happens to them.They will gently forgive the harm that is done to them.There is nothing else in human experience that will bring you as cl…

Miraculous Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the true miracle cure that is given to the whole world.I don’t think it is possible to comprehend what Christ’s forgiveness means in our lives.We can open its miraculous powers when we entrust the Holy Spirit to release the release the cleansing and healing powers of forgiveness within our souls.

The reason most of us don’t experience the miracle powers of forgiveness is because it goes completely against our sin nature to forgive, thus we don’t fully commit to the process.When Christians try to forgive in their own strength, it dilutes forgiveness’ power.If forgiveness does not improve your soul, you are probably acting without the Spirit’s power.
Shamefully, I have to admit that I know firsthand what happens in my soul when I have forgiven with God’s Spirit, yet still struggle to forgive after being offended.Though it is the most peaceful, supernatural, hopeful, spiritually productive experience of my life, I don’t automatically forgive without conviction from God.What’…

Forgiveness Experienced

In the Orthodox Church, Lent is commences after the Sunday Vespers Service on Forgiveness Sunday.I attended this service last year, and I still remember the unique spiritual encounter I participated in with complete strangers.

After the liturgy, the Priest of the church looks out on the congregation and with believable sincerity confesses that he is a sinner and asks forgiveness for the ways he has failed.We feel his pain and recognize his predicament of ever desiring to fully receive the grace and victory over sin yet coming up short.After he begins the lesson on forgiveness the Assistant Priest walks up to the Priest and looks at him eye to eye and confesses that he has sinned and asks for forgiveness.The Priest replies: God forgives you and so do I.Next the Deacon stands before the Priest, and then the Assistant Priest, and they make the same confession, one person at a time.Slowly the whole Altar Party follows in suit and then the congregation is dismissed, row by row, to form a ci…