Verse for today – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us in all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7-8).”
When I was in my early teenage years, I stole a $20.00 item from a local hardware store. It was a huge mistake! No one ever found out except for the store owner, and he didn’t know about if for a couple of years. But God knew! Beginning the very day I stole the item, I had no peace. I suddenly carried a huge weight on my shoulders (called guilt). I could not enjoy what I had stolen, and suddenly, I couldn’t enjoy anything else either. God and my conscience constantly reminded me of that sin. I was stubborn though, and to be honest, I was more afraid of making things right than I had been of stealing in the first place. Who would find out? My parents? My siblings? My friends? The police? To this day I can hardly believe that I held on to that secret sin for 2 years. Finally, God convinced me that I had to make it right no matter what the cost. No cost is as great as guilt!
Reader, do you know that God did not create you for guilt? You have absolutely no capacity to carry such a burden. It will destroy your life. I know that it seems much easier to hide your sin. It seems easier to remain silent and careful. It seems easier to excuse it and say or think, “Everyone else is doing it and their sins are worse than mine.” But you are mistaken. I know from personal experience that it will eat away at you, change who you are, and leave you dissatisfied with life. You will NEVER become who God created you to be if you try to hide your sin.
Thank God for blessing # 6—FORGIVENESS! When Jesus paid the ransom for sin and purchased those who belong to Him (the redemption we talked about in the first part of verse 7) the price He paid enabled God the Father to forgive sins. You see, God is not only loving, He is also JUST, and there must be a payment for sin. Jesus is that payment. Jesus is our substitute. Ask Him to forgive you today. He said, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:13).” He also said, “Come now and let us reason together says the Lord, though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).” Tell God about your sin, ask Him to forgive you, and to change your life. Then, in every way possible, make things right with those you have sinned against. This is not always possible but often it is. Ask for forgiveness! Restore what you stole. Remove yourself from sinful situations and practices. God will become your helper and your greatest cheerleader. HE is opposed to the proud, but HE gives grace to the humble (1 Pet. 5:5).
The day I returned what I had stolen—actually it was old, and I could not wisely return it, so I paid for it—that day was one scary day. The store owner was very unhappy with me. He said, “I think I should call the police right now and hand you over.” But he did accept the money. As I left his store, I felt an enormous weight lift from my shoulders. It was much like the day I asked God to forgive all my sins and take me to be His son. That day many weights lifted from me and I had a much lighter step. The world became a better place, with brighter colors, and life began to satisfy me in new ways. Forgiveness is like that and God is the ultimate forgiver.