I remember seeing bumper stickers and magnets years ago that read: “Christians aren’t perfect – just forgiven”. I thought that I understood that phrase, but I was reminded of its truth again this morning. There are many believers whose joy has been stolen because they don’t feel forgiven and saved. They constantly feel like they must do more; say more to be saved.
I have learned lots about forgiveness in my life when learning to forgive. I’ve learned just how much I need forgiveness. I know that without Jesus, I won’t get to spend eternity in heaven. I also know that I can’t be good enough; say enough good things; or do enough good deeds to earn eternal life. I am forgiven because I believe in Jesus Christ. He is the One Who forgives my stupid sins and crazy behavior.
Jesus is at the home of a religious man named Simon having dinner, when a known sinful woman sits off to the side and she’s broken from her sin. She’s weeping regarding her sin and she puts perfume on Jesus as a huge sign of respect and honor from a servant. The Pharisee is thinking to himself, that if Jesus were really a prophet, He would know about this lady. Jesus did know. Check this out…40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:40-50 NIV)
Forgiveness is part of God’s DNA. He made a way through His Son Jesus where we could return to Him and be forgiven and free. We do not have to be slaves to sin, He gives us Hope and Courage to defeat the evil one and walk with Him. The Lord’s way is pretty clear – His is the right way, the honorable way. He wants me to leave a life of sin and pursue a life of right living and service to others. He has set me free from sin and wants me to live like someone who is free from sin.
I must come to terms with my sinful self. My thoughts, my motives, my actions are NOT always pure – sometimes they are! I’m imperfect and sinful – in need of more Grace. As I look inside my heart and realize my struggle with sin and how much I need His forgiveness – it becomes much easier to forgive others. I have been forgiven much by Him, so I must forgive others. I have been able to forgiven some pretty big wrongs dumped on me by others and it’s only because I know how much I need grace that I can extend it to others who need it too. Forgiveness is inseparable from Grace!Pressing On! Dwayne