GOD’S FORGIVENESS OF SINS

 

God forgives all sins, no matter how big

Why would God want to forgive?

“I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. And anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There will be people on Mount Zion in Jerusalem who escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called.”

Joel 2:30-32  

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.

1 John 1:8-9 

Bound by His Word

“Why would God want to forgive people who have spent a lifetime denying him and hurting him? Why doesn’t he just zap them? In our humanity we say that certain people don’t deserve forgiveness. In his sovereignty and perfect love. God says, “I love and forgive those who, to others, appear unsalvageable.” This is just one of the ways in which God’s thoughts are beyond our own. His mercy is so overwhelming that it can seem unreasonable to us. Are you willing to let God’s mercy do as it wishes  with anyone?1


If His conditions are met, God is bound by His Word to forgive any man or any woman of any sin because of Christ.

Billy Graham2

1from the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 760
2quoted in Wise Words & Quotes by Vernon McLellan (Tyndale) p 102

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Awareness of justice

God is always fair and just

Do You Understand Justice?

TITUS 3:7
so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely.

Proverbs 28:5

Awareness of justice

Justice means righteousness, lawfulness, and moral rightness, the quality of being true or correct, the moral principle determining just conduct. So justice has a moral quality. It contains a concept of what is right and, therefore, must also have a concept of what is wrong. Only people who understand these concepts of right and wrong can understand and administer justice. By extension, only those who follow the Lord can understand justice. Why? Because they subscribe to the foundational laws of the one who created them.

Thus, as this proverb points out, evil people don’t understand justice. Because they refuse to subscribe to justice’s moral underpinnings given by God in his Word, they are left to discover their own truths. As a result, many conclude that there is no truth. Others conclude that everyone can have different truths. Both perspectives are hopelessly doomed. And as a building without a foundation will crumble, so justice can never be served without the foundation of right and wrong as given by God in his Word.

WISE WAYS  What are you using for your foundation? Where do you get your concept of truth, of right and wrong?

Today, Lord, teach me the foundational truths about life that are given in your Word.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs, by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for February 28


Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy.
G K CHESTERTONDelay of justice is injustice.
WALTER S LANDOR

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing Hou

Christ’s Return

Christ will return

A vision of heaven

Now I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. And the one sitting on the horse was named Faithful and True. For he judges fairly and then goes to war. His eyes were bright like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him, and only he knew what it meant. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God.

Revelation 19:11-13 NLT

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne; Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but is own. Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee, and hail Him as they matchless King through all eternity.

Crown Him with Many Crowns,
Matthew Bridges (1800-1894)

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Matthew Bridges became a convert to Roman Catholicism at the age of forty-eight and published this hymn three years later under the title “The Song of the Seraphs.” Godfrey Thring, an Anglican clergyman, added several stanzas to the hymn about thirty years later, with Bridges’s approval. So a Roman Catholic layman and an Anglican cleric, who probably never met, were coauthors of a hymn about heaven, where Christians of every tribe and tongue, as well as of every denomination, will crown Him Lord of all.

One of the aspects that Godfrey Thring felt was missing in the original was a stanza on the Resurrection, and so it was added. “His glories now we sing who died and rose on high, who died, eternal life to bring, and lives, that death may die.”

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995), entry for May 16.

Digging Deeper: This week (Tuesday) marked the release of the The Rapture , the last of three prequel stories to the Left Behind series.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Master Creator

We are created in His image

LAST SUPPER OF JESUS

How Has God Revealed Himself in You?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

The Master Creator

Genesis 1:1 and the entire creation story reveals God’s creativity. He is the Master Creator who delights in diversity and variety.

Creativity is a gift God gives to people by the power of his Holy Spirit. Exodus 31:1-4 described a person who used his artistic skills and craftsmanship to make beautiful things for God’s glory.

The Lord also said to Moses, “Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze.

Hebrews 11:3 proclaims God as the ultimate source of all creativity.

By faith we understood that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

from Living Water for Those Who Thirst Tyndale House Publishers (2000), pp 37-8


The “great raveled knot,” as the famous English psychologist Sir Charles Sherrington called the brain, is about the size of a grapefruit and weighs approximately three pounds. It is composed of some twelve to fourteen billion cells.…It is the almost limitless number of cells-plus-interconnections that makes the human brain an intellectual instrument of unparalleled supremacy.
JOHN P McNEEL, The Brain of Man

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing Hou

IN HIS IMAGE

We are created in His image

Return unto the Lord thy God

Return unto the Lord thy God

 

How much do you see God in his creation?

Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies, or the moon walking down its silver pathway, and been secretly enticed to worship them? If so, I should be punished by the judges, for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.

Job 31:26-28

We understand the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Hebrews 11:3

Sunsets and chromosomes

A student stood on the crest of a hill silently admiring the sunset. As the colors came to a brilliant crescendo, he suddenly shouted, “Way to go, God. Fantastic!” Then he raised his hand in praise to the Creator.

Dr. Carl Sagan marveled that a single human chromosome contains 20 billion bits of information. This corresponds to four thousand 500-page books — and that’s only one chromosome! Yet Dr. Sagan never professed any belief in God.

When it comes to praising God for his incredible work in creation, some of us are more like Dr. Sagan than the student. We are quick to condemn those who deny that God created the universe, yet we, too, often forget to praise him for all that he has made.

We praise God for salvation but forget to praise him for creation. Whether we look at the grandeur of the heavens or the intricacies of a chromosome, we should stand in awe of our Creator. Praise him today for his masterful work.

The unwearied sun, from day to day
Does His Creator’s power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.

JOSEPHADDISON

adapted from The One Year® Book of Psalms by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers (1999), entry for February 5

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Overcoming Discouragement in Christ

Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

LAST SUPPER OF JESUS

Do you fall into discouragement after spiritual highs?

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life.… Then he went alone into the desert.… He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die.

1 Kings 19:3-4

God delivers us in all matters!

Elijah experienced the depths of fatigue and discouragement just after his two great spiritual victories: the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the answered prayer for rain. To lead him out of depression, God first let Elijah rest and eat. Then God confronted him with the need to return to his mission in life — to be God’s prophet.

Elijah’s battles were not over; there was still work for him to do. Often discouragement sets in after great spiritual experiences, especially those that produce a high level of emotional excitement or that require a lot from us physically. When you feel let down after a spiritual “high,” do what is necessary to restore your inner resources. And remember that God still has a purpose and plan for you.

Adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 311.

Digging Deeper

For more on facing discouragement, see The One Year® Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie, Tyndale House Publishers (2005).

Through a year’s worth of thoughtful entries, the reader will learn how much God longs to lift us up, carry us through in times of difficulty and uncertainty, and give us true, lasting joy. Each daily step draws you closer to a God who truly cares and the hopeful life he wants you to enjoy.


If the devil cannot make you puffed up by pride, he will try to dampen your spirit by discouragement. It’s his best tool!
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House+

 

Obedience Unto God

Obeying God Brings Great Joy

JOHN 7:37

John 7:37 (KJV)
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

When did you take your first step of obedience to God?

Then said, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Matthew 18:3

The momentous step

Oswald J. Smith grew up in Embro, Ontario. In the winter of 1906 when Oswald was sixteen, the Toronto newspapers told of a great evangelistic crusade being conducted by Dr. R. A. Torrey.

Oswald and his younger brother Ernie asked their mother if they could go the ninety-four miles to Toronto to attend the meetings. Smith tells what happened:

The second to the last meeting came. We had made up our minds to accept Christ that afternoon. We did not know that our mother had written to Dr. Torrey asking him to pray that her sons might be converted.

At the close of his message he gave the invitation. To my amazement I was turned into a chunk of lead. Presently my brother quietly nudged me, and that broke the spell. I sprang out of my seat and took the momentous step.

Christ had entered and I was a new creature. That was January 28, 1906.

Oswald went on to found and pastor Canada’s largest church, the People’s Church of Toronto. Throughout his ministry, he wrote twelve hundred hymns, published thirty-five books in 128 languages, raised twenty-three million dollars for missions, and helped send out hundreds of missionaries.

From that first step in Toronto, Oswald J. Smith walked with the Lord for three days short of eighty more years.


Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), pp 56-7

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Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House