4 Expressions of God’s Forgiveness

4 Expressions of God's Forgiveness

It seems that most of us have a “good” understanding of the Gospel as in understanding Jesus lived a perfect life here on earth, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead. How often though are we living day to day as Christians preaching the Gospel to ourselves? The Gospel centers around Jesus and God’s rescue for our lives, but we also need to be reminded of this everyday in regards to our walk with Christ and our forgiveness of sins.

  • We may understand the Gospel, but then we get beat down and feel guilty about sin when it happens.
  • We may understand the Gospel, but then we feel pressured to perform well for God and do good works.
  • We may understand the Gospel, but then we doubt God in His decision making for our lives when it gets tough.

However, what Jesus did on the Cross was enough and the Bible is full of areas that teach us this over and over again. Probably because we need to be reminded of this each and everyday before we begin to slip and start to doubt again. In “Transforming Grace” by Jerry Bridges, he talks about different examples of God’s forgiveness for us. Here are four expressions from Scripture that describe the extent of God’s forgiveness of our sins.

8 Ways To Read The Bible

8 Ways To Read The Bible

I can’t count how many times since being a believer the past 10 years I often forget or stray away from the Bible. It’s not that I’m against it (of course I’m for it), but due to my sin…I just naturally stray away and choose other things over it. God has recently reminded me yet again of the importance of His Word, how it’s active and living, and how by simply reading it and spending time with Him, that makes all the difference in the world.

I think it’s very helpful to follow Jesus one day at a time. Each day requires faith and trust that He is at work and He produces the results, not us. Each day is a reminder of the Gospel and how we are forgiven for all eternity. Each day is a new day for God to speak to us through His Word to show us how to carry ourselves for that given day and for whatever trials are upon us.

We can’t stray away from the Bible. God literally speaks to us through His Word. We need this each and every day and let me please encourage you to pick it up and get started. Maybe even return to it if you’ve strayed away yourself. Here are 8 ways to read the Bible:

Begin Reading This Very Day

The way to do a thing is to do it; and the way to read the Bible is actually to read it! It can’t just be about meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it, which will barely move the meter for you. You actually have to read it for yourself.

There’s not a perfect method for this, just like how there’s not a perfect method for prayer. If you can’t actually read it for yourself, maybe you can listen to it for yourself or have someone read it to you. Either way, having the Bible pass through your eyes or ears is the main point. The Word is living and active and give it a chance to be living and active for you.

Read With An Earnest Desire To Understand It

Sometimes we read over Scripture, turn the pages, and close it thinking we have done our duty for the day, without actually understanding what we read. This will turn the Bible simply into a task for you to check off your list and you’ll never give the chance to actually learn it.

Try to ask yourself, “what is this about or what is the meaning of this?” Pray for understanding. If we can’t learn about what we’re reading in the Bible, we’ll miss huge points.

Read With Child-Like Faith And Humility

Start with the reminder that the Bible is God’s actual words, it’s perfect, it’s 100% right, and we need to humble ourselves before it. That will help us as we read it, even when it seems to counter or desires or preferences.

Begin with knowing you’ll trust what you’re going to read and act on it because God’s ways and thoughts our higher than ours and He is the author of the Bible, not us. Since we are reading what He has already written, we need to patiently listen and take in what He is saying to us.

Proverbs 17-19: Life, Conduct, and The Tongue

Life, Conduct, & The Tongue

Proverbs is a book of wisdom. 31 chapters full of hundreds of verses that can pierce the heart within seconds, showing us if we are being wise as we follow Jesus. Chapters 17-19 deal with how to follow Jesus with wisdom, how our conduct should be including how we carry ourselves, and most importantly…how life and death are found in the power of the tongue.

“A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.” – Proverbs 17:10

“Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?” – Proverbs 17:16

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

Someone of wisdom can take a rebuke and be called out in regards to how they are living because they have a desire to grow and understand they are not always going to get it right. The “fool” can be called out hundreds of times and it’ll make no difference. How we accept a rebuke can reveal a lot about us.

Likewise, the Bible speaks to how there’s no point to try to buy wisdom, if you don’t have any sense. We can’t just go out and buy wisdom and all the money in the world won’t make a difference, without sense. Where does sense come from? From the one who created wisdom..the one true God. Without Him, we’ll have no sense, and have no true wisdom.

We have amazing opportunities as Christians to give good medicine to others if we are joyful. Our culture and world lately isn’t really about joy…but about hate, intolerance, crimes, war, etc. It’s refreshing to encounter someone who is joyful. We have every reason to be joyful as believers because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross and that will speak volumes to a dying world.

Scripture on Discipleship

Scripture on Discipleship

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20

The last thing Jesus told His disciples before ascending to heaven was this. It’s important for us to take note of a God who’s incredibly specific and knows exactly what He is doing…to pay attention to the last thing He tells His disciples in person. Go….make disciples….in my name….teaching them everything….and I’ll always be with you.

Why are we here? What are we called to do as Christians? What is God’s purpose for our lives? As we are called to bring glory to God, we are told we do that through making disciples. That is what we are called to do as Christians. Are we really making disciples?

As we follow Jesus and make disciples, we’ll experience God in amazing ways. We’ll experience Him being right there with us, helping guide us with wisdom on how to lead others, and we’ll experience Him rescuing more and more people from darkness, to light. We don’t have to force discipleship because we can love others and God will bring the results.

Here is what the Bible has to say with scripture on discipleship:

Am I Growing In God?

Am I Growing In God?

I have a tiny tree growing in the backyard.

At least, I think it’s growing.

I planted it firm in the ground, making certain to mix the soil with the right additive. I’ve watered it. I’ve provided it with structural support. I’ve given it a million glances while outside. I’ve given it half a million glances through the window while inside. Why the attention to the sapling?

After spending a couple of hot, muddy hours in the backyard, I don’t want my labor to go to waste.

When we were promised winds in excess of 60 mph recently, I found myself concerned about it. I even made effort to reinforce it. Before leaving the tree to the forces of nature, I even tried to give myself consolation. It only cost $16 after all.

When the wind and rain subsided, I took a peek outside. Tree was there. Tree was standing. Tree was good (for now, at least).

It’s going to take more care, time, and commitment to help this budding life get off the ground to provide enough coverage to block the neighbors from seeing me step out on the porch every morning when I let the dog out.

At some point, if it grows from that care, I know it’s going to take off on its own.

In this exercise of dendrology, I’m reminded how much I am like that tree.

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