Russ is an 80-year-old friend who suffers through the agonizing pain of bad knees, a weak back and an assortment of other aches not uncommon for a man of his age. Often his spirit is drenched by the loss of his wife and the solitary struggle of battling ailments.
Russ is a good man and yet he suffers from a disease that has sealed his mortality, a disease we all have called SIN. Sin separates us from God. Left untreated, it hardens a person’s heart towards Him, leads to bitterness and the proliferation of fear which chokes the very life out of joy.
Ephesians 1:7-9—Christ sacrificed His life’s blood to set us free, which means that our sins are now forgiven. Christ did this because God was so kind to us. God has great wisdom and understanding, and by what Christ has done, God has shown us His own mysterious ways. (CEV)
Sin cannot be overcome by hard work or one’s religious affiliation or nationality. There is no human cure for this terminal condition. No descendant of Adam and Eve has ever lived sin-free—the condition that God has always maintained. Nor can He overlook evil for to do so would compromise His absolute purity. Therefore, the possibility of earning divine favor by our penance or noble effort is as hopeless as trying to drink Lake Coeur d’ Alene dry with a straw!
Reconciliation between God and us is an impossible achievement without a heavenly solution to the problem of sin. Only the One who is perfect has the right to pardon those who are imperfect. So God did the unfathomable. He dispatched His Son to earth and made Him expendable on our behalf. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life yet allowed Himself to be crucified by jealous religious leaders. When they raised Him up on a cross He hoisted upon His own back our sins. By doing so, He took our guilt and gave God the remedy He needed to become our Forgiver. Jesus’ blood is the universal solvent--G positive, commonly known as GRACE.
Perhaps you have come to grips with the painful reality of sin. You may think there is no place in heaven for a Hades-stoking rebel like you. Maybe you’re angry with God sensing your eternal destiny is hopeless. Perhaps you’ve conditioned yourself to believe there is no way a good God could condemn anyone to an awful place like hell. Yet inside remains the lingering anxiety of a fallen nature that despite your best attempts cannot find the One the Bible calls your Heavenly Father.
God, through the merciful mediation of Jesus, will forgive you of your sins if you will make the right move. How? Admit the fact that you are a sinner. Place your trust in His savior Son and determine in your heart to obey Him. Forgiveness is God’s awesome gift to a dying world. It’s yours for the asking! So don’t let pride harden your arteries and keep you from experiencing the peace that comes from divine absolution! There is no greater feeling than to get up each morning knowing you are on safe ground with God because you are FORGIVEN.
Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace . . . The revelation of God is that He cannot forgive; He could contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God by the Atonement. God’s forgiveness is only natural in the supernatural domain.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)