Originally published Thursday, 29 November 2012.
In the quiet morning light I've been reading through the book of Romans. Whew...this book is intense. So much to chew on and pray through. Reading through the chapters has reminded me of some conversations that I've had in real life and online with my girlfriends who struggle with the notion of forgiveness. It breaks my heart that these sweet women, who truly desire to live out their faith, feel like they don't deserve the forgiveness that our King Jesus offered with His blood on the cross of Calvary. Something in them keeps them from moving on from their past sin...even though Jesus already wiped the slate clean.
Here are a couple of verses that jumped right off the pages of the book of Romans in the New Testament. I encourage you to use these as a stepping stone to go dig into the book for yourselves and find freedom that our amazing Jesus offers to those who give their whole life to Him.
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26 ESV emphasis mine)
For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17 ESV emphasis mine)
As I journaled through these verses while reading Romans, I prayed. I prayed for you--my friends--who wrestle with their past sins needlessly. My heart heavy over your pain, I wrote out this prayer...
Father God, I beg of you to reach out to my dear friends who need to know that there is NO DISTINCTION (Romans 3:22-23). Help them to see that, though we are ALL sinners, they are not exempt from forgiveness. Pour out the knowledge on them that when they claim You as their Savior, their name is written in Your book as FORGIVEN...no distinction. Help them to accept your abounding and overflowing grace as a free gift. Open their heart to receive Your goodness and righteousness –– that they can do nothing to be Holy –– it is all because of You, Jesus. I pray that as my friends go about their day they will grow in their desire to obey Your Word and your commands out of pure love and desire to please You. We praise You, Jesus, for You are Holy and Mighty. Be BIG in the lives and hearts of my sweet friends. In Jesus' Name, AMEN!
Something to chew on: Yes, you ARE forgiven of your past sins and junk in your life. We all do stuff we are not proud of. It is what you learn from those past mistakes and sin that counts. It is how you allow God to teach you and grow you as a lover of Jesus through learning from the past. God does not waste anything. Allow Him to redeem the situation...to His ultimate glory.
Hugs to you all. Have a great day.
Leave a comment...how can I pray for you? Let's chat.
(Read more from Sarah on her blog LIVE IT OUT!)