“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
You don’t have to live too long to get wounded—a bully pushing you around, a parent’s sharp word, a friend’s rejection or betrayal.
You hurt each other with emotional outbursts, unkind words, or thoughtless actions. It happens so often that the idea of my unconditional forgiveness may be beyond your ability to grasp. Yet my promise of forgiveness appears throughout my Word, the Bible, and not just in 1 John 1:9.
My son, Jesus taught constantly about forgiveness. One time He told people around Him, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37, NIV). Years later, a close follower of Jesus named Paul spoke to a group of Jews. He said, “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” (Acts 13:38, NIV). Jesus said it himself, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28, NIV)
When religious leaders of Jesus’ time criticized him for allowing a prostitute to wash his feet, he pointed out how they didn’t properly greet him (which in their culture included washing of the feet), yet she had done so. Jesus concluded, “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much” (Luke 7:44, NIV).
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that you could be forgiven. This was also the ultimate act of love. His death on the cross made it possible for me to overlook a lifetime full of wrongdoings in your life. When my children ask for forgiveness I see not their wrongdoings but the righteousness of my son Jesus. Forgiveness is my gift to you.
I forgive. Just ask me.
3 for 3
1 – Make a list of three people who have mistreated you. Next, make a list of three people that you have mistreated. Spend some time talking to God about those who hurt you and those you hurt. Ask Him to help you forgive and be forgiven.
2- “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NIV) What does this verse tell you about forgiveness? Whose sacrifice makes it possible for us to receive forgiveness from God?
3- Read the story in Luke 7:36-50. Realize that there is no sin too big or life gone too wrong for God. His love covers a multitude of offensives, if you will just ask him for forgiveness.