3/15/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Am I Really Forgiven?”

Micca Monda Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/speaker_micca.htm

 

Key Verse:

1 John 5:11-12b "This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life." (NKJ)

 

Devotion:

As a minister of the gospel, I’m often asked a reoccurring question: “How do I know that I’m really forgiven?” I always give the same answer to each person. However, it’s not my words, thoughts or even my own opinion that I offer. I tell them what God’s says about forgiveness.

 

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NKJ). All those who have sincerely given their lives to God and trust Him alone for the forgiveness of their sins have eternal life. It’s not a feeling. It’s a fact that we must act on in faith.

 

My eldest son’s father died when he was four months old. Two weeks before his accidental death, my husband purchased life insurance. I’ve always considered that money as a gift to my son and me from God, our Provider. Like any mother, I wanted only the best for my son. I chose to live on very little and place the insurance money in a CD under the name of our son so that one day he could go to college. That day arrived all too quickly.

 

I’ll never forget my son’s reaction when I gave him this gift. He was shocked and overwhelmed. Through the years, the amount had grown significantly. At first, my son had a hard time receiving the large gift. It was unexpected. He had not worked for it, nor did he feel that he had earned it in anyway.

 

“What a sacrifice you’ve made for me to have this, Mom.” My son said softly.

“No, I said. “I didn’t make the sacrifice, son. You’re Dad did.”

 

It would have deeply saddened me if my son had chosen not to receive my gift. What about all those times I held onto the money when I could have used it to prevent hardships? What about the wasted opportunities that passed by to help someone else in need? But that is not what this gift was for. I didn’t raise a dummy! It would be foolish for my son not to accept the gift and use it for college. That’s just what he did.

 

Forgiveness is a free gift offered to us by our heavenly Father. While it cost you and me nothing, it cost our Savior His life. How foolish it would be for us to doubt it or not to accept it at all - for it’s the way to peace. We can’t earn God’s forgiveness and we don’t deserve such an unspeakable gift, but our heavenly Father, who loves us beyond measure, offers it freely. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJ)

 

If God is a God who cannot lie – and He is – then His promise to forgive is given and received the moment you ask. It’s not based on feelings, but fact, and received by faith. “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free, indeed.” (John 8:38, NKJ)

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, thank You for making the ultimate sacrifice so that my sins can be forgiven. I trust by faith that my past has been wiped away and I have been given a new start. I don’t trust this by my feelings, but by the truth of Your Word. If you said it’s true, I believe it, Lord. Thank You for giving me such a wonderful gift through the death and resurrection of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

It’s true, we don’t always “feel” forgiven. Praise God our forgiveness is not based on our feelings but the work Christ did on the cross. So whenever you need reassurance, mediate on God’s truths and pray them back to Him, thanking God for making you clean. In His presence, what is fact will eventually be felt in your heart.

 

Reflections Points:

Are you trying to earn forgiveness, or have you received it freely from God?

 

No one is worthy of God’s gift and no one can be good enough. Are you trying to be?

 

Do you confess your sins daily in order to maintain your peace and your relationship with God?

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (NKJ)

 

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NKJ)

 

Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (NKJ)

 

Isaiah 1:18, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’” (NKJ)

 

Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (NKJ)

 

Additional Resources:

Do You Know Him?

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/knowHim.htm

 

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_radicallyObedient.htm

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/subscription.htm