"The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious... who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin." Exodus 34:6-7
In the early 80’s, a new show hit the airwaves. It was called That’s Incredible!, and it featured hosts Fran Tarkenton, John Davidson, and Cathy Lee Crosby. Real life guests would come on the show and perform jaw-dropping stunts and feats of skill, strength, and courage. The incredible – that which couldn’t be believed because it was beyond credible – became an awesome reality as performer after performer beat the odds and completed the often life-threatening act.
GOD IS INCREDIBLE
The God of the universe is incredible in much the same way. He is almost too good to be true … but He is true and totally faithful and trustworthy.
One of the most wonderful, incredible things about God is that He forgives sinners like you and me. As someone well said, “He forgives from the gutter-most to the uttermost.” No matter what you have done, it is not greater than the precious blood of Jesus. That blood, shed freely on Calvary’s cross for fallen humanity, washes away the worst of sins.
When God revealed His glory to Moses on Mount Sinai, He proclaimed His name, His very character and nature to him. It is clear that God is a good, gracious, and forgiving God. His forgiveness is complete, as the three-fold delineation in Exodus 34:7 reveals (and more fully understood through a Hebrew word study). First of all, He forgives iniquity – the twisted, crooked evil in our hearts that lusts and longs and plans out our sin. He forgives transgression – the rebellious acts of disobedience. Lastly, He forgives sin – the guilt that accompanies the disobedience and wrong committed.
DO YOU NEED FORGIVENESS?
I have found that many Christians live in the spiritual doghouse, so to speak. They live under a heavy load of guilt over their sins of the past. Even though they have confessed those sins to God, they still can’t seem to get the victory over the guilt and shame. What is the problem? Does God not forgive us when we confess and repent? Yes, He does.
He forgives completely. He forgives incredibly. Your challenge and mine is to make sure the incredible doesn’t become something we can’t believe, but rather something that is wonderful, awesome, and jaw-dropping.
BUT I CAN’T FORGIVE MYSELF!
I hear that a lot. How could I possibly forgive myself over ______________? Whether your great sin is fornication, or adultery, or homosexuality, or abortion, or theft, or destroying your family, or whatever … the truth is you don’t have to forgive yourself. What you have to do is believe and receive His complete and total forgiveness. Your standards cannot be higher than the standards of Almighty, Most Holy God, can they? If He forgives you, you are forgiven. End of story. Once you have truly confessed and turned from your sin all that is left for you to do is to believe the promise in His Word and trust Him for that incredible forgiveness. Will you do it?
Dear God, I come before you a wretched sinner. I have done __________________. It was ugly and wrong and has brought me such shame and heartache. I am guilt-ridden over it, and I am so sorry for sinning against You, Lord. Today, I make the choice to believe your Word and claim Your compassion, grace, mercy, and three-fold forgiveness. You say you will take away my sins as far as the east is from the west (an infinite distance), and I believe it and receive it! Thank You, Jesus, for forgiving me of my wicked heart, my sinful act, and my guilty conscience! I am forgiven and free. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
P.S. If you'd like for us to join you in prayer, visit us at www.fromhisheart.org/prayer.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
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