Encouragement for Today - November 9, 2012
November 9, 2012
An Unaccepting Heart
"Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." Psalm 32:2 (NIV 1984)
I spent many years regretting sins from my past; sins that had hurt others and myself. Day after day I would replay my decisions. Two decades later, the sting of past sin still had a hold on me.
Yet I knew God had forgiven me; I'd asked Him to. So why couldn't I accept the freedom of His forgiveness?
I wanted so badly to believe I was the person David mentions in Psalm 32:2, "Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit."Yet I struggled with accepting that God's grace could erase my sin, wiping it away as if it never happened.
I think for many of us, this is hard to do. It sounds all well and good, but in reality we are still carrying the weight of sin we can't seem to forget or forgive ourselves for.
Yet, His Word assures us that God does not count our sin against us. So how can we live in this truth?
I've discovered through our key verse that the first step is acknowledging our sins: to ourselves and to God. Confession reconciles our heart with God's heart.
The next thing is to begin filling our heart and mind with truth. Throughout the Bible, God teaches how an unaccepting heart can be changed and softened to accept His forgiveness. The following verses are truths from a loving God who longs to transform our lives through the grace of His forgiveness.
My God doesn't condemn.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 (NIV)
My master is grace not sin.
"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Romans 6:14 (NIV 1984)
My Savior Jesus has set me free, therefore I am free.
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36 (NIV)
My old is gone; because of Jesus Christ I am new.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV 1984)
Are you lugging a load of sin that God has already forgiven and forgotten? Are you ready to stop living in shame, shackled by regret? Life is too short to exchange the freedom of grace for the bondage of our unbelief.
Today, let's allow God to wash the hurt and regret from past sins away with the transforming power of His truth. And let's pray for an accepting heart that lives in the freedom of God's grace and forgiveness.
Dear Lord, by faith I accept Your forgiveness and refuse to be a slave to forgiven sin any longer. Today, I confess and move on! I commit to believing Your transforming truths to live fully and freely in Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
Visit Wendy's website to hear a video message about living out the transforming truths shared in today's devotion. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes. Through God all things are possible. Let's talk about it.
Living Free in Christ — a 50 minute audio teaching of Wendy's testimony taught from the book of Joel.
Confessions of an Adulterous Christian Woman by Lyndell Hetrick Holtz
Reflect and Respond:
Have you been unaccepting of God's forgiveness? Spend time talking with God and allowing yourself to accept and live in the freedom of forgiveness.
Use index cards to make several copies of the transforming truths above. Place a copy in your purse, car, Bible, desk, and other places you often go. Read them as long as it takes to experience the blessed life David speaks of in Psalm 32:2.
Isaiah 1:18. "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'" (NIV 1984)
Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." (NIV 1984)
Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NIV)
© 2012 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105