Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - June 4, 2009

Time Machine or Forgiveness? 
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
— 1 John 1:9

My daughter made a comment on her blog that I found extremely profound. She asked the question, “wouldn’t we all wish we had a time machine so that we could fix some of the problems we caused or mistakes we made in the past?” I’ve thought about that question quite a bit. I have to admit having a time machine would be a good thing to have, because I would love to have some “do-overs,” if given the chance.

For example, I wish I had a time machine so that I could go back to when I was 17 years old, to the day I told my dad that I didn't care about him. Maybe then we wouldn’t have such a strained relationship. I wish I could go back to the times my closest friends needed me the most and I wasn't there for them. Maybe then they would understand how much they really mean to me. I wish I could go back to those times that I felt I was too important and too much “in demand” to spend significant time with my kids when they were small. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel like I missed so much of their growing up years.

Does anyone have a time machine? I think we could all use one. We all have some cleaning up that we could do. Unfortunately, time machines don’t exist. This is why we need forgiveness.

Jesus says that once we come before Him and confess our sins, He wipes the slate clean. He actually moves our sin and brokenness far from His heart, and looks on us as though we had never sinned.

That’s different than the time machine idea, isn’t it? A time machine depends on our fixing things that might help us feel better about ourselves. On the other hand, forgiveness leads to transformation of our hearts and lives by giving us a sense of freedom that goes beyond comparison. While “do-overs” would do us good, we need forgiveness more!  We need freedom, not regret!


  1. What “do-overs” would you like in your life? How would you use a time machine if you had one?
  2. What in your life needs the healing power of the forgiveness of Jesus? How do you need to accept it now? In what areas of your life do you need freedom?

1 Kings 8:30; Psalm 51; Psalm 92:1-4; Luke 11:1-4

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