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Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

The famous Abraham Lincoln had a favorite joke: “If we consider the tail of a lamb as a leg, how many legs would a lamb have?” — His answer: “Four, considering it one doesn’t make it one!”

Except….whatever God considers is just that!

God considered something for Abraham:

Abraham “believed the Lord, and God counted it to him as righteousness”. — Genesis 15:5-6

God considered Abraham righteous though Abraham had done and continued doing some pretty stinky things! God considering him righteousness was all that was required!

King David, too! He wrote:

“Blessed is he whose sin is covered unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity.” — Psalm 32:1-3a

The word imputeth means to consider. He wrote about those to whom the judge of the universe looks at and says, “Not Guilty!” That is a blessing!! Where do you get that?!

The Bible says

“It was not written for [Abraham’s] sake alone … but for our sake also, unto whom it shall be reckoned (considered), who believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification. — Romans 4:23-25

Joining our lives to Christ enters us in that consideration.

So, If We consider five (5) unrighteousness men in a room as righteous, how many righteous men are in the room? — Five, if they have given their lives to Christ, God considers it so!

— fritz

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josephbrothers

in jail …[Jacob’s children] started talking among themselves. “Now we’re paying for what we did to our brother…. Reuben broke in. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t hurt the boy’? But no, you wouldn’t listen. And now we’re paying for his murder.” — Genesis 42:17-22

[Many years later after their father died] Joseph’s brothers talked among themselves: “What if Joseph is carrying a grudge and decides to pay us back…?” — Genesis 50:14-15

Jacob’s children did a terrible thing to their brother. From then on every time something bad happened they remembered their guilt like it was yesterday. Though they were later forgiven it still haunted them.

Guilt is like that, unable to be completely ignored it’s always in the back of the mind stirring up doubt, blame, fear — even when forgiven by the person wronged it remains.

The only release is to pay for it. Only justice removes guilt.

Justice is something we don’t have but Jesus does. He paid the price for sin and guilt, though he had none, and he offers it to those who ask him for it.

“It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. …It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

–fritz.

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Sons, the report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading isn’t good! If one person sins against another, God will take care of him. However, when a person sins against the Lord, who will pray for him?” — 1st Samuel 2:24-25 (God’s Word Translation)

We have human judges for deciding matters between two people but when the offended party is God, himself, there is no one highter! It’s just not smart to make the God of the universe angry at you!

Once he was mad at you there was no where else to go … until Christ! Jesus loved us enough to satisfy justice on our behalf and bring us into God’s favor.

when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son — Romans 5:10

Who will pray for us?

He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. — Hebrews 7:25 (New Living News Translation)

Jesus!

Sound Bite: Jesus is praying for me!
Prayer: Jesus, you have done what no judge on earth could do, you reconciled me to the God of the Universe! Thank you for continuing to pray for me before the throne! I need it. Amen!

Also See:”Just Too Tense”” – August 9, 2011
— fritz@langgang.com

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Just Too Tense

The story is told of a man complaining to his psychiatrist about continuous nightmares, first of being an indian Tee-Pee then of being a pup tent over and over, driving him crazy. “Relax”, said the doctor, “You’re just two tents (too tense)”.

Verb tense, however, has nothing to do with nerves — it’s what tells us when action happens.

Notice the two verb tenses in Pauls’ words to the Corinthians — after giving a whole list of the kinds of people who won’t make it to heaven he adds,

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. – 1st Corinthians 6:11

English combines two tenses, the past tense (washed, sanctified, justified) with the present tense (are), to express action that began at some point in past but hasn’t quit.

Why is that important? I wasn’t only forgiven for what I did, I was, but I am still being forgiven, still being changed, still cleansed — and someone like me needs that.

— fritz@langang.com

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“…forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities” – Psalm 103:2b-3a

The most important benefit — Forgiveness! Remember the words of our Lord,

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? – Jesus (Mark 8:36)

When thoughts of regret and shame over what we have done, or left undone, pass before us remember that when you gave your life to Christ he paid for every one.

In this verse the original Hebrew word translated, “all”, actually means, “all”.

— fritz@langgang.com

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All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. – Galatians 3:27 (CEB)

Our criminal history with God has been expunged,1 so why continually dredge it up in prayer? Before coming to Christ, Yes! we need to be aware we are sinners in need of redemption, but not afterwards!

Though I am a sinner in my sight2 I am not one in his! He see me redeemed, clean, and dressed in his beloved son! He begins his character changing work in me, making me more like Christ in my actions, not from guilt but gratitude.

Prayer: Father, I am grateful that though I see my failures you see your son who died for my sins and ever lives his life in and through me!

Sound Bite: I have given my life to Christ, I am redeemed, and I will not let anyone tell me different.

– fritz
1 – Related Post: Expunged – April 23, 2011
2 – Related Post: Grasshoppers! – April 24, 2011

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Expunged

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:22-23

The Bible’s Letter to the Hebrews uses the rich imagery of the Old Testament to present the central benefit of Christ’s sacrifice for sin — a cleared conscience!

Clear, not from having done nothing wrong or sinful, but cleared by having our wrong deeds expunged by Christ’s actions. How do I know? God said so and I have no reason to doubt him. If the Judge, himself, says “Not Guilty!” who am I to argue?

Sound Bite: My criminal record with God has been expunged. In Christ I can walk with God as if I had never sinned.

-fritz

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