Friday, August 27, 2010

Forgiveness - Always Near The Cross

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
Matthew 5:7

"Lord God Almighty,
Thou hast taught me the necessity of a Mediator, a Messiah, to be embraced in love with all my heart, as King to rule me, as Prophet to guide me, as Priest to take away my sin and death, and this by faith in Thy beloved Son, Who teaches me not to guide myself, not to obey myself, not to try to rule and conquer sin, but to cleave to the One who will do all for me.

Thou hast made known to me that to save me is Christ's work, but to cleave to Him by faith is my work, and with this faith is the necessity of my daily repentance as a mourning for the sin which Christ by grace has removed.

Continue, O God, to teach me that faith apprehends Christ's righteousness not only for the satisfaction of justice, but as unspotted evidence of Thy love to me.

Help me to make use of His work of salvation as the ground of peace, and of Thy favour to, and acceptance of me the sinner, so that I may live always near the cross."
(The Valley of Vision - Puritan Prayers and Devotions)

So that I may live always near the cross. There is a beautiful simplicity rooted in that desire. Living near the cross, abiding in His Word, honoring Him. As our hearts are postured in this humility, we extend the same grace, mercy and forgiveness He lavishes on us.

When I wrote last time about forgiving our spouses quickly, I knew opportunities would generously present themselves for me to forgive quickly and for me to ask for forgiveness quickly! Hubby and I have each had to forgive and be forgiven much in the day-to-day messiness that life can present. Whenever I am writing a message, I must be the first one willing to ask God to search my own heart such that I am living out the message intrinsically. I desire the same wisdom, truth and authenticity God desires for us as His children. "Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place." Psalm 51:6

My heart has been willingly more sensitive to His voice over the last few weeks as I yield to the message of forgiveness and mercy. I am challenged to check my own heart to see if there is any unforgiveness or hesitant forgiveness lingering about. How about you? Let's ask God to search our hearts, specifically toward our spouses. Then, let's obey His commands of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. "I will hasten and not delay to obey Your commands." Psalm 119:60

"Few things are more precious to receive than forgiveness. God's nature is forgiveness (Exodus 34:6-7). If we are to be His disciples, we must follow His example. We have no biblical excuse for allowing unforgiveness in our hearts. A keen awareness of your own need for forgiveness will put the offenses of others in their proper light." - Blackaby

"Forgiveness is not a spiritual gift, a skill, or an inherited trait. Forgiveness is a choice. God's forgiveness is not based on standards we determine, but on the standards He established in His Word. God allows for no exceptions when it comes to forgiveness." - Blackaby

God allows for no exceptions when it comes to forgiveness. I am thankful He has no exceptions for forgiveness in my life. May I lavish that same grace and forgiveness on others, especially my spouse. My husband is a fine man of integrity. Yet we are both sinners. Mercy, grace and forgiveness are a daily necessity in marriage. I want to live always near the cross. I want to love and honor my husband that way.

Small offenses or large, hurtful wounds must all be covered in His forgiveness and love. God's standard on forgiveness is poured out in His Word. Here is one Psalm rich in truth: Read Psalm 51 - God's mercy and forgiveness.

Living always near the cross, let's hasten and not delay in obeying His commands...beginning in our marriages and our homes. "I will walk in my house with blameless heart." Psalm 101:2



Kelly Combs said...

Sharon I could relate to this part about writing and then be provided "Growth opportunitites." seems like happens alot to me in my writing as well.

Forgiveness is a gift.

Great psot.


Unforgiveness is something that we tend to hold on to more than we will admit. It is the very place that holds us back from being the person Jesus has called us to be.

And yes - when we write about it - it often seems we've had to live it and experience it first.

Examining our hearts daily before the Lord allowing HIM to expose it ~ is the key to receiving and offering forgiveness.

I loved the quotes from Blackaby as well as the Puritan Prayer. I love how honest and pure those prayers are - straight from Scripture - and focus on our own shortcomings - not those of someone else.

Thank you for the Scriptures today to remind us to forgive quickly.

Choosing JOY, Stephanie