The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Tag: forgiveness

Lent Devotional: Luke 6:37-42

Luke 6:37-42 (click here)
He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:39-40)

Reflection
Who is leading you? When it comes to judging others or forgiving others…whose lead do you follow?

Do we follow the leadership of Christ who poured out his own life for the forgiveness of all who trust in him? Do we follow the Christ who came not to condemn the world, but that through him the world might be saved?

Are we disciples of that Christ?

If so, then our hearts should be in the school of Christ, learning forgiveness, long-suffering, patience, humility, and grace. Is this the kind of voice that is instructing your heart? Sure…we may be bad students at times who’d rather not listen to the voice of wisdom coming form our master, but that is not my question. I’m not asking whether or not your good student, but whether or not you have a good teacher?

Any teacher other than Christ does not see things correctly. They do not see the world as it is or as it should be. They do not see people as they should. The only one who can see the world in such a way is the one who made the world…Christ.

To follow anyone other than Christ is to be led by the blind. Such leadership ends up in one place…a pit.

We need to be led by the one who is light and life…by the one who not only sees, but can give us sight.

Oh Christ, give us eyes to see those we condemn in the way that you have seen us. Train our hearts with grace until the day we are fully trained and fully like you.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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Lent Devotional: Matthew 18:21-35

Matthew 18:21-35 (click here)
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Reflection
How many times should God forgive you? Seven? That’s pretty generous number…right?

We laugh at such questions don’t we? I mean…we just assume that God should have this never-ending-forgiving-posture towards our never-ending-rebellious-heart…and he does!…not because he “should” or even because he “has to,” but just because he is that kind of God.

He is love. He is good. He is merciful. And so…he extends grace again and again and again. When such grace is experienced, it transforms the heart that has received it into a heart that gives it!

That’s Jesus’ point in the parable he tells Peter. Unforgiving hearts are, at root, hearts that have rejected forgiveness. If we are an unforgiving people, it is evidence that we have not received the forgiveness which has been offered us in Christ.

If we have experienced God’s grace, then Peter’s question to Jesus in verse 21 should seem just as ridiculous as the question at the beginning of this reflection. “How many times should God forgiven us…seven?” Should seem just as silly as “How many times should I forgive others…seven?”

We desire for God to forgive us, not seven times but seventy-seven times (not literally…this is figurative language for unending forgiveness). God’s desire is for our hearts to be transformed to do the same.

When we forgive like this, we point to the truth of how we’ve been forgiven. God’s forgiveness empowers ours. Our forgiveness reveals the reality of his. We are witnesses through our forgiveness to the truth of the Gospel. Through un-forgiveness, we deny the reality of the Gospel.

So how many times should God forgive you? How many times should you forgive others? The answer to both of those questions is the same.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Psalm 25

Psalm 25 (click here)
Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:6-7, 11)

Reflection
Why do we pray for forgiveness?

If you’re a believer in Jesus, has he not dealt with all of our sin, past/present/and future, once and for all upon the cross? Are we not a forgiven people? Yet, even Jesus instructed us to repent and pray for forgiveness.

The apostle John counseled Christians to confess their sins so that Christ would cleanse them from all unrighteousness. James tells us to confess our sins to each other so that we may be healed.

Why all this confessing and repenting if Christ’s words upon the cross were true and “it is finished”?

It is true, on the cross Christ purchased our pardon and yet we experience the application of that pardon in real time. It’s like when I tell my wife I love her…she knows that I love her, I don’t say it because it somehow became untrue in the past few hours…no…I say it as a constant application of the truth. My words are one of the ways I express what is true and the truth of my love is felt.

The fact of our forgiveness through the cross cannot be changed! Jesus did finish the work needed to wipe away our sins, but we experience the effects of his achievement in real time through repentance, confession and assurance of forgiveness from our father.

In other words, our repentance is not accomplishing what was lacking in Christ’s work… no… it is the conduit through which we experience what was accomplished in Christ’s work! And when we experience it, we praise him! Herein, lies the ultimate purpose of our need to ask for forgiveness and experience the grace of God over and over… because it leads to the glorification of his name over and over again…day after day!

The psalmist yearned for this… “For YOUR NAME’S SAKE, O LORD, pardon my guilt…”

Our repentance shows our continual reliance on the grace of God… it reveals God’s greatness… it glorifies his name before the world.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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