The God Who Forgives

Here it is the start of another year. There is hope for a fresh start, a new beginning. To do better at life than I did last year. But there are old doubts. Can I really begin again?  Can God possibly love and forgive me after what I’ve done?

The simple truth is…”If God doesn’t speak to me in my darkest sin, He doesn’t speak to me at all.” Either he is a God who loves even the most vile sinner and longs for them to turn to him or he doesn’t care for any sinner and will condemn us all to hell.

His love is way beyond anything we can imagine and so we imagine his love is like ours. “Fragile, weak and conditional.”

We love those who are kind to us. God loves those who hate him.

We love those who are worthy of our love. None of us are worthy of God’s love.

We love those who we have the energy to love. God loves with a passion that takes our breath away. It is an unending wellspring of love for the people he has created for one purpose only…to love and serve Him.

And yet we put limits on the limitless God.  We say, “I have gone too far. He can’t possibly forgive this offense. I have sinned too often. He will not forgive me yet again.”

But we forget that he is the good shepherd who leaves the 99 righteous persons to seek and save the lost one. (Luke 15:4-7)

We forget that he loved people like David who was guilty of sexual immorality, betrayal and murder.

We forget he loved the extremely wicked city of Ninevah enough to send a reluctant prophet to preach them the gospel. Jonah tried to get out of the assignment, but God insisted, and the entire city from least to greatest had the nerve to repent. (Jonah 3:1-10)

Such a heart of forgiveness this God has. So at the beginning of this year I bring my past failures to him. I seek His power in changing who I am. I determine to set my eyes on my only hope. The grace and forgiveness of a God who loves me in spite of who I am.

Note:  This post can also be found at my new website

I am in the process of moving some things over there. It is an upgrade that will allow me to do some different things. I will let you know when it is fully functional, but I hope you take the time to stop by. 

Purposeful New Year

It’s that time of year, when I take stock of what was and make plans for what will be. As I look back I have met some of the goals I had. Others were discarded quickly or were impossible to accomplish.

The most important accomplishments were not things of my own choosing. You can’t schedule in those moments that God ordains. We make plans that are big and grand. His plans are big and grand but they are on a different level. The world pushes us to be bigger and better. God pushes us to be closer to Him and thus more useful. Those moment by moment minutes with Him that make all the difference when something difficult comes up. The passage I had been studying that spoke to my life a month later. The “random” verse that was just what someone else needed to hear. So this year my plans are of a more basic variety.

*  To get closer to the one who made me.

*  To understand Him more so I can be like Him.

*  To see His hand at work in my feeble attempts.

*  To see great things done, not because of who I am, but because of who He is.

*  To not expect things from God, but God Himself.

Indeed, these are the fringes of his ways, and how faint is the whisper we’ve heard of it! But who can comprehend the thunder of his might? (Job 26:14 ISV)