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|Always Forgive You
|Thursday, May 02, 2019|
She was just seven years old. But Lynnette had clearly crossed a line. It was an offense that called for an apology. I went to her room wanting to teach her that an apology is more than a quickly mumbled, “Sorry.” It means naming your offense, acknowledge that it was wrong, and then asking for forgiveness. With a bit of prompting, Lynnette came through with a very nice apology.
As she uttered the words, “Will you forgive me?” I looked her squarely in the eyes (I was down on one knee). I said, “Of course I forgive you. I’ll always forgive you, Lynnette.”
But just two weeks later, the offense was mine, and Diana let me know it was my turn to apologize to our daughter. I found Lynnette in her bedroom. Having named my offense and apologized for hurting her, I then asked, “Will you please forgive me?” As I look back, I’m not sure what I expected. Maybe a mumbled, “okay” or something like that.
Lynnette replied sweetly and without hesitation, “Of course I forgive you. I’ll always forgive you, Daddy.” It was almost as if a recorder was playing back my exact words from two weeks prior.
Not one teeny smidge of hesitation in her voice. There was only kindness and generosity.
Does this sound familiar? Can you think of someone else who freely assures His children, “Of course I’ll forgive you. I’ll always forgive you”?
1 John 1:9 is such a familiar verse that it may well have become mundane to some of us. Hear it again: “If we confess our sins (agree with God, admit our wrong), he is faithful (utterly reliable and 100 percent dependable) and just (the wrong we’ve done is paid for by Jesus Himself to meet the requirements of a holy God) to forgive us our sins (drop all charges and give us the full standing of legal justification) and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (a slate wiped fully clean!).
It’s not just the “little” sins He cleans up. It’s all of them. The big sins. The premeditated sins. The you-wouldn’t-speak- to-me-again-if-you-knew-I’d-done-that kind of sins. He cleanses us from every last streak and stain, every dark mark against our souls. Astounding!
It happened to the woman caught in adultery.
It happened with the prodigal son in Jesus’ story.
It happened with David, who committed the double crimes of adultery and murder.
Person after person . . . sin after sin . . . crime after crime . . . ask for forgiveness and it is yours!
Remember this the next time the voice in your head whispers, You’ve confessed this sin so many times, how can you even think about asking for forgiveness! Or maybe you’ll hear this old accusation: A true Christian wouldn’t have done what you’ve just done! You will never beat this sin!
If the voice sounds like a hiss, it is so only because it belongs to a serpent. You know his name. You know his destination. So resist him. Claim the name of the King who defeated him on a hill outside Jerusalem two thousand years ago.
As you claim the lovely name of Jesus, hear those lovely words one more time: “Of course I forgive you! I’ll always forgive you!”
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