Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace – 3

Click here for part 1

Remember, God does not forgive us because we are worthy; he forgives us because of who he is.

God gives us what we need to lighten the load, the enemy gives us things to weigh us down.  Condemnation crushs us under the weight of sin.  Conviction is God simply asking if we want to agree with him so he can shoulder the burden.

My Confession: Because I love my sin, I find myself going down this road over and over, seemingly without change however, in faith, I trust that God is working.

I developed a love of my sin over time, perhaps it may take time to develop a hatred for that same sin.

Hatred for sin comes through continued agreement with God by confessing my sin every time I partake of it.

For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.  So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.  Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.1

Revelation: That’s it!  The reason I struggle is because the sin in my life is becoming utterly sinful –my love for sin is but to death by agreeing with God.  Yes, I’m a sinner.  No, I don’t deserve mercy.  Yes, I need a savior.

My Prayers: Lord, thank you for dying on the cross in my place.  Please forgive me; please give me a hatred for sin.  Thank you for having mercy on me.  Change my heart, my thoughts, and my ways.2  Transform me into your likeness.3

Lord, I have struggled so long, this seems impossible, please give me the faith to believe again, with my lips I can say, “I do believe”, but my words ring hollow; please help me overcome my unbelief.4

My word for today is that what may be impossible for me is not impossible for you God!5  6  7  Please open my eyes that I can see you at work and be encouraged.8

 

Wind and Waves

I’m about to drown! Lord, where are you? 9

When I’m surrounded by turmoil and struggles, sometimes it feels like God has abandoned me. No doubt this is testing of my faith however, in the moment, it would be nice to know that it’s only a test. Is that the root of my problem, not recognizing that testing is normal?

If I took God at his word; truly believed what his word says, that he is faithful even when I’m not, that at my worst he sent his son to die in my place, wouldn’t things be different?2 3 Now that I’m thinking about it, isn’t everything a test with varying difficulties? Do the simple tests of everyday life form the foundation for greater tests?

Perhaps it’s similar to the muscles of a person who doesn’t move; muscles that don’t move atrophy. (i.e. a person in a coma) Once those muscles atrophy, even walking, a normal everyday activity, can become a struggle.

My Prayer: God, please give me the grace and the will to exercise and strengthen my spiritual life; I need You to get me through the struggle. May I never turn away from You and continually delight in Your presence. Thank you for loving me and not giving up on me.

Narrow Way

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.4

Consider: When I lean on my own understanding, in addition to not trusting God, am I not also closing my ears towards God?

We acknowledge him by agreeing with and speaking the truth.  Is confession not agreeing with God?  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.2  The enemy wants me to fear punishment and hide my sins.3  The truth sets me free!4  The truth enables me to boldly come to the throne of grace and obtain mercy.5  Do I not need mercy when I am at my worst?6  Paul knew this so he counted everything as lost to be saturated in the mercy and grace of God.7  8  God’s power is made perfect in weakness.9  10

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.11

Consider: “Fear the Lord and shun evil” –do we shun evil out of fear?  Don’t we choose sin because we think it to be good in some way?  Choosing what I think is good –isn’t that being wise in my own eyes?

My Confession: I find myself on my knees nearly every night confessing my sins and failures through out the day.  Today I asked the Lord why I keep doing the same things over and over.12  He simply replied, “You can start your day on your knees or end it on your knees.” After contemplating His response, I realized the outcome is radically different!  One focuses on God and the other on self; the one acknowledges a dependence on God and the other how “I” mismanaged “my” day.

My Prayer:  God, I desire to start on my knees and give You the first fruits of everyday!13  Please forgive me for leaning on my own understanding, trusting in myself and being wise in my own eyes.  Please teach me to acknowledge you in all of my ways and give you the glory and honor that you alone deserve.  Please direct my paths, to shun evil and not turn to the right or the left but instead, to walk in your ways.14