This post is adapted from Flowing from the Cross: Six Facets of God’s Forgiveness by Dan Paavola.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Nineties-era country music is a treasure chest of hidden gems. I was born in 1985 in the Midwest and spent a large amount of time on my grandparents’ dairy farm. When I hear people talking about standing for something, a song begins playing in my mind— “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” sung by Aaron Tippin, written by Buddy Brock, and released in 1990. The song is a classic, and I can assure you the music video will take you right back to the nineties in a hurry.
Have you ever fully thought about God’s forgiveness? About what it means that He has forgiven us?
I’m not good at forgiveness. I hold grudges. I say I forgive but then I don’t forget. I am not slow to anger and quick to forgive. In my sinful nature, I don’t want to forgive someone easily. They need to earn my forgiveness. I am so thankful that God’s forgiveness isn’t like mine.
Forgiveness is at the heart of our relationship with Christ. Through the forgiveness won for us on the cross, we are a part of God’s family. It’s an amazing gift that we receive through the Sacraments. Here are four verses to consider when thinking about God’s forgiveness toward us.
Jesus began his public ministry in the Gospel of Matthew by saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!" Repenting is clearly important to Jesus. What he was asking people to do back then—and us today—is turn away from the worldly kingdom. Jesus is asking us to turn from the things that are ruling and governing our lives, to take a step outside the walls of our self-built fortresses and begin to look for a new kind of King in a new kind of Kingdom.
When we sit in the dirt feeling the effects of our shame and guilt, sometimes we wrongfully feel that our sin is bigger than our Savior. We sometimes become afraid that the accusation is too awful and there’s no coming back from our spot in the dirt. It is then, that our Savior stoops down into the dirt and lifts us out of our shame and guilt. It was for this very purpose that He came.