“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.” ~Psalm 51:1
So what exactly do we have to do to get forgiveness from God? Do we have to go to church every week? Do we have to give a lot of money? Do we have to drastically change our lifestyle?
You may be very surprised to discover that you can’t do anything to undo your sins. There is absolutely nothing you can do to get God to forgive you. The only thing God wants from us is that we go to Him and . . . ask!
There is no sin that God won’t forgive! Everyone is eligible. Anyone that comes to God and asks, receives. Just as it says in a multitude of Bible verses, anyone, everyone, whosoever asks . . . receives! I call this process the three A’s, ask, acknowledge and apologize.
Ask: Pray to God and ask for forgiveness.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin…” ~2 Chronicles 7:14
Acknowledge: Admit and confess your wrong doings to God.
“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” ~Psalm 51:3
Apologize: Say you’re sorry, repent and stop doing whatever you’re asking to be forgiven for.
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation…” ~2 Corinthians 7:10
We must be willing to confess (own it), apologize (say sorry), and repent (stop it). If we can’t admit we did something wrong, why apologize?
“For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” ~Psalm 38:18 KJV
Are we realy sorry if we continue doing what we just apologized for? A sincere apology includes repentance! God wants us to have a contrite spirit, that means to really be remorseful. To this one I will look, to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit… If we truly felt a deep sense of remorse when we sinned, we wouldn’t have any desire to keep doing the same things over and over.
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” ~2 Corinthians 7:1
We must stop doing what we know is wrong. If we didn’t know it was wrong we wouldn't feel guilty or want to apologize. Why do we ask for forgiveness and then continue to try to cover and justify our sins? The answer is quite simple, because we want to. The only way to get rid of these disires is to surrender our minds over to God. Once the Holy Spirit comes into us we will no longer desire these things, we will be changed into a new person.
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” ~ Proverbs 28:13
God sent Jesus to bless us with the ability to turn away from sin. He would never ask us to do something without first having a way for us to succeed already put in place.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” ~1 Corinthians 10:13
Now, let’s take a closer look at what the Bible has to say on the subject of repentance. The very first word in Acts 3:19 is, repent! Peter is giving a sermon on repentance, telling us how to receive the gift of forgiveness through Christ’s suffering sacrifice. We must repent, (turn from our sinful ways) in order to be converted, that our sins may be blotted out. Seems that this is the only stipulation. If we are truly sorry, we will repent/stop doing it!
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” ~Acts 3:19
You can’t say you're sorry for doing something and really mean it if you continue to do the same thing over and over again.
”If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9
God really wants to forgive us, He wants to have our past sinful lives stricken from history but we have to become actively involved in this forgiveness thing. We have to ask for forgiveness and then stop doing the things that we know we shouldn’t be doing, the very things we asked to be forgiven for.
I’ve really struggled with this. I’d become convicted by the Spirit that what I was doing was wrong. I’d admit to it, say I’m sorry, and then turn right around and do the same stupid thing again! Then what? I’d simple go through the same process over and over until it stuck. But not until I understood that the wrong I was doing was really hurting Jesus could I have a heartfelt desire to stop.
I finally understand that my selfishness toward others is selfishness towards Jesus—my impatience towards others, impatience towards Him as well and so on. I truly don’t want to hurt Him any more than I already have. So now I’m opting to be nice to everyone just because Jesus said so. He would never ask me to do something and not empower me to do it. From now on I refuse to give insults for insults or evil for evil. No matter who they are or what they’ve done to me, I’m going to forgive them. I’m not getting caught up in Satan’s evil game of tit for tat anymore!
”And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” ~Matthew 25:40
I’m not going to dis Jesus anymore by letting my anger get the best of me. Bottom line, if Jesus is willing to forgive me for all of my sins, all of the terrible things I’ve ever said and done, I certainly can forgive others for hurting me.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” ~Ephesians 4:32
Q: Are you ready to accept that you are the strongest when you surrender?
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