“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ~ Luke 15:10
Will God forgive us? Absolutely, but we must first admit that we need forgiveness before we can confess our wrong doings. If we deny our sins, we deny the necessity for forgiveness and therefore deny the need for Christ’s sacrifice. If we aren’t willing to admit that we are in need of forgiveness, we can’t be forgiven. We must be truthful and honest with God because He already knows everything we think, and sees everything we do.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:8 - 9
Then after we admit/confess to God when we’ve done something wrong, we must then ask for forgiveness and . . . repent/stop doing it! If we ask for forgiveness but continue to do what we're asking to be forgiven for, we are not truly sorry.
Unlike us, when God forgives, He also forgets. It’s as if it never happened, it’s totally blotted out from the pages of history, disbursed as far as the east is from the west. Once God forgives us, as far as He’s concerned, it never happened!
The following is the story that helped me understand God’s kind of forgiveness, it's known as the story of the prodigal son. This is actually the story of us and God, how we have our own ideas and go our own way, totally disrespecting God, and when we mess up so badly that we wind up in a big pile of pig poop, only then do we decide to call on Him for help. But the really amazing part is, that, He, God, never rejects us. No matter how badly we’ve messed up He still runs to us as soon as He sees us returning to Him. He then wipes away the poop/sin, covers us with His robe, gives us everything we need and more, and totally forgives us and welcomes us home with a banquet! Wow…now you gotta admit, this sure is some kind of special love!
Please read the entire story in Luke 15:11-32. This is such a wonderful example of how God thinks about every single on of us. It really helped me understand how endless God's love is toward all of us. As you read this, think of “the father” as God, and the “prodigal son” as yourself.
We all do this very same thing, we go our own way, the worldly way, the “grab all the gusto you can grab” way, and we don't give God’s plan for our lives any thought whatsoever. We have our own big plans—our lifelong ambitions!
We usually stay in this mindset until something big happens—when we hit a brick wall or worse yet, wind up in some situation we never planned on—when everything goes wrong and we don't know where to turn. We’re on top of the world one day and the world is on top of us the next! Every time we find ourselves in a huge mess we suddenly become willing to check in with God! Why is it . . . that not until we’re flat on our backs we finally become willing to call out for His help and guidance?
And the part that always amazes me the most is that He’s always right there waiting to pick me up and dust me off, fix my situation, heal me, comfort and forgive me. He’s never angry with me… instead, He’s just happy that I turned around and came back to Him.
God wants to help us. He has an absolutely wonderful plan for us if we could just stop going our own way and learn to hold on to His hand.
“For I, the Lord your
Here’s a different way to look at this, think of yourself as a child, God as your father, and your problem as a broken toy. God wants to fix and replace our old worn out lives and solve our problems, but we hold on to them so tightly that He can’t. We start to give it up to Him, but then we grab it back over and over again.
Just like a child with a dirty worn out toy, we hold so tightly to our little worn out ideas that we wind up missing out on His great big glorious plan for our lives. We say we want to change, but we refuse to let go of our savored sins. We say we want His help but continue to try to do it all on our own.
If we only knew what He had in store for us we might not be so resistant. What He wants to give us is beyond anything we could ever imagine, if only we could have faith and trust Him.
I’m so busy making my own plans that I usually don't even check in with God. I’m so focused on my agenda that I literally forget that He is all knowing and always has a better plan than me. I think I know exactly what I want and I have it all figured out, but then, when I let go and trust His plan, I discover that He definitely has a much better plan than me!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Now that we’ve accepted God’s total forgiveness, please join me next week as we ask…How do I get God’s forgiveness?
Get the answer on my next post, or sign up below for an email reminder.