Convinced

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38-39


3 Comments

Motivation to Forgive

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom,
priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. 
Amen.
Revelation 1:5-6

If you are looking for motivation to forgive a spouse, a parent, a relative–anyone who’s hurt you deeply–find your place on the scarlet thread of Scripture. See your sins attached there in all their shame and selfishness. Try to fathom the distance His grace has bridged between you and the wrath of God. And with the rush of relief that floods your soul at the sight, realize what you owe to those who deserve forgiveness as little as you do. Follow the thread all the way home to the Father.

Marvel at God’s love and mercy toward you, and ask Him to make His love the source, substance, and measure of your dealings with others.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “The Quiet Place”

Advertisements


2 Comments

To Women Who Feel Guilty About Their Abortions

I have purposely been avoiding most of the press and debate surrounding the Gosnell trial. It’s too painful to think about, let alone watch on tv or read in print. I don’t want to drum up controversy. I’m just thinking about women I know who have had abortions and wondering how they are processing this. I want to offer hope to women who feel a sense of guilt over their abortion. To those women, I would like to say:

I know this must be painful. Reliving your own past, revisiting the circumstances that led to your abortion, telling yourself again and again that you did the right thing at the time for yourself and for your baby. Trying not to think about it too much for fear of the reality of your actions hitting and breaking your heart. Crying into your pillow at night, thinking about how old your baby would be right now, and the times you have missed caring for your own. Coming to the realization that the better life you hoped would result from not bringing a child into this world, is not that much better. Wondering if the better life would have been one in which you joyfully embraced motherhood and allowed family and friends to help you as you finished school and worked long hours. Imagining what it would have been like to hold your baby, cuddle him to sleep, watch her take those first steps, cheer him on in football, encourage her in academics. It must be painful to consider what actually happened in that abortion clinic—to you and to your baby.

My heart breaks for you. My heart longs for you to be free from guilt.

The great news is that God is willing to forgive you of this particular sin, but He is willing and able to forgive you of all your sin-past, present and future. In reality, there are many other sins for which we would stand before the Lord as guilty. Jesus died so that we would not have to pay the penalty that we deserve for our sins. When we repent, meaning turn away from a life of sin, and trust that Christ’s death satisfies God’s anger over our sins, then the Lord clears us from the debt of death we owe God for our sin, and makes us new and holy people.

If you’re already a Christian but struggle with the weight of guilt over your sin, remember what Christ has already done for you. Live in the freedom that He purchased for you. Remember that though your sins were like scarlet, Christ has made you white as snow. Pray on behalf of others who are considering the path you have walked. Pray that they would run the other way and trust in the Lord to care for them and their baby.

May this be your comfort, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). “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). “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter” (2 Corinthians 7:10-11).

You may wonder how you could “prove yourself innocent” when you feel so guilty. Three hundred years ago, a pastor named Matthew Henry offered this clarity and encouragement to you who feel the weight of guilt, and to us who don’t want to hold you in condemnation:

“Not that they were innocent, but that they were penitent, and therefore clear of guilt before God, who would pardon and not punish them; and they ought no longer to be reproved, much less to be reproached, by men, for what they had truly repented of.”

May the Lord give you a heart of repentance, and may He give us a heart to care for you in love.


1 Comment

We May Receive Mercy

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
–Proverbs 28:13

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
–1 John 1:7

Do not say that your sins are too many and too great to expect to find mercy. No, be they ever so many, be they ever so great, but the blood of the Lord Jesus will cleanse you from all. God’s grace, my brothers, is free, rich, and sovereign. Manasseh was a great sinner, and yet he was pardoned; Zaccheus was gone far from God and went out to see Christ, with no other view but to satisfy his curiosity; and yet Jesus met him, and brought salvation to his house. Manasseh was an idolater and murderer, yet he received mercy; the other was an oppressor and extortionist who had gotten riches by fraud and deceit, and by grinding the faces of the poor; so did Matthew, too, and yet they all found mercy. Have you ben blasphemers and persecutors of the saints and servants of God? So was Saint Paul, yet he received mercy. Have you been common harlots, filthy and unclean persons? So was Mary Magdalene, and yet she received mercy. Have you been a thief? The thief on the cross found mercy. I despair of none of you, however vile you have been; I say, I despair of none of you, especially when God has had mercy on such a wretch as I am. Remember the poor Publican, how he found favor with God when the proud, self-conceited Pharisee, who, puffed up with his own self-righteousness, was rejected. If you will go to Jesus, as the poor Publican did, under a sense of your own unworthiness, you shall find favor; there is worth enough in the blood of Jesus to pardon greater sinners than he has yet pardoned. (From George Whitefield: Daily Readings, October 28)