Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Devotion 3.16.17

Forgiveness/Mercy - Psalm 103

Being a parent is difficult to say the least.  As parents, we have a duty to teach our children an abundance of concepts, behaviors, and visible actions.  We have a duty to teach our children to love, to behave correctly according to the activity, and to read, write, speak, and perhaps even how to think and reflect on their own thoughts and actions.  Much of what a child learns from us as parents is observed in terms of how we behave and act to our own world around us such as our jobs, our duties around the house, and how we interact with the people with whom we come into contact.

One concept that is very important but seldomly discussed is forgiveness.  How do we teach our children to forgive?  I read a post on social media the other day from a person I've known for a long time that said, "Sorry isn't good enough if I no longer trust you."  Really? I asked myself when I saw it.  Just what are the barriers to forgiveness?  Are there acts that we observe in others that is a red line.  "I'm sorry. You crossed a red line with me, and for that, you'll never receive my forgiveness."  We see it all the time and hear it in expressions like, "They still don't speak to this day," or "I just don't think I can ever forgive him for that." 

And that runs counter to everything we profess to be true about God and the scripture.  David praises God for his capacity to forgive us in Psalm 103:  "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.... He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; for as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." (1-4; 10-12) 

Our sins, foreign to God's will, are separated from us in God's sight, as David notes, "As far as east is from the west."  In that day, that was from horizon to horizon, beyond the scope of what they knew beyond.  It was vast, so David's description is vast.  God separates our sins from us until they are seen no more.

Because of his Son, Jesus Christ, our redeemer, our sin is separated from us in God's sight as "far as east is from the west."  David knew the redeemer would be coming and speaks in gospel truth about forgiveness from God.  As parents, David says this, "As a father shows compassion to his children...." (13)  We learn to forgive even when it our anger is still burning.  Pray for that forgiving heart.  Pray that our trespasses are forgiven, even as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Hope Men's Ministry

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