Acts 13:26-52; Joshua 20-21; Job 30
Some people seem to be on an endless quest to gain forgiveness. We’ve seen comedy routines where a man is seeking forgiveness from his wife and the pains he goes through to get back in her good graces are amazing. Somewhere in the routine the wife who is receiving all the attention signals that she doesn’t know what he did wrong, but she isn’t going to stop him. As funny as it is in a situation like that, so many people live trying to get forgiveness from God. They do all kinds of good works, hoping that God will notice them and that they can feel forgiven. Paul proclaimed the truth way back in the first century; a truth that still lives today. “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39) Forgiveness is freedom while a search for forgiveness outside of God’s plan is enslaving. We can never be good enough to gain forgiveness or to feel forgiveness. If someone makes us jump through all kinds of hoops to regain their favor, it really isn’t forgiveness. But God – through the grace of Jesus Christ – proclaims forgiveness for all. It is sad that so many, understanding this offer from God, spend their lives working to gain His forgiveness. The joy is sapped from life. Since I am forgiven, I would do many of the same things someone working for forgiveness would do, I just do it out of joy in serving God, not fear that I can’t be forgiven.
Dear Lord, I am not worthy of Your forgiveness and nothing I can do can earn it. I am grateful for the forgiveness You give me, and anyone who turns to You, through Jesus Christ. It is unearned, undeserved, and unending. Grant me joy in living a forgiven life that brings honor to Your name.