Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
"I Forgive You"
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, "Young man, your sins are forgiven."
The power of forgiveness.....
The ability of the sovereign Lord, who has known no sin, to look upon humanity, born in sin, and say..."I forgive you!"
A gift we do not deserve because our sins were/ and are committed against God himself. Oh we hurt those around us. We hurt ourselves. We do more damage than we realize through our sin. Our human mind wants to minimize the extent of the damage, but God sees not only what we have done, but also where this line of sin will eventually lead us.
It's hard for us to wrap our brains around God's forgiveness.
In the back of our minds we hear the words..."I forgive you, but I'm not going to forget what you've done." Such is a human response, not a divine one. Yes, God's forgiveness wipes the slate clean, so to speak, but we should never forget what we have done.
What price forgiveness?
We are on the receiving end of God's forgiveness, so sometimes we don't actually stop and consider what this extension of forgiveness cost God.
He asked His only Son, Jesus, to leave the confines of heaven to come into our time and space. Here Jesus lived for 33 years. During that time, he saw the worst of mankind. He saw sin up close and personal. Not only that, He saw the damage sin could do. He saw families split apart. Children left fatherless and motherless. He saw the infliction of pain and suffering humanity causes one another. Yet through it all, He knew that His death and resurrection would be the payment, as well as the door through which humanity could receive forgiveness.
So what did it cost God to save a race of beings whose hearts were weighed down by the influence of sin in their lives? It cost Him everything so that forgiveness could be extended to those who cried out for it.
One of the chief weapons Satan uses in this battle of "Forgiveness" is pride. Pride that swells our heart to the point that we don't need anything from anyone or anybody. Pride that keeps us from humbling ourselves before our creator and crying out of mercy. Pride that keeps us from confessing our sin so we can receive this incredible gift of forgiveness. Pride that will keep us in the dark, away from God, until we draw our dying breath. Pride.
I Peter 5:5-6
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, so humble yourselves under the mighty hand (or power) of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
Did you catch that? "So humble yourselves". That is a decision that we have to make. I've heard some people pray, "Lord, humble me". But to be humble is something I do...a decision I make....an action that I have to take. Push my pride out of the way, fall to my knees and cry out for the forgiveness and mercy of God to be applied to me. I don't understand how all of this works. I just know it does. And this is one old "sinner saved by Grace" who is glad that such a thing as forgiveness exists and that I don't have to jump through any religious hoops to receive it. I just need to be honest with God and those around me in asking for forgiveness.
Don't leave home without it.
God on you...