December 16, 2016
“A Christmas Story” is a truly classic movie and a Christmas tradition in our family. You know … it’s the movie where Ralphie asks for a Red Ryder pump action BB gun with a compass in the stock. But he’s rejected numerous times with the response, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Even Santa, who always answers “YES,” pushes him down the slide with his boot and repeats the classic line, temporarily crushing Ralphie’s heart and dream.
Some people view God as the ultimate Santa Claus, as they send requests north to heaven. Unfortunately, every day all over the world, many Christians ask the same question, “Why didn’t God give me my request?” God has many reasons for saying “no” to your specific prayer, but we will tackle that subject in a future devotional. Today’s devotional is about a simple important prayer that actually has a guaranteed response from God. Yes, it is guaranteed to always be answered with a “yes.” Drumroll, please! That prayer is, “God, please forgive me.”
You see, when it comes to forgiveness for our mistakes, slip-ups, and sins, the hardest part has already been done for us. The penalty for sin is death, and that penalty must be paid by someone. Jesus Christ paid our penalty on our behalf a long time ago. So, our role in this process is really quite simple. Contrary to what our flesh, the world, or Satan influences us to think, we simply must humble ourselves, ask His forgiveness, and accept His amazing Grace.
The sooner we can grasp and believe that the forgiveness prayer is always answered “yes,” the easier it is to rid ourselves of the dysfunctional shame, guilt, remorse and accumulated emotional weight of past sins. So many of us carry those around like a huge stone. So, ask for God’s forgiveness right now and every time you misstep through the day. Don’t let the many sins you commit accumulate and hinder your powerful relationship and direct communication with God. Satan, the Great Accuser, wants to continue to condemn you, day after day, for all your past sins.
Today, accept that we all allow our past sins to influence our present lenses and lives. What past sin eats at your view of yourself … your self-esteem … or your ability to relate well with someone close? What is the effect of that sin? Why do you still let it influence you? Confess it to God and dig into God’s word to access different lenses so you can see the complete forgiveness God has for you! This corrective lens surgery will truly free you. WITHIN REACH helps you dig deep into your heart, identify distortions and struggle areas, then apply God’s word and healing so you can see clearly. Whether you have the humility to ask for and accept God’s forgiveness and grace or you pridefully think you either don’t need forgiveness of you can work your way out of your penalty is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I am tired of feeling like a terrible person. I am tired of carrying the weight of guilt and shame for the things I have done … the sins I’ve committed. Lord, please forgive me. I know through Your Holy Word that Christ died to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. I confess my sins to you, Lord. Please forgive me and purify me from all unrighteousness. Remove the sins that block me from your blessings. Forgive my sins so that I may see with Your eyes and fill my mind with Your thoughts. Give me Your wisdom through Your Holy Spirit. And more than wisdom, give me the strength to do Your will. I pray this in the name of the one who took my place on the cross so I might be forgiven, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28-30
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace Ephesians 1:7
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1