Guilty or Forgiven?

Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.

Micah 7:18 NLT

Every time I read this verse I am in awe of how God chooses to show us mercy willingly. He shows us how He is more interested in forgiving us than judging and condemning us. How you ask? God looked at our sin and instead of taking it out on us, He chose to sacrifice heaven's most valuable possession, Jesus, to go on our behalf. He bore all our pain, shame and guilt and nailed it to the cross. Chew on this for a minute: God made an advance payment for your sins even before you committed them. Pastor Jonathan Pokluda, a pastor at Watermark Community Church, once said, "People tend to always ask, 'how can a loving God send His children to hell?' when really we should be asking, 'how can a Holy God allow sinful people into heaven?'" It is unfortunate that the first thing that comes to some people's minds when God is mentioned is "judgment". Isn't it interesting how the very thing that God says He came to erase is the very thing that is used to describe Him? Yes, He is a Holy God. Yes, He is full of authority that is to be revered. Nonetheless, He is still a passionate lover and great friend. Do you believe this? Take a moment and ask yourself, "What is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about God?" What was your answer?

Friends, we need to understand that we are only as forgiven as we believe we are. Our feelings do not change the fact that we are forgiven. Simultaneously, let us remember that faith is our connection to God. Without faith, all this is fiction. So if we reject that God has called us worthy of His love and forgiveness, we will remain in the prison of condemnation. A prison that has its door wide open. It sounds ridiculous and paradoxical when put that way but it is the sad truth.

With God, mercy will always triumph over judgment. God delights in expressing His love for us. He wants more than anything for us to see Him for who He really is. He is a relational being and wants to love you if you let Him. Our challenge for the days ahead is to choose to be forgiven and loved.

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