A Divine Pass

Making Life Work
Read: Psalm 25
Focus: Psalm 25:7

“Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.”

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t remember the sins of your youth, the indiscretions of yesteryear? For that matter, aren’t you glad God doesn’t count your sins from yesterday against you? I sure am. And so was David.

David knew better than anyone the benefit of God’s gracious forgiveness. Perhaps no other person in history had his dirtiest, darkest laundry aired in public more than David did. Adulterer, conspirer, manipulator, cold-hearted you-know-what, murderer—that’s what David was! Yet David found in God something that you and I depend on for our very existence, something the non-believing world cannot grasp: Unconditional, unlimited, undeserving forgiveness.

Of all the Divine benefits David enjoyed in his life, forgiveness was right there at the top of the list. In that eloquent poetic listing of the blessings of belonging, Psalm 103, forgiveness was the very first one he mentioned:

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins…” (Psalm 103:1-3)

David went on in that psalm to describe the scope of God’s forgiveness in 9-14:

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

How does God forgive? According to those verses, in grace and mercy God forgives all of our sins. He doesn’t give us what we deserve—punishment—and he gives us what we don’t deserve—forgiveness. How does he forgive us? Completely—as far as the east is from the west he removes the stain and guilt of our sin. Last time I looked, that was a long way away! How does God forgive us? Out of the compassion of a father’s heart—like a father overflowing with love for a wayward child.

Perhaps that’s why David could write so many beautiful songs about the goodness of God. He, more than anyone, understood the benefits and blessings of being forgiven.

You can too!

__________________

“Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’ And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.” (Max Lucado)

 

Making Life Work: Perhaps it would do you some good to stop and consider for a moment the benefits and blessings of the gracious, undeserving, unlimited forgiveness that God has extended to you. Maybe, like David, as you realize how much you have been covered by his grace and mercy, you too, will exclaim, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”

Lord Have Mercy!

Read Psalm 123

Featured Verse: Psalm 123:2

“As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.”

I don’t know how much thought you give to God’s mercy, but frankly, without it, you wouldn’t even be reading this devotional blog today. And you are not alone—apart from Divine mercy, I wouldn’t have written it.

No one captured our utter dependence on God’s mercy better than the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote,

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23, NKJV)

What is Divine mercy? Simply this: Not getting what you rightly deserve. Grace, the other side of your utter dependence on God, is getting what you don’t deserve. Out of God’s great love and compassion, he has extended his grace through salvation, by which he lavished upon you all heaven’s riches at Christ’s expense. None of which, keep in mind, was due to your own merit.

Yet before you could even receive his grace, God first had to unleash his righteous wrath upon Christ as he hung on the cross, bearing the just and deserved punishment for your sins. Mercy—not getting what you rightly deserve—was made possible only through Christ’s death.

What that means for you is that every single day, every minute of every day, each second, each breath and each heartbeat is a gift of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord. And for that, you ought to be continually and eternally overflowing with gratitude!

Yet not only are God’s grace and mercy undeserved, unmerited gifts to you, they are also your privilege once you become his child through faith in Christ. That is why, as the psalmist has done here, you can appeal to God for a specific extension of his mercy in your time of need. And that, my friend, is a very good thing indeed, since coming to the Father by virtue of his mercy requires you to remember the very reason for your righteous standing before a holy God: Christ’s atoning death.

When you remember, understand, and make your appeal to Divine mercy, your being exudes love, gratitude and humility, and that becomes a sweet smelling and irresistible fragrance to your merciful and gracious God.

“Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue,  it is by mercy that we shall be saved.”
~John Chrysostom

 

A Divine Pass

Read Psalm 25

Featured Verse: Psalm 25:7

”Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.”

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t remember the sins of your youth, the indiscretions of yesteryear? For that matter, aren’t you glad God doesn’t count your sins from yesterday against you? I sure am. And so was David.

David knew better than anyone the benefit of God’s gracious forgiveness. Perhaps no other person in history had his dirtiest, darkest laundry aired in public more than David did. Adulterer, conspirer, manipulator, cold-hearted you-know-what, murderer—that’s what David was! Yet David found in God something that you and I depend on for our very existence, something the non-believing world cannot grasp: Unconditional, unlimited, undeserving forgiveness.

Of all the Divine benefits David enjoyed in his life, forgiveness was right there at the top of the list. In that eloquent poetic listing of the blessings of belonging, Psalm 103, forgiveness was the very first one he mentioned:

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins…” (Psalm 103:1-3)

David went on to describe the scope of God’s forgiveness in verses 9-14:

“He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

How does God forgive? According to those verses, in grace and mercy God forgives all of our sins. He doesn’t give us what we deserve—punishment—and he gives us what we don’t deserve—forgiveness. How does he forgive us? Completely—as far as the east is from the west he removes the stain and guilt of our sin. Last time I looked, that was a long way away! How does God forgive us? Out of the compassion of a father’s heart—like a father overflowing with love for a wayward child.

Perhaps that’s why David could write so many beautiful songs about the goodness of God. He, more than anyone, understood the benefits and blessings of being forgiven.

Perhaps it would do you some good to stop and consider for a moment the benefits and blessings of the gracious, undeserving, unlimited forgiveness that God has extended to you. Maybe, like David, as you realize how much you have been covered by his grace and mercy, you too, will exclaim, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Psalm 32:1)

“Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’ And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.”
—Max Lucado

Psalm 123: Lord Have Mercy!

One Year Bible: II Samuel 23:24-25, Acts 3:1-26; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 16:21-23

Lord Have Mercy!

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
(Psalm 123:2)

I don’t know how much thought you give to God’s mercy, but frankly, without it, you wouldn’t even be reading this devotional blog today. And you are not alone—apart from Divine mercy, I wouldn’t have written it.

No one captured our utter dependence on God’s mercy better than the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote,

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23, NKJV)

What is Divine mercy? Simply this: Not getting what you rightly deserve. Grace, the other side of your utter dependence on God, is getting what you don’t deserve. Out of God’s great love and compassion, he has extended his grace through salvation, by which he lavished upon you all heaven’s riches at Christ’s expense. None of which, keep in mind, was due to your own merit.

Yet before you could even receive his grace, God first had to unleash his righteous wrath upon Christ as he hung on the cross, bearing the just and deserved punishment for your sins. Mercy—not getting what you rightly deserve—was made possible only through Christ’s death.

What that means for you is that every single day, every minute of every day, each second, each breath and each heartbeat is a gift of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord. And for that, you ought to be continually and eternally overflowing with gratitude!

Yet not only are God’s grace and mercy undeserved, unmerited gifts to you, they are also your privilege once you become his child through faith in Christ. That is why, as the psalmist has done here, you can appeal to God for a specific extension of his mercy in your time of need. And that, my friend, is a very good thing indeed, since coming to the Father by virtue of his mercy requires you to remember the very reason for your righteous standing before a holy God: Christ’s atoning death.

When you remember, understand, and make your appeal to Divine mercy, your being exudes love, gratitude and humility, and that becomes a sweet smelling and irresistible fragrance to your merciful and gracious God.

“Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue,
it is by mercy that we shall be saved.”

~John Chrysostom

Psalm 25: A Divine Pass

Read Psalm 25

A Divine Pass

“Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.”
Psalm 25:7

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t remember the sins of your youth, the indiscretions of yesteryear? For that matter, aren’t you glad God doesn’t count your sins from yesterday against you? I sure am. And so was David.

David knew better than anyone the benefit of God’s gracious forgiveness. Perhaps no other person in history had his dirtiest, darkest laundry aired in public more than David did. Adulterer, conspirer, manipulator, cold-hearted you-know-what, murderer—that’s what David was! Yet David found in God something that you and I depend on for our very existence, something the non-believing world cannot grasp: Unconditional, unlimited, undeserving forgiveness.

Of all the Divine benefits David enjoyed in his life, forgiveness was right there at the top of the list. In that eloquent poetic listing of the blessings of belonging, Psalm 103, forgiveness was the very first one he mentioned:

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins…” (Psalm 103:1-3)

David went on to describe the scope of God’s forgiveness in verses 9-14:

“He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

How does God forgive? According to those verses, in grace and mercy God forgives all of our sins. He doesn’t give us what we deserve—punishment—and he gives us what we don’t deserve—forgiveness. How does he forgive us? Completely—as far as the east is from the west he removes the stain and guilt of our sin. Last time I looked, that was a long way away! How does God forgive us? Out of the compassion of a father’s heart—like a father overflowing with love for a wayward child.

Perhaps that’s why David could write so many beautiful songs about the goodness of God. He, more than anyone, understood the benefits and blessings of being forgiven.

Perhaps it would do you some good to stop and consider for a moment the benefits and blessings of the gracious, undeserving, unlimited forgiveness that God has extended to you. Maybe, like David, as you realize how much you have been covered by his grace and mercy, you too, will exclaim, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Psalm 32:1)

“Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’ And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.”
—Max Lucado