I’ll be stealing this one directly from Max Lucado this morning because I enjoyed reading it.
Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. (Psalm 32:1)
If we are already forgiven, then why does Jesus teach us to pray, “Forgive us our debts”?
The very reason you would want your children to do the same. If my children violate one of my standards or disobey a rule, I don’t disown them. I don’t kick them out of the house or tell them to be honest and apologize. And until they do, the tenderness of our relationship won’t be altered, but the intimacy will.
The same happens in our walk with God. Confession does not create a relationship with God, it simply nourishes it. If you are a believer, admission of sins does not alter your position before God, but it does enhance your peace with God.
Feel free to leave your thoughts below.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure; it will be measured to you.”
Today, I was lucky enough to be present for Jon Quitt’s sermon on Judging at The Vineyard in Tuscaloosa. For scripture reference, he spoke from Matthew 7: 1-5.
We are quick to judge others — without looking inward at ourselves first. I know that I often judge others without truly realizing what I’ve done. Today’s sermon was a humbling reality check. No matter how many good deeds we do … no matter how good of a person we perceive ourselves to be… We fall short. How humbled I was this morning.
Look within ourselves first and examine our own conduct and motives. Jon explained that others often irritate us because we see something in them that we dislike in ourselves. My study bible expands on this:
Our untamed bad habits and behavior patterns are the very ones that we most want to change in others. Do you find it easy to magnify others’ faults while ignoring your own? If you are ready to criticize someone, check to see if you deserve the same criticism. Judge yourself first, and then lovingly forgive and help your neighbor.
Again. This is something that resonated with me. Even after we judge ourselves, we must then forgive and help the person that we want to judge. I even have to show compassion to the slightly annoying guy upstairs and his little kid who stampedes around the house at all hours. Read more
“People cannot do any work that will make them right with God.” — Romans 4:5 (New Century Version)
Max Lucado has a great way of relating to readers. I’ll read a passage from “Grace for the Moment”:
If Christ had not covered us with his grace, each of us would be overdrawn on [our heavenly bank] account. When it comes to goodness, we would have insufficient funds. Inadequate holiness. God requires a certain balance of virtue in our account, and it’s more than any of us has alone. Our holiness account shows insufficient funds, and only the holy will see the Lord; what can we do?
Here’s an expanded view of the scripture from Romans, Chapter 4 (New American Standard Bible):
3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as Righteousness.”
4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.
His faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 3:28 says “that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”
We do not gain entry to Heaven by good deeds alone. And that’s what Lucado is saying. There’s not a certain level of goodness that you have to attain in order to reach heaven. It is our faith in Christ’s salvation. Read more