God’s Instant Forgiveness - First15 - August 22, 2017

God’s Instant Forgiveness

Weekly Overview:

The story of the prodigal son moves my heart to delve into the depths of God’s limitless grace. I find myself in every facet of Jesus’ words. I identify with both the son’s rebellion and the power of the father’s love. As children of God we are in constant need of reminders about God’s mercy toward us. When the world rejects us, God calls us in. When the world writes us off, God clothes us with righteousness and honor. May this transformative story of the prodigal son guide you to a deeper and more intimate relationship with your loving heavenly Father.

Scripture:“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” >Luke 15:20

Devotional:

One of the most powerful verses in Scripture is found in Luke 15:20. Take a minute this morning to reflect on the forgiving heart of your heavenly Father as you read this Scripture: “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Our heavenly Father is quick to forgive us no matter how great our sin. He longs for us to turn our hearts toward him so that he can run out to meet us in our brokenness and weakness and draw us back into total communion with him. Too often we wait to turn our hearts toward the Father. Too often we allow the lack of grace in others to instill in us a belief that God will be mad and slow to forgive us if we confess to him.

The truth is that God is constantly aware of our sin, and yet he longs for intimacy with us in every moment. You are never too dirty to be wrapped up in the loving arms of your Father. You are never too broken to be clothed with his righteousness and honor. You never step outside of being his fully loved and forgiven child. If you will turn your heart toward him the instant you sin, you will discover a continual wellspring of grace and love that never runs dry and never holds back. God is filled with grace and love for you all the time no matter how great the sin or how long it has been since you’ve turned your heart toward him.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The moment you confess, you are brought back into total freedom and righteousness. The forgiveness of God cleanses you through and through. There is always joy, peace, purpose, and hope on the other side of confession. There is always intimate, restored relationship available to you. All that is required of you is to open your heart to the Father in faith that he will always love you and receive the overwhelming love he longs to give you.

What area of your heart has yet to receive the fullness of God’s love? Where do you need his instant forgiveness? What are you hiding from the Father in fear of how he will react to your sin? Place yourself in the prodigal son story today. Open your heart to the Father in a posture of repentance and set your feet toward him. Go to him and confess your sins, weaknesses, and need of him. Picture yourself at the feet of the Father who has run out to meet you, and receive all the love and restoration he has to give you today. There is nothing more important than allowing yourself to be fully available to your heavenly Father and taking time to be fully loved by him. May you have a transformational encounter with your Father today as you enter into guided prayer.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the importance of having your heart fully available to the Lord. Reflect on the importance of confession.

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” >Proverbs 4:23

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” >Proverbs 3:5-6

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” >Proverbs 28:13

2. Confess any sin you have and acknowledge your need of God’s love and forgiveness. Picture yourself at the feet of the Father as he runs out to meet you, and make your heart fully available to him.

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” >Acts 3:19

3. Receive the love and forgiveness of your heavenly Father. Ask him to show you how he feels about you. Ask him to help you experience the cleansing power of his forgiveness. Take time to rest in his love and allow it to transform you.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” >1 John 1:9

While God certainly knows everything about our hearts, he waits to transform, renew, and fill them until we open them up to receive. He is not a God that forces what we need but waits for us patiently and expectantly. As children of such a loving God, it’s vital that we cultivate a posture of need and receptiveness. It’s vital that we till the soil of our hearts to fully receive God’s love and bear the fruit of his presence in our lives. Take time throughout your day to check the posture of your heart and open any areas that are closed off. Allow him to guide you in every way. Trust him and live in obedience. May you live today in total communion with your heavenly Father.

Extended Reading: 1 John 1

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