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Forgiveness - Forward - March 2, 2018

Forgiveness

Receive

Today's passage: 1 Peter 2:19-25

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25

Reflect

If running toward God is how we grow spiritually--especially in times of insurmountable challenges--then what is holding me back from doing that?

Why does it sometimes feel like I am taking two steps forward and one step back in my faith?

What happens when I feel as if I've returned to God, but then I err again ... and again?

Once we've made that transformational turn toward God--the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls-- it's easy to assume that the path will always be straight or that that we will no longer be faced with precipitous curves along the road. But the fact that we have proclaimed our faith doesn't ensure that we will live without sin or that we won't make grave mistakes on our spiritual journey. The truth is: we will always sin, we will always make mistakes, because we are a flawed and broken people. But the greater truth is that Jesus loves us unconditionally and forgives us completely--no matter how many times we err or how egregious our transgressions. By His wounds we are healed. Again and again and again.

Respond

Ask for change: Lord, help me return to You for healing and forgiveness over and over again.

Consider what's real: We need to return to Him with our whole selves in order for Him to recreate us in His image. Consider this passage by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity: "He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown."

Additional verses to consider: 2 Corinthians 30:9Hebrews 10:17-18

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