Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Encouragement for today

I recently read this in a devotional and it has been encouragement for my soul.

“Our Father instantly and freely forgives us according to the riches of His grace. He yearns over the wayward and stubborn, who avert their faces from His. He grieves for their sins but grieves most of all that they do not seek forgiveness, along with the freedom, joy, and wholeness that comes with it.
When our hearts are contrite, humble, and open—when we sincerely repent all our wrongdoing—God forgives. And when He forgives, He does so not meagerly and reluctantly, but gracefully and abundantly. His forgiveness is worthy of Himself, apportioned to the wealth of His glorious being and according to the riches of His grace. He does more than forgive; He ‘will remember no more’ (Heb. 8:12). Moreover, He takes the evil of sin and turns it into an opportunity for a deeper experience of His goodness. As Paul said, ‘Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more’ (Rom. 5:20).

The Best of F. B. Meyer, 101
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson

Hebrew 8:12 says, "I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."

Today I forgot a great many things. I forgot the Person I am serving. I forgot to unload my burden at Jesus' feet and I labored in vain by my own strength. I forgot how weak and powerless and destructive I can be when I refuse to look to Him. I did not remember that He knows my challenges - for He has allowed them for my good - and I forgot that He was there the whole day long. I grumbled in my heart at my circumstances, and all my efforts amounted to failure and frustration for me and for my children.

I am grieved by this. Yet, in the kindness of God, He has allowed this evil to draw me back to Him. He has caused me to be humbled: The very attitudes  that I was vainly trying to address in my children are the exact attitudes that I was having toward Him.

But, Praise the Lord, there is forgiveness! And not only forgiveness that is abundant, but also "freedom, joy, and wholeness that comes with it." What a great God we have whose lovingkindness toward those who are His is unimaginable!

Forgiveness, freedom, joy, and wholeness... Wow! That's what we all want, but Jesus is the only way for us to receive it.

I know that the challenges won't magically disappear or even lessen in difficulty, but I do not need to strive by my own strength or carry the burden of changing my children's hearts. I am unable and powerless to do that, but by God's enabling power I can point them to Him and leave Him to carry out His perfect will. By His strength I can "walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit"(Rom. 8:4).

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8:1

"... The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace..." Rom. 8:6


This past weekend Jacob came home with this:

When I asked him where his toy came from he said, "I traded two pennies and a really cool rock for it."

Hmmm... I wonder what the other little boy's mom thinks? Jon says it was a good trade, so I'm letting him be the parent on this one.


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