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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Guilt and living in freedom

Did you know that God not only wants to forgive you but take away the guilt of your sin?
Yes he does.
David wrestles with this in Psalms 32:4,5 where he cries out to God, "for day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength as sapped as in the heat of summer.  Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and you forgave the guilt of my sin."
God forgives - but God can also take away your guilt.
When God forgives, he forgives instantly, totally and completely. 
Lee Strobel shares this story.
He writes, "We were doing a baptism service.  We told people before they came up to the platform to be baptized to take a piece of paper, write down a few of the sins they've committed, and fold the paper.  When they come up to the platform, there was a large wooden cross on the stage.
Take that piece of paper, take a pin, and pin it to the cross, because the Bible says our sins are nailed to the cross with Jesus Christ, and fully paid for by his death.  Then turn and come to the pastor to be baptized.
I want to read to you a letter a woman wrote who was baptized in one of those services.  She said:  "I remember my fear.  In fact, it was the most fear I remember in my life.  I wrote as tiny as I could on that piece of paper and read it and find out it was me.  I wanted to get up and walk out of the auditorium during the service, the guilt and fear were that strong.
When my turn came, I walked toward the cross, and I pinned the paper there.  I was directed to a pastor to be baptized.  He looked me straight in the eyes, and I thought for sure that he was going to read this terrible secret I kept from everybody for so long.
But instead, I felt like God was telling me, I love you.  It's okay.  You've been forgiven.  I felt so much love for me, a terrible sinner.  It's the first time I ever really felt forgiveness and unconditional love.  It was unbelievable, indescribable."
Strobel goes on to write, "Do you have inside of you a secret sin that you wouldn't even want to write down on a piece of paper out of fear somebody might open it up and find out?  Let me tell you something about the Jesus I know.  Not only does he want to adopt you as his child, he wants to lift the weight of guilt off your shoulders."
I encourage you today, my friends, to walk in freedom - for as Paul writes in Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now, no condemnation in Christ Jesus."
Rebuke the enemy and his condemning thoughts.  You are a child of God!
Just a thought for a Tuesday.

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