Bible Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14
Our High Priest offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Hebrews 10:12
Trish told Angela a secret. Guess what? Angela told someone else. Ever since then, Angela has felt like a traitor, a two-timer, especially since Trish found out about it. Now every morning on the school bus, Angela apologizes to Trish.
Finally Trish stopped her. “Angela,” she said, “I’ve already forgiven you.”
“But I want to make sure that we’re still friends,” she insisted.
“Of course we are,” Trish said. “I need you to believe that I’ve forgiven you.”
Just like in our human relationships, some Christians have a hard time believing God has really forgiven their sins. They imagine God keeps a record of all our sins, waiting for the day when he will bring them up again and use them against us.
To experience the freedom of God’s forgiveness, take these steps:
- Remember that God loves you unconditionally. You are God’s special child. He paid a high price for your salvation from sin—the death of his one and only Son. When you accept God’s gift of salvation, you receive his forgiveness and become his own child. Sometimes you still disobey God, and you grieve him (see Ephesians 4:30). Sure, he might discipline you when you sin. But he does that out of love as well, because he wants you to stay close to him and experience his best (see Hebrews 12:5-12).
- Confess your sin. At times we all disobey God because of our sin nature (see Romans 7:20-25). According to God’s Word, the solution begins with confession (see 1 John 1:9). To confess means to agree with God that your disobedience is sin. God already is totally aware of your sinful attitudes and actions, but he wants you to admit it—to humble yourself before him and experience his saying “I forgive you.”
- Claim God’s forgiveness. Christ has already forgiven you once and for all through his death on the cross (see Hebrews 10:12-14; 1 Peter 3:18). But to turn from your sin and start down the right path, it’s important that you admit your need for forgiveness and accept the forgiveness that is already yours.
Claiming forgiveness is like discovering a treasure that’s buried in your own backyard. God’s loving forgiveness is already yours. Unearth it and enjoy it!
TALK: Is it harder to accept God’s forgiveness for some sins than for others? Why or why not?
PRAY: Father, help us to confess our sins and move on in the light of your love and forgiveness.
ACT: Do you still struggle with believing you are forgiven? Talk to a mature Christian about how you feel.