NEW SERIES: A SEASON OF PREPARATION
In the liturgical church year, this Wednesday brought the beginning of Lent, historically the time of fasting in preparation for Easter. Originally, the three days before Lent were known as Shrovetide, when people would present themselves to the local priest to be 'shriven' from their sins.
If we are to walk in freedom, knowing that we are totally forgiven is essential. Fortunately, as blood-bought children of God, we have access straight to the throne room of Heaven, and do not need an intermediary. These amazing promises are for each one of us:
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body... [Hebrews 10:19,20]
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
[Romans 8:1 NIV]
While it can be helpful to have a special time or season for repentance, when we ‘drill down deeper’, it is also good to keep short accounts with the Lord. One way of doing this, is by reviewing each day with the Lord at bedtime. Along with expressing our gratitude for the blessings of the day, we can ask for forgiveness and cleansing for the mistakes and failures, giving thanks we have received according to His Word [Matthew 7:7-12].
HELP FROM FELLOW BELIEVERS
Although we do not need an intermediary to receive forgiveness, it is sometimes helpful to confess our sins to another person, when the conscience is particularly troubled. Every Christian is part of Jesus’ royal priesthood [1 Peter 2:5,9], so we can ask any fellow believer who is humble, trustworthy, and understands their authority in Christ to bind and loose [Matthew 18:18] to be our confessor. Hearing a faith-filled declaration of freedom, in the name of Jesus [John 20:23], can bring a greater depth of healing and release to a troubled soul.
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
We have the privilege as children of God of standing under an ever-flowing ‘waterfall of forgiveness’, all it requires is for us to stand under it and get wet!
However, there is one proviso—which isn’t often mentioned. In fact, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone preach on it. We need to pay attention to what Jesus says about forgiveness:
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors… For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And this parable couldn’t be clearer:
So while we are on the subject of keeping short accounts with the Lord, we need to ask the Spirit of Truth to shine a light in our hearts and reveal any unforgiveness lurking there—and give the grace to enable us to deal with it.
The blog post: THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS gives some practical steps to getting free.
For more thoughts on forgiveness see
MISSING THE MARK: OVERCOMING GUILT AND SHAME
KINGDOM LIVING: THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESSTHE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
And the Blog post: DEFEATING THE ACCUSER
NEXT WEEK: GET INTO LINE!
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind...
OVER TO YOU...
[Photo credits: Fabrizio Conti (snow); Phillip Goldsberry (couple); Brooke Cagle (Mimi Thian) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
All text and photographs,
unless otherwise credited
All rights reserved.
All credited photos are used by permission from
**The owner of this website, www.rhythmsofgraceuk.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme. This is an affiliate advertising programme which earns fees for sites which advertise and link to products supplied by Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, and amazon.co.uk.
Please note: commissions are supplied by Amazon; there are no hidden costs for visitors to this website, and all resources shown are genuine recommendations,