Gratitude Week Three: God Desires to Forgive Me

WEEK Three: God Desires to Forgive Me

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I’ve been a Christian all my life. When I was young, I was a good boy. Mostly. As I grew up, I was good, mostly. But I sinned, mostly a lot of grubby little sins, but a few whoppers. Some of my orneriness went unnoticed, like setting a neighbor’s back yard on fire. At least my parents didn’t notice, but the neighbor did. Or looking the other way when I could have helped someone. The neglected one noticed, but no one else did. Some went uncaught, like throwing firecrackers at neighbor kids sleeping camped out in their own back yard. A few times I was caught in more serious sins, and it was humiliating. 

Yes, I followed the rules and was good, mostly. But every real sin I’ve ever sinned, I sinned as a Christian. 

Then one night I was reading Romans and I was thunderstruck. God loved me even though I sinned! That made all the difference. 

Bob Nance

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Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen.


Day One:

PRAYER: Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen.

Day One: We may not appreciate that Jesus seeks us out. It’s what He does. He looks for us to save us and to change us to better reflect his character. 

Luke 19: 1-10. I pray, Lord Jesus, that I can see You as You’re passing by…and that You take notice of me. Even little me. Even when I’ve done a lot of bad things, please notice me in the crowd, just as you did when You entered Jericho, where a man by the name of Zacchaeus lived. Even though he was a wealthy, chief tax collector and had been a cheat most of his life, he wanted to see You. Because he was short, he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see You as You passed his way. 

When You reached the spot, You looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed You gladly. 

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 

Lord, You said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” 

Lord Jesus, I’d sure like You to come visit my house tonight, like you did that time with Zacchaeus. Amen. 

Ask yourself: How lost am I? How far has Jesus come to find me? How wonderful is it to be found and saved? Now that Jesus has found me, how will I live?


Day Two:

PRAYER: Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen. 

Day Two: Lord help me to understand that you don’t get tired or distracted. Time and distance and enemies mean nothing to you. In the beginning, you created. You last. You endure. You will love me forever. Thank you for being so good to me. 

Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26 -- I give thanks to, You Lord, for You are good. 

Your love endures forever. I give thanks to, You Lord, the God of gods. Your love endures forever. I give thanks to, You, Lord of lords. Your love endures forever. 

I give thanks to, You Lord, 

…who alone does great wonders. Your love endures forever. …who by Your understanding made the heavens. Your love endures forever. …who spread out the earth upon the waters. Your love endures forever. …who made the great lights—the sun to govern the day, the moon and stars to govern the night. Your love endures forever. 

I give thanks to, You Lord, who led Your people through the wilderness. Your love endures forever. 

I give thanks to, You Lord, who remembered us in our low estate. 

Your love endures forever. I give thanks to, You Lord, who freed us from our enemies. 

Your love endures forever. You give food to every creature. Your love endures forever. 

I pray, Lord, for the assurance and the confidence that, come what may, you will love me forever. Your forgiveness is unwavering. Amen. 

Ask Yourself: How wonderful is it that the God who made the heavens and their great lights and the earth and its waters, loves me with a love that will endure forever? What burdens or insecurities can I lay down knowing about that unshakeable love? How can I live my life differently in the confidence of a great love that will always endure?


Day Three:

PRAYER: Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen. 

Day Three: God’s goodness always surpasses our failures. Even though we may miss the mark and fall short of who we want to be, God is there in grace to forgive us and help us. God’s grace exceeds all the sin in all the world throughout all time. 

Romans 5: 12-14a, 18-21 (MSG) -- Lord God, your Word tells us the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. 

Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right. 

Lord, help me grasp and believe that sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end. Amen! 

Ask Yourself: What does it show me about God that the obedience of Jesus Christ could more than cancel out all the disobedience of all people, including mine? How can I make my gratitude for that forgiveness show in my daily life?


Day Four: 

PRAYER: Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen. 

Day Four: I need to walk in the light Jesus gives me. But if I stray or stumble and confess my sin, Jesus is faithful and just and will forgive and purify me. Our God is a God of light, and Jesus is the light of the world. Even if I wander into darkness, Jesus speaks on my behalf to the Father, and Jesus’ sacrifice makes me right with the Father. 

1 John 1:5-2:2 -- God, You are light; in You there is no darkness at all. If I claim to have fellowship with You and yet walk in the darkness, I lie and do not live out the truth. But if I walk in the light, as You are in the light, I have fellowship with others, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies me from all sin. 

Lord, if I claim to be without sin, I deceive myself and the truth is not in me. If I confess my sins, You are faithful and just and will forgive my sins and purify me from all unrighteousness. If I claim I have not sinned, I make You out to be a liar, and your Word is not in me. 

I know that if I do sin, I have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for my sins, and not only for mine but also for the sins of the whole world. Thank you, Jesus! Amen. 

Ask Yourself: Do I have something in my life I need to confess to God? How will I feel and act when I know that the sin I confess is forgiven? How will Jesus remake me?


Day Five:

PRAYER: Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen. 

Day Five: God is patient when we stray. We can’t go so far that He won’t welcome us back. He seeks us, but sometimes we need to recognize we need God. We need to give up on doing things our way, and turn and head for home. God watches and waits for us to come home. God loves us and misses us. He longs to hold us in his arms in welcome and celebration. 

Luke 15:11-24 Jesus, You once taught about the man who had two sons. The younger one wanted his share of the estate immediately, and the father divided his property. After he squandered everything, he went to work feeding pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 

When he came to his senses, he realized his father’s servants had it better than him, so he got up and went to his father, hoping his father would allow him to be his servant. 

While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” 

Instead of being angry, the father gave this son the best robe, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. He even had a fattened calf killed for a feast and celebration...in his son’s honor. 

Lord, I am the prodigal. I have sinned. I have run and tried to hide from You. Thank you for being a Father who runs out to meet me with grace and love when I humble myself to seek your forgiveness. Amen. 

Ask Yourself Am I at a place in my life where I need to turn around and go “home”? Do I need to apologize to someone for the way I’ve treated them or neglected them? Do I need to welcome someone back “home” to be with me, forgiven and loved? Or do I need to embrace and celebrate with the one who has stayed with me through it all with neither complaint nor recognition?


Day Six:

PRAYER: Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen. 

Day Six: Jesus is the gate, not a gate that is closed, but one that is opened for us to enter in. Jesus guides and protects us as our shepherd. Jesus is the way we enter into life with God and is our shepherd who obediently laid down his life—and took it up again--for all of us. So now we are more than conquerors and cannot be separated from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

John 10: 7-11 and Romans 8:34-39 – Jesus, You spoke these very words, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

Lord, as my Shepherd, help me know how to respond to these things. 

Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at your right hand and is also interceding for us. So, help me to live the truth that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Not trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through You who loved us. 

Help me be convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. 

Ask Yourself Since Christ gives us a full and abundant life, how shall I live? How can I express my thanks to a God who wants to shepherd me and bring me into life with my Father, no matter what danger or hardship I may face?


Day Seven:

PRAYER: Oh Lord our wonderful God, help me to know that whatever bad I’ve done, and whatever good I’ve failed to do, you want to forgive me. You do forgive me. Help me to accept your forgiveness and to live in it. Amen.

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Day Seven: Look over your notes/prayers from the past week. What seems meaningful to you? Did you receive any insight, inspiration, or challenge? Does something require more prayer of discernment? Did it come home to you how much God wants to forgive your failings and bring you closer in love? Do you understand better the depth of God’s love for you? Did some scripture touch you specially? Do you need to think and pray about some scripture, or about what God wants you to do? 

Remember, Jesus seeks you to save you. Be open to his acting when his time comes. Be alert to his promptings and celebrate his forgiveness and be ready to forgive others.

Catherine HortonComment