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Sunday, October 10, 2010

I have found that forgiveness is the currency of the Kingdom of God. It is through the act of forgiveness that God enters into a relationship with his people in the action of the cross. It is through the forgiveness of sins great and small that men and women are brought to faith in Christ Jesus. It is the act of forgiveness that the church moves and has her being in the community as well as the Kingdom.
We would do well to remember that it is forgiveness that brokers our faith and God’s grace. We would also do well to remember that we will not be the church until we can practice forgiveness.
We must let God’s forgiveness affect us in three ways. First, we must allow God’s forgiveness of our sins to help us forgive ourselves for what we have done. If we really believe that God has removed our guilt “as far as the east is from the west” then we must internalize that reality into our self-image. What I mean is that we must learn the value of forgiveness in our own hearts to truly appreciate the value of forgiveness among our brothers and sisters.
We’ve all done things that need to be forgiven. We often proclaim, albeit timidly, that God has forgiven us and that our sins are covered by the blood of Christ. But underneath I detect a current of residual guilt. We are not truly forgiven until we allow ourselves to be forgiven. We are not completely healed until we allow our hurts to be seen and bandaged by the grace of God.
The hardest lesson for the church to learn is that its members must ACCEPT that they are forgiven. Next week: on forgiving the church.

We have several new opportunities for fellowship and worship this fall. Our monthly men’s breakfast begins this Saturday at 8:00am in our fellowship hall; we’re hosting a brisket cook-off on October 24th after morning worship; our children’s ministry is visiting the local nursing home and learning about missions monthly; we’re offering Bible 101 on Wednesday nights to teach adult-level biblical knowledge and basics with the Scriptures. There’s so much going on at FBC Riesel that I can’t put it all in one paragraph! Come and join us this Sunday or Wednesday; we have something for everyone in your family!

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