God’s Gift of Forgiveness

Inline images 1Colossians 3:12-14

Motivated by love, God provided a way for our sins to be forgiven: He sent Jesus to be our Savior. When we trust in the Lord’s substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf, we receive the gift of forgiveness.

Before placing faith in Christ, we were dead in our sins and objects of divine wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). But our merciful heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus to redeem us. At the cross, the Savior took our sins upon Himself and experienced God’s fury for our sake. His death secured a pardon for us; there was nothing we ourselves could do to acquire God’s acceptance. We are saved by grace—through faith in Christ and what He accomplished (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our salvation is a free gift from the Father.

God’s will is that we, as forgiven people, show mercy to those who wrong us—to the same degree that He forgave us in Christ. But the human tendency is to attach conditions when extending mercy. We think, I will forgive you only if you apologize. Or, You must fix the problem, and then I’ll stop being angry. Or even, You must make restitution before I will let this go. That’s not what our Savior did. Romans 5:8 expresses it this way: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Depending on how much hurt we’ve experienced, we may require time and healing before we can truly forgive. But we are to remember that showing mercy is God’s will. We’re called to pardon those who have caused us pain. Through reliance on God’s Spirit, we can become Christlike and forgive.
Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 51-52

The Source of Light

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14 (NIV)
Every light derives its source from somewhere. This source could be a hydro dam, wind or electrical or thermal generator or the sun. What is the source of the light that Christ declared us to be?
From Scripture, we know that the source of a Christian’s light is Christ Himself. Witnesses testified of this, and He said so Himself. Here are the accounts:
“There was a man sent from God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that Light, so that through Him all might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the Light.  The true Light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.” – John 1:6-10 (NIV)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12 (NIV)

While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” – John 9:5 (NIV)
“I have come into the world as a Light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” – John 12:46 (NIV)
History bears record that Jesus, the Sun of righteousness – Malachi 4:2 is a reliable Source of light. His power is not affected by the weather or hindered by a lack of electricity supply. He powers our light unfailingly and unendingly. Getting connected to Him is far more reliable and renewing than all that the inverters, batteries, circuits, and other power sources of the world combined together can provide. Hence, if we want to shine brightly, Christ is the Source that we can safely trust to make it so.

Source: SALM’s article in the Spectator newspaper.
STAY BLESSED