Monday, January 19, 2009

Seventy Times Seven

Sometimes in our walk with the Lord, we can feel helpless, trapped, or even doomed to repeat the same past mistakes over and over. It is easy to grow frustrated and impatient with ourselves. It seems that the harder we try to do all the right things, the more discouraged we get when we fail. We love the Lord and want so much to do all the things that please Him. But the more we learn about God's heart, the clearer it becomes that we will never measure up. If we were able to live in such a way as to please the Father, then there would have been no reason for Him to send His Son Jesus. Because God created us, He is well aware of our character defects and our nature to repeat past sins. But He does not criticize us, rather, He loves us through our repeated mistakes.

In the book of Romans, Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. Peter asked if seven times was enough. Jesus told Peter, "not seven times, but seventy times seven." If our Lord Jesus Christ says we should forgive another person that many times, shouldn't we also extend the same amount of grace to ourselves? No matter how hard we try not to, we are going to fail at something most of the time. But the Scriptures teach us that instead of beating ourselves up about it, we should pray for forgiveness and ask God to help us do better the next time. Christ's death on the Cross was sufficient to cover all our sins...past, present, and future. This amazing grace of Jesus is not a license to sin, however, instead it should be a constant reminder of just how helpless we are, and just how much we truly need Him as our Savior.

Titus 3:5 says, "God saved us, not because of the righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy."

Father, please forgive me of every sin I have committed. Teach me that I am not perfect, but You are perfect. It is only through Your perfect, amazing grace that we are saved. In Jesus name, Amen.

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