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“He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” Psalm 103:3

FORGIVEN“I used to believe in God when I was little,” the man in the airplane seat next to me said, “but as I grew older and saw the mess this world is in, I changed my mind. IF there is a God, and IF he’s good, then t
here wouldn’t be so much sickness and war.”

Even those of us ‘Christians’ can get sucked into questioning whether God is really good or not. Especially when we watch our homes being destroyed, or get a bad doctor’s report, or lose our jobs, stand beside the grave of a loved one who ‘died too soon’, or are served divorce papers.

Forgiveness is one of those areas in which it’s easy to forget Gods’ goodness. When we play the comparison game and see our own weakness it’s easy to think God won’t forgive me because I’ve let him down too many times. When we look at our own sin, more than God’s grace, we can live in defeat emotionally and physically.

The good news is that God’s goodness isn’t dependent on circumstances or our own behavior. God’s goodness is dependent solely on his character. God is good because God is good, not because of anything we’ve done.

Psalm 103:3 is a great reminder of that. The psalmist writes “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” He doesn’t just forgive some of those sins. He doesn’t wait to see if we really mean it when we confess. He doesn’t have a score card. He forgives because he is good!

Don’t allow the mistakes of your past keep you from experiencing God’s goodness. You can never out-sin God’s grace. His forgiveness is like a healing balm for the pain of your failure.

God is good because he good. His goodness is shown through forgiveness.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank you today for your goodness even in light of my failures. Forgive me for the times I doubt your way is best and choose my own way. Empower me with   your Spirit to live in the victory your grace can give. Amen.

Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Isaiah 46:9 (NLT)

I recently read a book on leadership and values in business. The author tells the story of how he took an ‘educated risk’ early in his career. His company was considering buying another company. He was on the team that would make a recommendation to buy or not buy the company. While the rest of the team gave the go ahead, he had a hunch that it was a bad situation. He went over the heads of his team and supervisor to tell the CEO his opinion.

As a result of his risk, the issue was reopened and it was decided not to buy the company. History would show that the decision he suggested was the right one. His decision was made on the basis of the things he learned about the other company’s track record among other things. His investigation told him that the company simply wasn’t worth the cost.

What’s true in the business world is true in the spiritual realm as well. Yet, ironically, we seldom treat our spiritual lives the same way as we treat our finances and physical life. Jehovah God tells us to count the cost. Look at his track record; consider what you’ve seen about him in the past when you make a decision about the future.

There are many god’s in our world, and they all have one thing in common, they have a cost involved. The god of relationship demands that the relationship remain exciting, fulfilling and new. If it doesn’t measure up our nature tells us to look elsewhere, to find a new, exciting relationship to fulfill our desires.

The god of want tells us that true happiness comes from the newness and amount of our toys. Gaining possessions at all costs is the demand of this god of want. The true cost isn’t realized until our kids are grown and we realize we’ve never taken time to get to know them. We aren’t aware of the true cost of want until we’ve built a wall of debt so thick we will never see the light of financial freedom.

The god of self-indulgence demands that we pursue a lifestyle that keeps us happy. Monetary cost is no issue. The bodies strewn in our path are of no consequence. The important thing is to realize that ‘life is too short to take it seriously’.

The god of religion demands that you act a certain way; that you worship in a certain style; that you hold to a certain set of dogmas and doctrines. The god of religion is a sly one because he knows just enough to lure you into a trap of feeling you are a good person, until you realize you’ve paid with your soul.

There is only one God in this world that is different from all the other god’s. Jehovah God asks nothing from you. He’s not about rules, he’s about relationship. He’s not about changing the plan in the middle of the game. The cost was paid at the cross. He simply calls us to be everything he hoped we could be.

Count the cost. When you choose who to follow realize that the best deal out there is the God who’s already paid the cost and offers you the deal of a lifetime…and eternity.

PRAYER: Father God, my prayer today is for those who’ve been following after god’s who require a cost they will never be able to pay. Draw them to yourself. Thank you that you are about relationship, not rules. Amen.

Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” Isaiah 7:9 (NLT)

“Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” It’s a short little phrase stuck in the middle of an important part of Israel’s history. King Ahaz had to make a decision. Would he really put his faith in God and stand firm against the enemies that wanted to destroy Israel or would he put his trust in a neighboring countries power?

In the midst of his emotional and mental struggle God said “Go ahead. Ask me to show you a sign of what you should do and what will happen.” It was a crisis of faith for the King. Where was his true allegiance? Ahaz chose not to ask for the sign. In the end he trusted the neighboring power rather than the God of heaven and his kingdom was ripped from his hands.

Each of us must choose where our true allegiance is. It’s a daily decision, even a moment by moment decision. The enemy wants us to doubt who is really in control. It happened in the Garden of Eden, “Did God REALLY say you’d die?” It happened in during Jesus time on earth when He visited His hometown and the Bible tells us “He did no miracles there because of their unbelief”.

As Christ-followers we must always remember that God’s way is the best way. We must measure each of our actions according to what God wants and allow Him to determine the outcome by His power. God CAN do anything we ask but He requires that we first trust Him to do what is best for us, even if His best seems detrimental at the time.

There will be bumps along the road. There are going to be forks in the journey with confusing sign posts directing you along the way. As you grow closer to Christ, through obedience and knowledge of His word, He will show you the path to take. Don’t be afraid to ask Him. Don’t impatiently take action on your own.

Never forget that the Creator God of the universe loves you and wants you to experience all He has for you. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. But you need to make that first step. Each of us needs to make a conscious decision to trust Him above all else and actively believe that He can and will see you through life’s obstacles. That’s what His love is all about.

PRAYER: Father God, I acknowledge that you are the creator and sustainer of the universe. I believe that you have all things in control. But I confess to you that there are many times during my day when I am faced with a choice to follow my own wisdom or ask you for direction. This almost always takes me down the wrong path. Forgive me for living in fear. Forgive me for following my heart and not what I know to be true. Help me to stand firm and step out in faith, truly believing that You can and will accomplish great things if I let You have control of my life. Amen.

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September 2022
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