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Gods Forgiveness

I am always struck by the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). There we see the stark contrast between the cold, cunning of the unforgiving Pharisees and Jesus’ consummate wisdom, compassion and forgiveness. However, Jesus did not overlook the woman’s sin but told her to sin no more!

 Isn't it wonderful to know that Jesus paid the price for our sins through His sacrifice on the cross (Rom 5:8). As Christians we are forgiven (Col 1:14), given new life (2 Cor 5:17) and righteousness in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). As Christians we do still sin (1 John 1:8) as our spirit (spiritual heart or conscience) is made new but not our body or soul (1 Thess 5:23). However, we should not habitually or willfully sin (1 John 3:6) as God has made us new spiritual creations in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17).

 Our spirit is to govern our soul and body. When we gave our lives to Christ we were born again spiritually (John 3:1-6) and our spirits were made new (Ezek 11:19). When we do slip and sin, because we allow our souls to get the upper hand, we can repent and ask God’s forgiveness. God forgives “us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9; NKJV).

 What an advantage we have over the woman caught in adultery; how God loves us, in that He has placed His Holy Spirit on the inside of us to enable us to change  and help us not to sin (John 14:16-17). All we have to do is cooperate and walk in obedience!


Pressing in

Luke 16:16 (NKJV) “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is PRESSING INTO it.” Matt. 11:12 (Amp) “And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force (as a precious prize; a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion)". So who are the “violent men”? We are!!! These verses speak of an urgency and a passion in following after God and I believe this urgency is birthed in prayer. The apostle Paul also talked about "pressing in" in Philippians 3:12 and 14 - he tells us that he is pressing in to win the prize and he then encourages us to do the same thing. People who are seriously training for any kind of athletic event will give it all they've got to win the prize and that is how we need to be about pressing in to God. If we are going to make an impact on our society, our Christianity cannot be halfhearted.


Humility - Jesus Our Example

When it comes to humility, Jesus is our example. In Phil. 2:5-9 (Amp) we have the description of how Jesus gave up all the privileges of heaven and came to earth, "assuming the guise of a servant". In verse 5 of that chapter we are told to let Jesus be our example in humility.

We have another great example of Jesus humbling himself and becoming a servant in John 13:14 (Amp): "If I then your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought (It is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it) to wash one another's feet". We also learn from this verse that we need to do the same thing for our fellow believers.

If we want to be like Jesus and be obedient, then we must serve one another. For some people serving comes naturally; they have a "servant's heart", others of us have to work at it a little harder. Nevertheless, there is great blessing in serving others, because "inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to me" (Matt. 25:40; NKJV). Let's obey God, humble ourselves and serve each other. What a witness to the world around us this will be.


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16; NKJV). We associate this scripture with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. But it is also important to remember that Jesus came to earth, born of a woman and under the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). He is not a distant deity that cannot identify with our earthly, fleshly, struggles. He surrendered His deity to become a man on earth with flesh and blood just like us (Heb 2:14). The word says He had to made like us so He could minister to us in our earthly state (Heb 2:17). He was tempted in every way but without sin (Heb 2:18; Heb 4:15). To minister on this earth, Jesus had to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, just like us (Luke 3:22).

Isn't it encouraging that Jesus knows what we go though in our lives; He knows our struggles. God is quick to forgive (1 John 1:9) and is always there to help. He calls us to be holy, godly and perfect as He is perfect (1 Pet 1:16; 1Tim 6:11; Matt 5:48). The word perfection used in Matthew 5:48, has the sense of maturity. What God calls us to may seem like a tall order to keep. However, He gave us His word to guide and enable us and His power to achieve that maturity (John 14:26). He never leaves us alone, He is always with us and in us and nothing will ever separate us from His love (Rom 8:39). Remember, not even Paul the apostle claimed perfection (Phil 3:12); it is a process of growth that we will still be involved in to the day we depart this earth! Be encouraged today, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).