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05 June 2010

remembering what god has forgotten

A song that David sang, recorded in 2 Samuel 22:21-25:

The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
   he restored me because of my innocence.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
   I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
I have followed all his regulations;
   I have never abandoned his decrees.
I am blameless before God;
   I have kept myself from sin.
The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
   He has seen my innocence.

Changing gears slightly, I know what Jesus said about the greatest possible love that we can have: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13, NLT) I also know what Whitney Houston sang about in 1986 as the greatest possible love we can ever have: "Learning to love yourself; it is the greatest love of all." Those two concepts don't exactly match up.

And here's how much God loves us: "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8, NLT) And as part of that love, God will forgive us for our sins if we confess and turn from them.

Have you ever done something for which you can't seem to forgive yourself, even after you've pleaded with God for forgiveness and have renounced and forsaken that sin? One reason I've struggled with this over certain things is that I don't want to embrace Whitney Houston's concept of great love. It feels like psychological babble to me to say to myself, "Dean, God has forgiven you; now you have to forgive yourself." But there's no indication in the Word that we're to hang onto past sins in an effort to do penance once God has forgiven us.

Just as I've been saved by God's grace, I'm also forgiven by God's grace alone. Putting myself through the paces of doing penance in an effort to buy back God's favor after my sin is pointless. But the thing is, if I don't put myself through those paces it makes me feel like I'm buying into the Whitney Houston gospel.

That's where I'm wrong.

Apparently David had a firm grasp on the concept that when God forgives, He removes our sin from us "as far as the east is from the west." (David penned that, by the way.)

I'd like for you to go back and read the passage at the beginning of this post, this time bearing in mind that David sang this in his old age, not long before he died. David sang this; the guy who had lusted after a woman so much that he murdered her husband, committed adultery with her, and eventually fathered four sons as a result of that union.

Apparently David actually believed that God had completely forgiven him. I don't know that I'd feel the same if I were in David's shoes, and that bugs me.


val said...

It is written Satan has deceived the whole world until the heel of time when a woman shall bruise him by exposing his lies Gen 3:15 check out the bruising of Satan and the true love of God for all at
Read all the posts to see the whole picture

Dean Lusk said...

Thanks for the comment, Val!

I am curious, though... does your post have to do with the topic of this particular post? Not saying it doesn't; just curious, having read your post.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

John King said...

i've read this a few times. I keep coming up with this in what Dean is saying.
"Being able to forgive someone for a very bad sin." I too have this issue. I week ago I would have said I had a issue with this but no more. But I fell recently. an im sure i'll fall again. Were not perfect. What I mean is God told my heart he is in control an the Ultimate Judge. For me to not see any Justice has always bugged me deeply. But due to prayer an help from brothers an sisters. I am attempting to control it better. But we still all fall. Are you looking for Justice Dean? Unknowingly? Men with strong hearts. Sometimes we can get mad due to seeing sin. An when we can't fix it or see change. Especally in church. It can hurt deeper than any wound i've ever experienced. Are you feeling like this...whether or not. I'll be praying for you.

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