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PRAYING POINTS from Sunday 05.15.2022, "Forgive Me God"

The Freeness and the Cost of Forgiveness

Of praying, “Forgive me God,” Pastor Tim Keller writes, “Only when we see both the freeness and the cost of forgiveness will we get relief from the guilt as well as liberation from the power of sin in our lives.” This is the repentance that God desires – for you to understand how grievous your sins are to God AND AT THE SAME TIME to rest secure in the amazing, unearned, forgiveness God freely offers you.

God gives us this astounding permission to request in Psalm 51:1, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” You can seek God’s forgiveness only because of God’s unfailing love and God’s mercy.

We ask for forgiveness based only on God’s UNFAILING love and COMPASSION

This forgiveness is ours only because of the life and death and resurrection and return to Heaven of God-in-Jesus as you see in Ephesian 1:7-8, In him [Jesus the Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us….”

Our sins are ERADICATION ONLY through God’s work

For many Christians, this is where praying for forgiveness stops. Yet, there is so much more to praying, “Forgive me God. We read in Psalm 51:3, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” Here, you are allowing the grievous and serious nature of your sin to “sink in.” Then, reading on in Psalm 51:4, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.” In the end, all our sins, even grievous sins against others, is to sin against God. So, God desire you to be vulnerable enough to acknowledge God’s condemnation for your sins is the right and deserved consequence.

Our sins DESERVE God’s condemnation.

You are asking God to make a life unpresentable to God because of your sin, now made holy or presentable to God. Listen to Psalm 51:9, “Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” You are boldly asking God to hide God’s presence (God’s “face”) from your sins. Then know, the Hebrew word translated as “blot out” more literally means “to obliterate from memory.” Though deserving judgment from God, instead….

God OBLITERATES your SINS from his memory!

So, how might you be praying:

Your praying, “Forgive me God” is only possible because God has given you permission to seek forgiveness of your sins because of his “unfailing love.”

Ask for forgiveness based ONLY on God’s STEADFAST love.

Never let the cost of your forgiveness leave your mind. Keep in the forefront of your mind what we know from Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” For God to deal with sin in general and your sin specifically came at a great cost to God.

COMPREHEND the COST to God to forgive your sins.

Be very transparent with God about the grievous nature of our sins. Being brutally honest, “my sin is always before me” and “you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.”

Be TRANSPARENT about your sins and sinfulness.

In allowing the grievous nature of sin and your specific sins to “sink into” your soul and to break your heart leads to the great joy of knowing that, “In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven!” Pray with Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Experience in your heart and know in your head the joy of being forgiven and a closer relationship to God!

Experience the JOY of God FORGIVING your sins.

Again, Pastor Keller writes, “It is possible to merely assent that something is a sin without getting the new perspective on it and experiencing a new inward aversion to that sin that gives you the power and freedom to change.”

Real repentance is the result of both the admission of sin and then the continued rejection of that sin. Listen to the prayer of Psalm 51:10-12, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” You are asking God not simply to forgive your sins BUT ALSO to work within the core of your life a real, visible, enduring change and transformation.

God forgiving your sins is in the end about transformation.

This transformation builds a firmer foundation that “sustains” or “nourishes, upholds and supports” a continued right relationship with God. (Recall we said last week that “righteousness” is a relationship focused word.)

You are praying, “Forgive me God,” to the end that you experience transformation leading to a deeper desire to please the one whose life and death and resurrection and return to Heaven brought you the opportunity for forgiveness in the first place.

Real forgiveness LEADS to a deeper desire to PLEASE God.

Your friend in praying,

Your friend in praying,

picture: thanks to jack_sharp on unsplash.

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