12th May 2019

Blessed are the Forgiven

“Our God, you bless everyone whose sins you forgive and wipe away. You bless them by saying, ‘You told me your sins, without trying to hide them, and now I forgive you.’”
Psalm 32:1-2 (CEV)

This year in America, the average college student will graduate with over $35,000 in student loan debt. For many, the repayment plans offered are an unbearable expense which can be a barrier to any future financial stability. It is a crisis which strangles hope for many of my generation.

For five years I experienced the stress of budgeting on a teacher’s salary as well as accounting for my loan repayment. Then I applied to a government loan forgiveness programme for teachers and educators. The happiness I experienced on receiving my forgiveness letter was like a tsunami of relief. All my debt wiped away! I learned that there is freedom in forgiveness. Suddenly I saw opportunities that had not been possible only moments before.

We are all in need of forgiveness. But instead of turning to God, we try to rely on our own feeble strength to clean up the messes we make and the debts we incur. Psalm 103 tells us that God removes our sins as far as the East is from the West. The group Casting Crowns has a hit song about that promise, with the poignant question: “Jesus, can you show me just how far the East is from the West?” The answer: “From one scarred hand to the other.”

We Christians are forgiven because of Jesus. Our sin is washed away by his shed blood. One of the statements Jesus made on the cross was, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus came to take the penalty of all our sin—past, present, and future. His shed blood covers it all. But he didn’t just cover sin, he did more. Notice one of the most amazing promises in the Bible: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV).

Jesus didn’t just cover our sin, he took our place in it, so that we could live in freedom—righteous and forgiven. The liberation I felt receiving my student loan forgiveness letter pales in comparison with the freedom I experience in Christ. Rest in this truth today: blessed are you, for your sins have been forgiven. What a sweet relief!

Prayer
Merciful Father, not only does your Son provide for our forgiveness by his sacrifice, but he who suffered so much at human hands, asks you to forgive of them because they lacked understanding as to what they were doing. We are still in need of that same love and concern, and so thank you for our Great High Priest. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Presented by Michelle Fleming
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About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Michelle Fleming is an Elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk