• Topic > Christian Beliefs > Salvation > Forgiveness >

    Ugh, Yes, But . . .

    I winced the moment I said it. I meant to be funny, but it came out mean. My comment sagged heavy on my heart when I went to bed and was still draped there when I awoke. I thought, My motives were pure, but my words were clumsy. Such self-talk purchased momentary relief, but soon enough the pain of my words began to haunt my heart again. After twenty-four hours of trying to let myself off the hook, I finally admitted what I had known all along. What I said was wrong. I had been a jerk.

    The power of love and forgiveness

    God’s love, grace, and forgiveness covers all our sin and shame. It also teaches us what it means to forgive others. John found out that no matter what you’ve done, no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, God has a plan for your life. After several devastating losses, Liz could have become withdrawn and bitter, […]

    How does Jesus restore us?

    What do we do when someone is crying and it’s our fault? What do we do when we’ve made choices we regret? Today on Discover the Word, the team digs into the life of Peter to see how Jesus restores him even after he denies Christ. Let the discussion encourage your heart as they look […]

    Made Clean

    When I opened our dishwasher, I wondered what went wrong. Instead of seeing sparkling clean dishes, I removed plates and glasses that were covered in a chalky dust. I wondered if the hard water in our area was wreaking havoc, or if the machine was kaput.

    God’s cleansing, unlike that faulty dishwasher, washes away all of our impurities. We see in the book of Ezekiel that God is calling His people back to Himself as Ezekiel shared God’s message of love and forgiveness. The Israelites had sinned as they proclaimed their allegiance to other gods and other nations. The Lord, however,…

    Tearful expressions

    Today on Discover the Word, the group introduces a brand-new three-week series titled, “Tearful Expressions.” Many people think tears are a sign of weakness, but the group will discover that God welcomes this heartfelt expression. Be encouraged by Jesus’s response to the tears of a woman in Luke 7  when you tune into Discover the […]

    Our Guilt Is Gone

    As a young girl, I invited a friend to browse with me through a gift shop near my home. She shocked me, though, by shoving a handful of colorful crayon-shaped barrettes into my pocket and yanking me out the door of the shop without paying for them. Guilt gnawed at me for a week before I approached my mom—my confession pouring out as quickly as my tears.

    Grieved over my bad choice of not resisting my friend, I returned the stolen items, apologized, and vowed never to steal again. The owner told me never to come back. But because my mom…

    The Evidence of the New Birth

    The answer to Nicodemus’ question, “How can a man be born when he is old?” is: Only when he is willing to die to everything in his life, including his rights, his virtues, and his religion, and becomes willing to receive into himself a new life that he has never before experienced (John 3:4). This new life exhibits itself in our conscious repentance and through our unconscious holiness.

    Giving God the Glory or Using His Name in Vain?

    Some nights ago, I dreamed of *Kate, a friend whom I hadn’t talked to in over 10 years. I woke up in shock and had a hard time getting back to sleep. This thought kept me awake for a long time, because Kate was someone I had deeply hurt in my teens.

    Safe Refuge

    My first car was a secondhand mini panel van. My dad spent hours fixing it, including the final touch of painting the hood a pretty powder blue. He didn’t want me driving the car yet, but I decided to take it for a quick spin. Dad hadn’t completely refastened the hood, and as the car picked up speed, it blew off and I drove over it! I couldn’t believe it—the hood of my beautiful “new” car was ruined. I tried to bump out the dents myself, but finally—tearfully—told my dad. He hugged me, said it would be okay, and we…

    Restoration from our brokenness

    We can take comfort in knowing that God repairs broken things . . . that includes any of us, no matter what our past or present may be. Doug and Carol both made poor choices that could have easily ruined—or ended—their lives if not for God’s mercy and grace. Discover hope and a fresh start […]

    Fear and Shame No More

    My friend was walking through a sculpture park when she saw the sculptor Rodin’s statue of Eve, which captures the moment Eve understood what she had done against God. My friend wept at Eve’s desperate, twisting figure, shattered by shame and fear, hanging her head and raising her hand in an attempt to block Him from smiting her.

    Two Sorrows

    When I was younger, shame or guilt would often overwhelm me. The trigger could be an obvious area where I had failed, and I simply could not shake the gloom as I desperately sought forgiveness. Other times, I endured a suffocating fear that something was wrong or that I needed to confess something. I assumed this weighty guilt was the Spirit’s conviction as I sank deeper into despair.

    Forgiven!

    My friend Norm Cook sometimes had a surprise for his family when he arrived home from work. He would walk through the front door, and shout, “You’re forgiven!” It wasn’t that family members had wronged him and needed his forgiveness. He was reminding them that though they doubtless had sinned throughout the day, they were […]

    The Mystery of Believing

    Through the miracle of redemption, Saul of Tarsus was instantly changed from a strong-willed and forceful Pharisee into a humble and devoted bondservant of the Lord Jesus.

    There is nothing miraculous or mysterious about the things we can explain.

    Beyond Labels

    A church in my city has a unique welcome card that captures the love and grace of God for everyone. It says, “If You Are A . . . saint, sinner, loser, winner”—followed by many other terms used to describe struggling people—“alcoholic, hypocrite, cheater, fearful, misfit . . . . You are welcome here.” One of the pastors told me, “We read the card aloud together in our worship services every Sunday.”

    How often we accept labels and allow them to define who we are. And how easily we assign them to others. But God’s grace defies labels because it is…