Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Praying God's HeartCall: We ask for forgiveness

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions." -Mark 11:25, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

God calls us to see His forgivness, to seek His forgiveness, and to live His forgiveness. When we learn more about who God is, forgiveness makes more sense. God is not only holy and just, but also slow to anger and rich in love (Psalm 103:8). This is great news, because this is where we can catch a glimpse of how we are forgiven and of who He is. God forgives us of sins we confess with a believing heart (see Mark 11:22-23). He lives this example of forgiveness.

 Also, He calls us to ask for forgiveness ourselves. 1 John 1:9 reads, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (NASB). This reconciliation between God and people comes about because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came to die for us while we were still lost in sin. As we turn to Him for help, seeking Him for freedom from sin and asking for forgiveness, He is faithful to forgive. This faithfulness puts me in awe when I think of some things I have done, but nevertheless, He can forgive us no matter what.

 So, His call is for us to turn to Him for forgivness and as our Guide. God not only teaches us, but also He can transform us more and more every day to be a people with more forgiving hearts (2 Corinthians 3:18). We can forgive others by His strength and because we have witnessed the same sort of forgivness He shows us (1 John 4:19).

Lord, thank you for Christ's sacrifice and example. Help us see your forgiving nature. Please forgive me of my sins against you and against others. Help us to forgive like you forgive. Amen.

 The devotion above is based off the verses used for study in HeartCall: A Call to Prayer (Jaye Martin, 1999), in the section "Praying God's HeartCall."
"Forgiven" painting by Colleen Shay, from fineartamerica.com