Wednesday, February 23, 2011

God’s Celebration of Forgiveness

God’s Celebration of Forgiveness
Even the son doesn’t judge (Jn. 12:47), so when I judge and condemn myself, I am saying I have more of a right than Christ does. When we live out of our own judgment of right and wrong, this is us playing God.

For example, we speak against our president or other authorities and justify it because we say their actions don’t line up with our personal standard of good. When we do this and disregard the word of God (all authority is appointed of God) and elevate our standard above God’s word, we have become God of our own life. We have told God that we know better than him.

For example, when we distance our self from God, because we believe our actions or attitudes are not able to be forgiven, or that we have done something worthy of judgement more than what God would judge us, then we play God. In pride, our flesh tricks us into disconnecting from God’s love and acceptance. We become judge of ourselves saying that we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness. And all the while are flesh becomes independent. Our spirit man grieves and suffers, and we live in the weight of condemnation and lack of intimacy. Then we want to blame the people closest to us. This shows our lack of trust for God to deal kindly with us. We are actually afraid of his response, because we do not BELIEVE Him to take care of us and forgive us (1 Jn 1:9). We say that we will not rely on Christ as our sufficiency when we judge ourselves. We will not trust Jesus, and receive from Him. We will not let Him be salvation for us. We would rather live in death. This is the pride of self-condemnation and judgement out of our own standard of good and evil. This is the tree of The Knowledge of Good & Evil that took life from us. (For if you eat of it, you will surely die- live in separation from God. Ge.2:17) When we eat of it we take life from ourselves.

To the man who wanted to defend his position and judge that he was right against his adversary,
Christ said...... “Yes, and why even of yourselves do you not judge what is right. When you go with your adversary to the magistrate make every effort along the way to settle with him.” Lk 12:57

This story shows us....

1. We are not a righteous judge of right and wrong, only God is.
2. Our place is to seek forgiveness even if we don’t feel we are wrong. If your brother is offended, seek forgiveness.

Father you take more delight in us making mistakes and repenting than being “just” and needing no forgiveness.
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” Lk 15:7

When we live in fear of failure or trying to be perfect, we are living in independence.

God celebrates repentance....
Lk 15:21-24 And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son. “ But the Father said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again he was lost and is found.” And they began to be merry.

God loves the one who would do what is in his heart to do and live free...not to willfully sin against him, but like a child to just be what we really are. Then, as we see we are wrong, not because we are searching ourselves in pride (out of an unwillingness to fail), but because we realize the intimacy of the Father is missing (because we stepped away), we long to be back close to him. At this point we are at a place to truly repent. This is what God loves....that we come back because we miss his Presence...

The Pharisees never missed it. They were perfect in their own eyes and they went out of their way to keep the law and be clean. However, they had no need for God and they delighted in their ability. Let’s look at the older son....

Lk 15:27-28 But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father. Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.

This attitude is an attitude of performance. He was serving his Father with an expectation. An expectation that his father would notice him, accept him, and praise him based on his performance. He was angry that the expectations (he never even told his father) were not met. But because he didn’t need his father’s forgiveness, and he lived in independence and lack of intimacy, he did not even have the humility to ask for what he wanted. He underlyingly demanded it.

The Fathers Response - Lk 15:32 Son you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.

See, the son could have partaken in all that the Father possessed, but because of lack of intimacy, he never believed he was close enough to enjoy the things of the Father. He never needed too, and he never thought to ask. He was independent and so busy performing that he missed the relationship.

Our fear of failing shows our lack of trust in God’s character to forgive us.

As an older son, we can enjoy and delight that we get to partake in all of our Father’s blessings. We can quit performing and delight in a life of obedience and the abundance that brings. We can celebrate when we see others finding the Presence of the Father and be willing to share all that we have found with them. Not to compete for a place. Not to feel that we are going to be cut out because someone else is finding what we have found.

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