God's Love Forgives

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 1:18
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

At this special Valentine’s season, our thoughts turn to love and the ways in which we can show others that we care. Love is multi-faceted and there are thousands of ways that we can exhibit our love for another person. None, however, is more powerful than giving the gift of forgiveness to one who has hurt you or sinned against you. The story below demonstrates this powerful truth.

“There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back, he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

"After lunch the next day Grandma said, ‘Sally, let's wash the dishes.’

“But Sally said, ‘Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.’ Then she whispered to him, ‘Remember the duck?’ So Johnny did the dishes.

"Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, ‘I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.’

“Sally just smiled and said, ‘Well that's alright because Johnny told me he wanted to help.’ She whispered again, ‘Remember the duck?’ So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help Grandma.

“After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He went to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.

“Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, ‘Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.’“ *

Poor Johnny! He suffered needlessly. He let himself be held captive by his own failure to confess and seek forgiveness. Sadly, we do the same thing. No matter what you have done, or how you have failed, God knows. He was watching all the time, ready for you to come to Him and pour your doubts, fears, failures and sins before Him. My friend, don’t run from Him, run to Him. God’s love forgives and it will set you free.

Loving Father, thank You that although You see every detail of my life, You love me enough to forgive my offenses against You and against others. Help me to turn away from my sin, and run to your loving arms.

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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Changes that HealChanges That Heal: How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future
By Dr. Henry Cloud / Zondervan

In Changes That Heal, Dr. Cloud takes the reader step-by-step through the four basic tasks of becoming mature image bearers of God. They are: Bonding to others, Separating from others, Sorting out good and bad in ourselves and others, and Becoming an adult. Dr. Cloud not only explains and describes each task, he also identifies the problems that result when we fail to accomplish that task, and he shows us what changes to make in our lives in order to bring about healing.