1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 - The Lord's Forgiveness
1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (NASB)
At this time of year I invariably reflect back on the past twelve months to assess what objectives in my life were met, and to try to figure out why I came up short of the goal in several instances.
This past year I've called upon the Lord to forgive me numerous times when I let my flesh get in the way of making a sound choice. And I know He has forgiven me because he has said so. But try as I may I cannot seem to blot those instances out of my mind...........I wish I could call back some of them because they may have caused pain to others, but I can't.
And even though I have the assurances that the Lord has forgotten those sins right after He forgave Him, I still remember them.
In fact when I look back at the various high and low points of my life I still remember those points in time either fondly or with a great deal of regret............and if I hurt someone's feelings.........or caused them to stumble in their walk with the Lord, I can only ask Him to step in and make my wrong a right.
I am like everyone else, I remind myself. I have things I wish I could have done differently........I have sinned and have come short of the Glory of God. I'm like King David when he sang in Psalms 32:3-5...."When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. "I acknowledged my sin to Thee, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD'; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin." (Psalms 32:3-5 (NASB))
When I reflect on this scripture from Psalms and then put it with the one from tonight's chapter of 1 Thessalonians, I come away feeling a humility that I cannot put to words.
The Lord loves me so much that when I fall short of the mark, when I ask for His forgiveness, it is there. And along with that powerful restoration within Him is the promise that I will someday be up there in the clouds with Him when He returns in His Eternal Glory. And it is there I will spend eternity while in His loving care.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on December 27, 2003 in post #439. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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