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Devotional - week of July 8, 2007


YOU CAN FORGIVE YOURSELF

 

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more … Romans 5:20

 

 

Often we hear a conscientious believer say, “I know God has forgiven me, but how can I forgive myself?” The foundation for forgiving ourselves is understanding and experiencing the life of grace by living out our oneness with Christ.

 

Romans 5:20 explains that the presence of sin in the life of a believer is the result of serving God in the flesh through living by the law. While serving God in the flesh, we tried to have victory over sin but nothing we ever tried changed us. In our desperate search for victory, God revealed to us our oneness with Christ and He showed us how to experience our spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection. When we responded, we entered into the life of grace. As we continue to experience grace, God honors Himself and blesses others through us.

  

Romans 5:20 says “… the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”  This statement tells us that our past sins in driving us to grace played an essential part in our lives now bringing glory to God and blessings to others. Seeing our past sins in this light makes it possible for us to forgive ourselves for those acts and thoughts of sin.

 

The story of Joseph and his brothers illustrates the truth that sins can bring blessings. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and he became the second most powerful man in all of Egypt. Only Pharaoh was more powerful.

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After the death of their father, Jacob, the brothers were afraid that Joseph would seek revenge. So they told Joseph that before he died their father told them to ask Joseph to forgive them. Joseph replied:

 

“Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good … to save many people alive.”  Genesis 50:19-20

 

The sin of the brothers of Joseph saved their lives and saved the nation of Israel—which saved the line through which the Messiah came. Sin in our lives drove us to grace. Now we are progressively having victory over sin and God is honoring Himself and blessing others through us. Let us forgive ourselves.