For His Own Sake

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently I read a verse in Isaiah which says God forgave us for his own sake, not ours.

That caught me off guard. Does it catch you off guard as well?

When I consider how my salvation was purchased at the cost of God’s son Jesus’ life to declare me forgiven, I don’t think of it being for God’s own sake, but for mine. I’m the one forgiven, after all.

But when I look closer at forgiveness, and the benefits we receive when we forgive, I see how forgiving others is for my sake, not theirs.

When we refuse to forgive the wrongs others do against us, we’re the ones who suffer. Not them.

They aren’t sitting around wringing their hands over what they’ve done to us. They’ve moved on.

When we forgive, we forgive for our own sake. It releases us from falling into Satan’s trap of bitterness. It keeps our hearts from becoming hardened. It allows us to love and trust again.

If we allow unforgiveness to define us, to become our mode of operandi, we’ll be miserable, don’t you think?

Unforgiveness can cut us off from opportunities for joy because we’ve closed ourselves off from potential hurt … and potential love.

Forgiveness is not easy. I know. That’s where God’s Holy Spirit comes in. He is the one who gives us the ability to say, “I forgive for my own sake.”

That is not saying the wrong done to us was right. It says we leave it in God’s hands.

God is the only one who can take away our sins. He is the only one who blots them out through the power of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross of Cavalry. God is the one who tells us we are forgiven, and remembers our sins no more.

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I, yes, I alone am he who blots away your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Isaiah 43:25 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Burden of Sin

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Several weeks ago, I wrote about Psalm 51. This week is a continuation of David’s petition to God to forgive, restore, and lift his burden of sin. Although Psalm 32 is placed before Psalm 51 in our Bibles, it was actually written after Psalm 51.

In Psalm 51 David confessed his sin before God and begged God to blot our David’s rebellion. In Psalm 32 David rejoiced over the fact God had not charged David’s sins against him, but had lifted the burden of sin from David and washed him clean.

David thanked God for the forgiveness of his rebellion against God’s law. David rejoiced that he owned the reality of his sin, and did not deceive himself into believing what he did was right.

After God forgave David, he covered David’s sin, and did not charge David’s sin against him.

When those of us who belong God to repent, God lifts the burden of sin we lug around and throws it into a pit, never to be seen again. When God looks at us he doesn’t see our sin, instead he sees Christ’s blood covering our sin. God does not charge us with our sin because Jesus already paid the price for our forgiveness.

Those are the things God does, but David also wrote down the things we must do.

We must acknowledge our sin, not try to conceal it, and confess we have broken God’s law. We can’t hide our sin from God. He knows everything. When we refuse to confess, and fall before God in humble repentance, we are only fooling ourselves to think God doesn’t know what we’ve done.

Something that always impressed me with these two psalms of David’s is the fact he saw no need to dwell on the lurid details of his sins. Instead, David chose to dwell on God’s forgiveness and cleansing. Oh that we would do the same.

How many times have we been more interested in learning all the details of the person’s sin than rejoicing in their forgiveness? Even if it’s only been one time, that’s one time too many.

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Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty and in whom there is nothing false. Psalm 32:1-2 (NCV)
I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Unsin Me

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While preparing to lead a lesson on David’s penitential Psalm 51 this month, I read a commentator who said “purify” was the same as “unsin”. Isn’t that interesting?

Psalm 51 is David’s petition to God for forgiveness after the prophet Nathan confronted David about his adultery with Bathsheba, and murder of her husband, Uriah. In this psalm David admits his guilt, and asks for God’s forgiveness. He pleads for the restoration of his relationship with God.

David pleads with God based on knowledge of who God is.

God is gracious, loving and compassionate. David understood God is our only hope. He understood we can go before God and confess our sins, knowing God will not hurt us despite our sin.

In this psalm David didn’t rationalize his sins as we might. He did not blame others for his actions. He made no excuses. He owned his sin and bowed before God in humility, begging for God’s forgiveness.

When David asked God to purify, or unsin him, he asked for God to take David’s sin away. Cleanse him through the sacrificial blood. Blot out his guilt as if no sin occurred. David asked God to return him to fellowship with God, and change his heart and life.

Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and shed blood paid the debt we owe for our sins. Still, God wants to see evidence of sorrow and brokenness over our sins from those who claim him as Lord. It is only through repentance of our sins we can have a restored relationship with God, and that restoration allows us to be useful to him once more.

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God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again. Psalm 51:1-2 (NCV)
 I wish you well.

Sandy

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Wounded By God’s People Book Review

Woundedby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the book, Wounded by God’s People, Anne Graham Lotz uses the Old Testament story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar to show how God’s people wound others. She also candidly shares her own personal experiences of how she has been wounded, and how she has been a wounder.

If you’ve never experienced pain or hurt at the hands of a fellow Believer, or if you have never inflicted hurt on others, maybe this book isn’t for you. But if you fall in either of those categories like I do, then maybe this book should be on your To Be Read list. I know I appreciated the wisdom and insight found within its pages.

Throughout Wounded by God’s People, Anne Graham Lotz tells us:

  • Don’t blame God for the wounds his people inflict
  • Repeatedly opening your wounds to sympathetic ears intensifies the wound by repeatedly exposing it
  • We have to come to a turning point where we want to be healed more than we want to be wounded
  • You can’t drive forward by looking in the rear view mirror
  • The healing antidote to wounds is forgiveness
  • Sometimes wounds that have not healed properly need to be lanced to allow deep healing to begin

And finally, Anne tells us to let go of the past, so we can embrace the future God has for us. Especially when it is different from the future we had planned.

Wounded by God’s People is written in an easy conversational style that is not overbearing or judgmental. It is a book to revisit and reflect on each time we find ourselves in the place where we are either being wounded, or are being a wounder.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Forgive as You’ve Been Forgiven

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

We’re almost two weeks out from the Easter season. That time of reflection and repentance. The time when we focused on our need for a Savior and asked for forgiveness.

Hopefully, in the process we also extended forgiveness.

For some of us, extending forgiveness is not the first thing we think of when we are courtesy pixabaywronged.

Are you kidding me?

We’re angry. We’ve been treated horribly.

We’ve been hurt beyond words.

If you really knew what happened …

The offender should suffer. They should pay. They should not be let off easy.

Why should we forgive?

Sure, the Bible tells us we’re supposed to forgive, but aren’t their exceptions? You know. For the really big things that happen to us?

The ones that really hurt. The ones that are huge. The ones we’re totally justified in withholding our forgiveness over.

Well, one of the things I’ve found unforgiveness does is it makes the unforgiving person bitter. We keep rehashing and reliving the hurtful scenario over and over and over. We imagine clever come-backs that would put the other person in his or her place. We get the attitude thing going, and let our pain fester instead of allowing God to help us heal.

After awhile, all we can think about is the hurt we’ve endured. Nothing is right with the world. The more we dwell on the pain, the more it consumes us.

But you know what?

All that bitterness pushes us further away from God, and we play right into the hands of the deceiver. Ouch.

Because we know Jesus took our sins on the cross and died to forgive us, we know we should offer forgiveness to those who sin against us, but it is soooo difficult to do sometimes, don’t you think?

courtesy pixabayWe just don’t want to forgive.

In some perverse way, it’s almost as if we’d rather make ourselves miserable holding onto unforgiveness, than be set free of its burden so we can get on with the rest of our lives by forgiving.

And you know what else?

The person who hurt us probably moved on long ago.

I truly believe we need God’s help to forgive others. In our humanness we fail. We rationalize. We hold onto the hurt. It goes against our very being to forgive, but through the power of Christ in us, we can forgive.

Maybe we start with baby steps and work up to full-blown forgiveness. I’ve found that to be the case in most of my situations. It takes time. It takes work. It takes Jesus reminding me I’m forgiven, so how can I refuse to forgive. Sigh.

Are we content to receive forgiveness, yet unwilling to extend it? Something to ponder, is it not?

What have you found helpful in forgiving those who have wronged you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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