In our church, whoever preaches on Sunday writes up a weekly devotional to go along with the sermon. Here is my last sermon and the devotional that goes along with it.
ENCOUNTER: Read James 5:13-16
Confession and forgiveness are central to our spiritual formation and to our own healing. So often we simply intellectually ascent to this idea of forgiveness, that we actually miss the entire cost, process, and benefit, of the daily work of forgiveness.
Yes, Jesus died on the cross to pay the debt of our sin. It is an incredible gift. For those in and around the church, we have been inoculated from the power of what this really means. All of the ways we have violated God and others, all the ways we have crushed and ruin others, that debt has been paid.
Even more, we now have access to the incredible power and spiritual wealth of Jesus Himself so that we then have the power to forgive others.
We must recognize there is a cost to forgive. Jesus suffered to pay it. So, we too, must suffer to pay other's debt that is owed to us. As followers of Christ we can not escape this reality. We forgive because we have been forgiven, because the one we follow has lead the way, and we lean into the challenge and suffering that comes when we seek to forgive others a seemingly impossible debt.
Physical therapy is a daily private disciple that allows the outer body to regain the strength of the inner healing. It is slow and steady. It is challenging and humbling. But without it, we will never be fully healed. In the exact same way, confessing sin and forgiving others is a daily discipline that heals our soul and strengthens our spirit.
Spend some time confessing your sins to Jesus. How have you violated God's character, law, and desires for you? Consider how you may have violated someone else's person and consider an even bolder move of asking them for forgiveness.
Who in your life has violated you, who has trespassed against you? Will you forgive them? Will you spiritually chip away at their debt? If you need more spiritual resources, lean into Jesus who has lead the way in all of this.
BE A BLESSING
Remember how great it is to have no record of wrongs held against you? Remember how great it is to be free? Who do you need to give freedom to? Who's record of wrongs can you actually throw away?
Taking a deeper step into this world of forgiveness is challenging and difficult. Most things that are challenging and difficult we can't do alone. Who is someone who can encourage you in this process of being forgiven and extending that towards others?