Yesterday I shared the song Back to You by Mandisa. Her song’s message speaks of being moved by the loving and sacrificial cross of Christ to give our total life back to Jesus to live for Him. How about another song entitled Back to You by MercyMe that addresses coming back to Jesus in repentance and being deeply moved by the mercy and grace of God as He forgives us and takes us back.
How can God keep forgiving us over and over and over again for the sins we commit? A more bewildering question is WHY would God be willing to keep forgiving us over and over and over again? Jesus teaches in Matthew 18:21-35 that we need to forgive others when they sin against us and repent just like our heavenly Father forgives us – even if it is 7x 70 (= continuous forgiveness). Maybe the problem to comprehending God’s forgiveness is that we struggle to forgive others – especially repeat offenders, and therefore, we might think God too has a hard time forgiving us over and over and over again. But that’s why God’s grace is amazing. In I John 1:7,9 the apostle writes, “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin…If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. (In the N.T. Greek it means God continuously forgives us as we walk by faith.) There are some things in the Bible that are hard to believe – God repeatedly forgiving us is one of them. But as we grow in our faith we come to realize that if God says it then that settles it and we need to believe it. So every day we keep coming back to God after we give in to the temptations of the devil. We make every effort to go away from temptation and sin, we ask God to forgive us, we accept his forgiveness so we can live freely for Him, unfettered from guilt and shame. Then we top it off by asking the Holy Spirit to help us live more like Jesus as we go on our way rejoicing, more devoted to Jesus than ever. Read Psalm 103:1-22 and Micah 7:18-19. Then listen to Back to You by MercyMe – then go on your way rejoicing.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.