February 6, 2016

Forgiveness Restores the Standard

I learned this lesson years ago when my kids were teen­agers. I became angry with Kathy in front of them and treated her disrespectfully. An hour later, I apologized, and she forgave me. But when I went to bed that night, I sud­denly realized that I had disrespected Kathy in front of my teenage kids. So I needed to apologize to them for being a bad example of a husband, or they would grow up believ­ing that my behavior was okay. The next day, I gathered the kids together in the front room and asked Kathy and each of the kids to forgive me.

“Okay, Dad,” they each said, a little annoyed that I was making such a big deal out of this. “We forgive you. Can we go  now?” they pressed.

“You can go,” I responded. I was as glad to get that over with as they were.

About a week later, one of our boys came in the kitchen and started being sarcastic with Kathy. I walked into the kitchen and said, “You don’t have permission to talk to my wife like that.”

“You were rude to Mom the other day yourself!” he responded.

“Yes,” I continued, “but you forgave me. Forgiveness restores the standard. When you forgave me you gave up your right to act the same way that I did because your forgiveness restored me back to the place of honor. I repented. Repentance means to be restored to the pinnacle, the high place.”

“I’m sorry, Mom. I should not have spoken to you that way,” he said humbly.

“I forgive you, son,” she said, embracing him.

Live as if you had never failed

If we don’t understand this principle, then the lowest point, the worst mistake or stupidest thing that we have ever done in life becomes our high watermark. For instance, if we were immoral as a teenager and later on in life we have teenagers, we won’t have confidence to correct them for their poor sexual choices because we failed ourselves. Failures that we have repented of are no longer the standard that we must bow to. When we asked God and those we had hurt to forgive us, we were set back up on the high place that God assigned to us. The truth is that forgiveness restores the standard of holiness in us and through us.

When you repent, you have permission to live happily ever after! That’s God’s gift to you. It’s called mercy and grace. Mercy means that you don’t receive the punishment you deserve, but grace means that you do receive the blessing you didn’t earn. This was all paid for when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus didn’t just die for you, He died as you. You get to live as if you had never failed!

The Right to be Healed

I was teaching this principle at a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) base some years ago when suddenly a young, beautiful woman stood up and shouted, “You are wrong!” Then she just stood there weeping out loud.

“What do you mean, ‘I’m ‘wrong?’” I asked.

“I have VD because I slept with many men before I started following Jesus,” she said through her tears. “How can I live happily after that? Who is going to want me now?”

“When you asked for forgiveness, you received the right to be healed of all of your diseases,” I said confidently.

“I don’t deserve to be healed because I knew my lifestyle was wrong when I was living immorally, but I did it anyway,” she said in a harsh tone of voice.

“Jesus didn’t die for your mistakes, He died for your sins,” I argued. “Sin means you did it on purpose. You can’t sin by accident because sin is always a heart issue. Accidents are not heart issues because an accident isn’t something you tried to do on purpose. So accidents don’t need to be forgiven by God, only things you did on purpose need God’s forgiveness. Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah said that Jesus was crucified for our sins but that He was beaten for our healing (see Isaiah 53:5). So Jesus paid the price for us to be forgiven and healed. Why not get all that He paid for?” I contended. “And oh, by the way, none of us deserve anything from God. But we don’t get what we deserve. We get what He deserves.”

After debating for a while, she finally let God heal her! He is so amazing!

For more on this subject, check out my book Moral Revolution.

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Have you experienced the Lord’s forgiveness? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Topics: All TopicsFreedom


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