It’s really good for us to remember that the Lord has forgiven us.  That’s a good thing, a really good thing.

Why?  Well, first it helps us remember our worth.  Remember how valued we are.  Remember that our identity, our hope doesn’t come from ourselves, but from God. That’s so big, in a world that is so intense, filled with such pressure and worry, that’s huge to remember.

Second, that truth reminds us to lay down our burdens.  We don’t have to carry them around forever.  You are forgiven.  Yes.  You are.  You are forgiven.  Lay those burdens down.  Let them go.  Lay down your shame, your worry, your fear, your doubt.

You are forgiven.

Man, we need to drill that truth into our brains.  We are forgiven.

And here’s the cool thing.  When we understand that we are forgiven, it totally changes our walk with God. We stop trying to make God love us, but we live freely out of the love that He has already given us.  It changes our walk with God.  It really does.  But that’s not the only walk it changes.  Listen to what it says today in Colossians 3:12-13:

12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

forgivenessWe have been forgiven.  That means that we are supposed to forgive each other.  God has looked at our worst, and failures, the things we have done wrong, and shown us mercy and grace.  As Christians (as tough as it is) we are supposed to do the same things.

One of my favorite quotes from CS Lewis is from his book The Weight of Glory – “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

But how?  Only through God’s power.  We can’t forgive apart from God’s Spirit working through us.  Only the Holy Spirit can empower us to forgive as we are call.  We can’t do it ourselves. But through God, all things are possible.

When we accept God’s forgiveness, we lay down our burden.  When we forgive others, we lay another burden down.  That’s our call today as Christians.  To accept forgiveness and to give forgiveness.  Today, through God’s strength, may we live in that freedom and power.

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