The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:15-16 ESV
It is a snare to continually think about defects. Imagine anyone who has seen himself in the light of Jesus Christ thinking of his defects! Why we are too filthy for words, and to be concerned because of the spots upon us is absurd. Leave the whole miserable thing alone; we have the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves but in God, and there are no specks in God.
The background of God’s forgiveness is holiness. If God were not holy there would be nothing in His forgiveness. There is no such thing as God overlooking sin; therefore if God forgives there must be a reason that justifies His doing so. In forgiving a man, God gives him the heredity of His own Son—He turns him into the standard of the Forgiver. Forgiveness is a revelation—hope for the hopeless; that is the message of the Gospel.
Reflection Questions: In what ways do my faults and failures stunt the growth of my hope? What reason do I have for hope if I refuse to grant or accept forgiveness?
Quotations taken from Not Knowing Where and The Shadow of an Agony, © Discovery House Publishers
Agreement in purpose on earth must not be taken to mean a predetermination to agree together to storm God’s fort doggedly till He yields. It is far from right to agree beforehand over what we want, and then go to God and wait, not until He gives us His mind about the matter, but until we extort from Him permission to do what we had made up our minds to do before we prayed; we should rather agree to ask God to convey His mind and meaning to us in regard to the matter.
Agreement in purpose on earth is not a public presentation of persistent begging which knows no limit, but a prayer which is conscious that it is limited through the moral nature of the Holy Ghost. It is really “symphonizing” on earth with our Father Who is in heaven.
Reflection Question: Is my hope in God based on my ability to get from Him what I want or on God’s ability to give me what I need?
Quotations taken from Christian Disciplines, © Discovery House Publisher