Summary: Looking at God from a child's perspective
FAITH LIKE A CHILD - 3
MY GOD FORGIVES ME
December 15, 2013
Have you ever heard someone say, "The only way I'm going to be able to land this promotion is if I employ the work ethic of a 2-year-old?" Nobody?
Or have you ever watched a sporting event and heard the coach say, "The only way we're going to win the National Championship is if we employ the team work of 3 year olds." Never!
Anybody ever say, "I'm in such financial ruin, the only way I'm going to dig myself out of this is if I earn like a child."
You don't hear those things because we don't think those things, right? We would never want to emulate a child in any of these areas; yet in the area of life that’s the most important and eternal, the only way we can experience the things of God according to Scripture, is if we approach Him with the innocence of child-like faith.
This is our advent theme. Each week I’ve taken a look at the words of Jesus from Mark 10. As Jesus was blessing children, His disciples were pushing them away, wanting Jesus to do something better than bless the kids. But, Jesus was all for blessing the kids, and He was really angry at the disciples and He said ~
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a . . . little child will never enter it.
That's a huge statement, will never enter it.
When you have kids you know they’re going to do things that are going to get them in trouble. I don’t know a home where that does not happen. Well, actually pastors kids are immune on that one. No, not really!
I remember when one of the boys, I don’t remember who, probably both, in fact. They did something wrong, and being a pastor I thought I would be really spiritual in their discipline. Now, I really did do this. . .
Debbie and I talked about the discipline that was going to happen, and then I talked to them and asked if they were guilty of their crime. They agreed they were guilty. I told them what they were going to lose — and they weren’t happy, not at all. But, then I told them they weren’t going to receive what was due them.
I told them they were going to receive grace. I went on to explain what grace means. Grace is when you're given something – like a gift – you didn't deserve. And so I tried to explain to them that grace is really an amazing gift from God. We deserve to be punished for all we’ve done which is wrong, for the sin against God and others, but God offers His grace to us, and we don’t receive the punishment we deserve. And so, while you deserve to be disciplined, I'm not going to do that. I’m going to give you grace.
Kids get grace, they just do, they understand forgiveness because when they get in trouble their world stops, because relationship has been separated from mommy or daddy. And so, they go into time out or they get disciplined and what do they want more than anything else? They just want it to be restored, they want a hug, they want to know that they are loved. And children, they have so much to teach us about this.
A child simply believes, and this is our key thought for today:
That my God forgives me. In fact, I want you to say that with me. Everybody say my God forgives me.
In 1 John 1:9, a passage I’ve commented on so many times, John tells us ~
If we confess our sins, then He (God) is faithful and just and . . .
What will He do?
He . . . will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
That's incredible! If we agree with God — "Yes I blew it, yes I deserve punishment and yes I need your forgiveness," then the Bible says God forgives us and He purifies and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
And so I want to lay a foundation today of how exactly does God forgive and what exactly does that mean? How does God forgive?
When we confess our sin, when we agree with Him, God removes our sin from us.
In Psalm 103, we read this about God:
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;
12 AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST, SO FAR DOES HE REMOVE OUR TRANSGRESSIONS FROM US.