Dear Ones,
Blessings on this new day and may you live in forgiveness. Today 3 people here that are celebrating birthdays, and their doors will be plastered with cards! I have exercise class, crafts and Bible Study.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
We have all done things we regret, but have we received not only forgiveness from the Lord, but gone on to forgive ourselves? That may take a longer time. I read James Smith’s book, “Embracing the Love of God”, and he stresses how we may accept God’s forgiveness but somehow lack courage to forgive ourselves, and experience self-hatred. We hear the voice within us that condemns us for the enemy plays back the tapes of what we have done. Some are so use to feeling depressed about their past that they choose to live with the familiar guilt feelings rather than to be set free.

Some don’t forgive themselves because they are afraid, afraid they will only do it again, but Smith says this is really a fear of freedom. To say we are forgiven means to be set free from our past and we suspect we may repeat our past behavior. But the truth is what we have done in the past does not determine what we will do again when we forgive ourselves.

How do we forgive ourselves? First to believe that God has forgiven us. He sees it all and He declares us forgiven if we confess what we have done. David said in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us.” God forgives all our sins and he doesn’t measure sins as some being greater and others lesser as we often do. The truth is we are all sinful beings, broken and should not be shocked when we fail because we are fallen. God knows who we are, but we need to forgive and be reconciled with ourselves.

Smith says the first stage is to be honest and tell the truth to ourselves of what we have done and then humbly acknowledge we are not perfect. We need to go in faith to rely on what Jesus has done for us and then rest in the promise of His forgiveness. Then we have the opportunity to reconcile with the person we may be angry with, which is ourselves. We can say, “I forgive you. I am sorry I have spent all of this time trying to hurt you. All of that is over now. I forgive you.” Then celebrate our freedom. God will never bring up our past sins, so if memories of our sin come up, view them through His forgiveness, define ourselves by who we are in Him, and rewrite our script. Who we are is not tied with what we have done in the past. We are now free to be who God created us to be.  We will know we have forgiven ourselves when we can love freely and be able to forgive others as we have been forgiven.

Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything of your life that you have not forgiven yourself and begin the process of reconciliation.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy