Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying a beautiful day. I made a new recipe and hope we like it since it turned out to be enough for 3 meals! I went downstairs for Donut Day and this afternoon we have Bible Study. Tonight is Women’s Bible Study and we are beginning a new study on Women of the Bible. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   The words of forgiveness are like the sweetest music ever to our ears. When we have sinned and know we are guilty and do not excuse ourselves, what can be better than to hear the words that we are now forgiven, Psalm 130:4 says, “With you is forgiveness, and on this we live.”
   We all need forgiveness, time and time again and God delights in forgiving. As Peter van Breemen’s said in his book, The God Who Won’t Let Go,” Forgiveness is the completion of love. In forgiveness love reaches its utmost purity, depth and strength; and in this way, forgiveness generates new life.”
   When we fail to ask forgiveness, our spirit diminishes and we become spiritually sick. We are all in need of forgiveness over and over again because we sin daily, if not in deed, we sin in our thoughts and words.
   Breemen brings out something that I had not thought of before. He uses several stories that depict the joy of the Father who forgives, like the prodigal son who left home and ended up in the pig pen. Jesus doesn’t say how that prodigal felt coming home and getting a robe, a ring and a feast…. he only says how much joy that Father had that His son was home. It’s really a parable of the merciful forgiving father.
   I remember the joy I felt when one of our kids was young and came to me while I was studying; he confessed something he had done. He came several times as he would remember something else, and each time I shared with him that He was forgiven. I felt great joy that he was getting a clear conscience and set free.  
   The Father never coerces us but leaves us free to accept His love and forgiveness. Like the prodigal we must come to the place where we know we have sinned and then confess it to the Lord and experience freedom in forgiveness. We see the joy of the Father as an expression of His love for us for He finds joy in showing mercy to us.
   When we confess our sins Breemen says there is double joy. First that we have the joy of relief that we have finally confessed. Then we have the joy with which God forgives and invites us into to…the joy of the Lord which is our strength and our song!
   Let us not hold on to those sins that bind us up, but freely confess them to the Lord and experience His forgiveness, love and joy.
   Challenge for today: Bring the broken pieces of your life before the Lord and ask Him to forgive you and to restore the joy of your salvation.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy