Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Who Am I? {Forgiven} In Christ {Day 8} #31Days

In him we have . . .  the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace."
(Ephesian 1:7)

She had baggage. Boy, did she have baggage.

Enough to make her turn angry, then bitter. A bitterness that runs deeps, rages like fire, takes root, and ruins relationships. Ultimately causing her to do things unimaginable.

The stuff she had done to her and the way she attempted to drown out the pain was enough to make sell herself as though she could purchase her own worth. But, it only left her wounded even more and as she slipped down this slippery slope of sin, she adorned herself with a messy fabric in life and knew it could not longer conceal her and she was at the end. She needed to be released from this bondage and knew she could not do it herself.

She knew what she was, she knew who she was. She knew everyone else couldn't stand the sight of her, except of coarse, the men who only used her for their own sinful self-gratification.

She couldn't live with herself any longer when she heard of One who could take away the pain, the shame, the sin. 

She gathered in her arms the precious ointment that she needed for her employment and boldly came to him. Somehow, she knew she was welcome in his presence and in response she laid herself down and poured out herself.

Forgiven! Her sins were forgiven; her faith had saved her, according to the riches of His grace, and she poured out her adoration, and departed in peace. Though her sins were as scarlet, He made them white as snow.

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins."
(Isaiah 43:25)

He would never mention them again. He would remit her sins, let them go as if they had never been committed.  Wash them over with his blood that flowed from his vast ocean of His love. Hurl them into an abyss never to be retrieved. Not because He ever forgets, but because he chooses to never remember them again.

He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
(Psalm 103:12)

She wanted to be made whole, but first had to be broken.

She needed forgiveness, but first had to know her sin.

She wanted the remission, but first came the humiliation.

Are we taken aback as the event unfolds in this room before us?

In walks a harlot with a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. She walks right in and kneels before the Lord and starts weeping. She is gushing uncontrollably all over his feet. So she lets down her beautiful hair and wipes his wet feet with it. She starts kissing his feet and finally she breaks the seal and pours out that expensive and rare ointment all over his feet.

We stand back in shocked silence for only so long. The audacity of this woman to boldly walk in weeping and washing and wiping. To carry on in such a fashion with kissing and anointing is too much. How could the Lord not know who this woman was and all the evil that she did?

Oh, but that is the beauty, He did know. And how He forgave.

"There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still."
(Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place)

I beg to be like the harlot. To see how great is my sin and to know the joy of my generous salvation.

She received a grand pardon and now poured out gratitude for the forgiveness she had been granted.

She poured out love, where there had been sin. 

She poured out adoration, where there had been anger.

She poured out joy, where there had been jealousy.

She poured out beauty, where there had been bitterness.

May we see the greatness of our sin, that we might see the magnitude of His forgiveness.

In our pious ways we want perfect performance, but until we see our utter wretchedness we will fail to see how we have been forgiven much.

We desire to love, but we need knowledge of our own sin before we can break open the seal of our own alabaster boxes of precious ointment in pure adoration.

"We need add nothing to what each of us already had, for the sum of the whole matter is - to the noblest and purest of us, what is wanting in order to love much, is not sin, but the knowledge of it."
(The Pulpit Commentary)

In Christ, we are forgiven. 

Do we see it? This connection between the wretched sin and the saving faith; the forgiveness poured in and the adoration poured forth; the humiliation of the sinner and the exaltation of the Saviour.

To be lifted up to this place of love, we need to be lowered in the knowledge of our sin.

To love much, we need to awaken to see how wretched we are. 

And I'm not sure what is the most difficult. To see the greatness of our own sin, or extend this same forgiveness to others.

We who stand forgiven, are to extend the same to the ones who sin against us.

What I do know is that we are not able to do either on our own accord. The forgiveness that we have received in Christ, is the forgiveness that flows through us that we may forgive. 

And so, we continue to plead, "Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see my own sin. Give me your forgiveness."

"It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face. 

He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side. 

Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness. 

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
(Corrie Ten Boom, 'The Hiding Place')


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  1. I'm right next to you at Jennifer's writing link. Beautiful post and stunning photography!

  2. Beautiful descriptions of her desperation and need. And I, too, desire to realize the depth and breadth of my own need.

    Deb Weaver


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