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[thoughts] Learning From God's Correction (June 4-10, 2007)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 3988 subscribers. Thank you! ... LEARNING FROM GOD S
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2007
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      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth

      This edition goes out today to 3988 subscribers. Thank you!

      (Hosea 11:1-4; 14:1-9)


      If you had the choice, which would you rather be: wrong or
      corrected? When you have done something wrong and don't
      realize it, do you wish to remain blissfully wrong or do you wish
      to be shown your wrong and be corrected? It seems so many
      people, including me too often, dislike and resist being corrected.
      Amazingly, they seem to prefer being wrong!

      So what is your disposition toward sin and shortcoming in your life?

      Job was very confident of his own innocence. He did not believe
      his suffering revealed or proved any unrighteousness in him. I
      would say he was understandably defensive about his integrity
      and guiltlessness. He resisted (and, it seems, resented) being
      falsely accused by his friends. Because of all that, I don't know
      how he meant this: "How many are mine iniquities and sins?
      make me to know my transgression and my sin" (Job 13:23).
      Though it could be taken as self-righteousness defensiveness, I'm
      inclined to believe that it actually was sincere openness. I believe
      Job truly wanted to learn about himself and any hidden or
      ignored sin or shortcoming in his life.

      That's how I want to be. I want God to make show me my errors
      and sins. I don't want to continue being wrong; I want to be right
      -- even if it means being corrected. And I want that enough that
      I'll even accept God's correction through another.

      "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are
      spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;
      considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

      "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert
      him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the
      error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a
      multitude of sins" (James 5:19,20).


      I think one of the biggest struggles people face has to do with
      the assurance that God would forgive *them* for what they have
      done. They view themselves as unworthy (which is true enough).
      They may consider the nature or frequency of their sin as just
      too much for God to forgive. They can easily see God forgiving
      others, even for similar and worse misdeeds, but the truth that
      God would forgive *them* is almost more than they can accept.

      Perhaps the previous paragraph describes you. Maybe not all the
      time, but at least once in a while. Or perhaps it describes
      someone you know. In either case, it will benefit both of us to
      refresh in our minds just who it is that God chooses to forgive.

      The Sinner. You don't have to be perfect in order for God to
      forgive you; in fact, you don't even have to be good. God
      forgives those who fail. It doesn't matter if you're a pagan sinner
      or a Christian sinner. Whether we sin frequently or occasionally,
      God extends forgiveness to us. If you have sinned, God *will*
      forgive you. I know that's pretty elementary, but we easily forget it.

      The Penitent. God forgives sinners, but He doesn't forgive all
      sinners. To qualify for forgiveness, sinners need penitence.
      Regardless of how awful your sin, when you repent before God
      and ask Him to forgive you, He will indeed forgive you! Count on it.


      We know God hates sin. We know God takes all sin personally.
      We know God is holy. You would think that these three facts
      alone would lead God to absolutely refuse to forgive anyone.
      Nonetheless, praise Him, He does forgive! But why would He
      choose to do so?

      Because of Who He is. God is full of mercy and compassion. He
      is loving and tender. God is pure and holy. God is true and just.
      These attributes of His character lead Him to one response
      toward a repentant sinner -- forgiveness!

      Because He wants to. God *chooses* to forgive. What a blessing
      to realize that God *wants* to forgive me! Forgiveness is not a
      chore or a duty for God. It is not something burdensome or
      tiresome to Him. God is ready, eager and anxious to forgive us. Imagine!

      Because He said He would. Read these verses: Ephesians 1:7,
      Colossians 2:13, 1 John 2:12. God said it and that settles it.
      Believe it!


      So, I have been forgiven, and I am assured of further forgiveness
      should I need it and request it. What effect should that have on
      me? What should be my response to those who sin, especially
      against me?

      "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful" (Luke 6:36).

      "And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven
      times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt
      forgive him" (Luke 17:4).

      "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
      another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you"
      (Ephesians 4:32).

      "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man
      have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also
      do ye" (Colossians 3:13).


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      Mark Roth

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