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January 2021 Newsletter

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Excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article: "I'm 'Scused!"

 

“I’m ‘Scused!”

 

            Today, we’re going to talk about forgiveness. I’ve been thinking about it every time my two-year-old burps or toots. Odd thought? Well, every time she says, “Excuse me,” and we start to tell her, “You’re excused,” she jumps right in with, “I’m ‘scused!” She’s that sure that we are going to excuse her that she just knows and can blurt out, “I’m ‘scused!” without any doubt.

            That’s what forgiveness is like, when God forgives us. We talk about it all the time, how God forgave us through Jesus. We recount it so matter-of-factly that it seems there’s no doubt. But we aren’t really as confident as a two-year-old in this belief. When we ask God,

“Forgive me,” we’re never so ready to accept that forgiveness as fact and blurt out, “I’m ‘given!” We say that it’s true. We hope that it’s true. But do we always trust that it’s true? I would say no.

            Maybe that’s why God tells us so frequently, and why he gave us the command to forgive. We need the constant the constant reassurance. But not only that. We need the constant forgiveness, given again and again, every time that we sin. We see this played out at nearly every worship service when we recite the Confession and Absolution portion of our liturgy. After we confess our sins, the pastor absolves you of your sins, telling you they are forgiven, that God forgave them. Therefore, you are forgiven.

            When you believe that Jesus earned forgiveness your sins, that he has set you free from condemnation, and you repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you, then you can trust entirely that God has forgiven your sins. Jesus told his disciples, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24

            Jesus was talking about praying for things out of faith. If your prayer is out of faith, then God hears that prayer and grants it in the way that is according to his will. When you ask for forgiveness, God grants it because Jesus has already earned it for you. Yes, we continue to sin. And God continues to forgive us. We can be absolutely certain of this, not just hope that it is true. When we ask God to forgive us when we repent of our sins, we can know and boldly say, “I’m forgiven,” with the same confidence as a little girl blurting out, “I’m ‘scused!”

            We pray: Jesus, thank you for living perfectly, fulfilling the law of your Father, so that you could be the sacrifice needed to forgive our sins. Help us to live our lives in thanksgiving for all that you have done and continue to do for us each day. Amen

 

In Christian Love,
Pastor Wolf B. Parsons

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