FRIDAY, APRIL 13
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
John 20:23 ESV
EQUIPPED WITH THE TRUTH: PARDON
Jeff Foran lived in Foreman, Arkansas. Apparently Mr. Foran, aged 38, was very drunk one night and went out for a drive. As he was driving, his cigarette fell out of his fingers and out the window. Not to waste a good cigarette, Mr. Foran jumped out of his moving car to get the cigarette back. The car was traveling at over 60mph. State Trooper Jamie Gravies said that Foran suffered extreme trauma to his nose, eyes and chin and was lucky to be alive.
It was the preacher Billy Sunday who said, “Sin can be forgiven, but stupid is forever.” In John 20, Jesus equipped the disciples with the ability to proclaim forgiveness. They could not provide forgiveness, only God can do that. But what they could do was clearly tell people if they repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus, they could find forgiveness. They could also clearly proclaim that if anyone rejected Jesus they would remain guilty of their sins and remain unforgiven.
The way to find forgiveness is one of the most significant gifts we will ever give anyone. Many of our co-workers, classmates, neighbors, friends and family members are living with the weight and guilt of their sins. Christianity is the only belief system in the world that provides the true answer for forgiveness. It is a gift of grace provided by God through faith. It’s not a religion or self-help. It’s Jesus.
Who do you know that you think is struggling with their past mistakes? Do you think they have truly accepted and embraced God’s gift of eternal forgiveness? Pray God would open their heart and mind to His gift. Pray God would show you how He wants to use you to help them find pardon and peace.