TUESDAY, AUGUST 18
“Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean…”
Hebrews 10:22 (NLT2)
LET THE SHEPHERD REMOVE MY GUILT
A preacher of the early 1900s said that when he was 12 years old, he had killed one of the family geese by throwing a stone and hitting it squarely on the head. Figuring his parents wouldn’t notice that one of the 24 birds was missing, he buried the dead fowl. But that evening his sister called him aside and said, “I saw what you did. If you don’t offer to do the dishes tonight, I’ll tell Mother.” The next morning she gave him the same warning. All that day and the next the frightened boy felt bound to do the dishes. The following morning, however, he surprised his sister by telling her it was her turn. When she quietly reminded him of what she could do, he replied, “I’ve already told Mother, and she has forgiven me. Now you do the dishes. I’m free again!”
There is a peace and freedom that comes with forgiveness that heals our hearts. The author of Hebrews encourages the person who has received Jesus’ forgiveness to sincerely and confidently come into God’s presence. A guilty conscience can also be cleared because we have a saving relationship with Christ.
Mike mentioned in the sermon Sunday that sheep also can become “cast,” where they roll onto their backs and are not able to right themselves. A sheep left in such a position will die unless the shepherd helps it get upright within a few hours. At that moment, the shepherd does for the sheep what it cannot do for itself. When have you most sensed God offering you the forgiveness you couldn’t achieve on your own?
Thank God that you can confidently come into His presence because of what He did for you. Talk to God about any areas of guilt that you are struggling with and ask Him for guidance.