Tag Archives: forgiveness

My God is…Vindicating His People Psalm 135:13-14

Psalm 135:13-14 – Your name, O Lord, endures forever,Salvation
your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
For the Lord will vindicate his people,
and have compassion on his servants.

Definition of VINDICATE

obsolete : to set free : deliver
2: avenge
3 a : to free from allegation or blame
   b (1) : confirmsubstantiate (2) : to provide justification or defense for : justify
   : to protect from attack or encroachment : defend
4: to maintain a right to

To set free : deliver

The Lord sets the prisoners free (Psalm 146:8a).

As humans we are all in chains to sin, but God didn’t want that to be our future, so He sent Jesus to set us free from our prison of sin. We no longer have to be slaves to the things that have entrapped us in the past. We are free to be His and freed to be used by Him for His glory. In the short-term (the here and now) He can help us with the addictions we face, with the tumultuous relationships, with the fear of failure and all the other struggles we face as humans. When we die, we will also be set free from death and be able to take part in the promise we’ve been given of eternal life with God in heaven. God has set us free from the bondage of sin so we might enjoy freedom here on earth and eternal freedom with Him for eternity.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
God has your back. You don’t need to get back at those who have done you wrong. I’m sure we all have some people we know have wronged us. Truth is the devil often likes to use the frustration we feel from those relationships and wants to use them to distract us from focusing on the Lord. Instead, if we continue to focus on the Lord and not try to avenge the wrongs done to us, we will be able to find peace in the Lord. We can also rest assured that they’ll get what’s coming to them. The Lord will repay. He’s got your back and He has mine too.

To free from allegation or blame
Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.Acts 13:38-39
When we compare our lives to the law of Moses, it becomes clear quickly that we are sinners. That we fall short of what God called us to do in the old testament. We who were not able to justify ourselves by our own actions have been set free by Jesus. He has given us forgiveness of sins through His sacrifice of His life on the cross and His resurrection three days later. He took the sins on Himself, making us righteous even though we didn’t deserve it. It reminds me of Jesus’ prayer on the cross – “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” I think when I sin, it’s like He said that prayer not only for the soldiers who were casting lots, but also for me and all my sins.

Confirm, substantiate
I think this is part of why I love looking up words that are used in scripture. Not only is God freeing us from blame and avenging wrongs, He is vindicating us through His actions. Through miracles in days of old, through testimonies in scripture and those we hear now and through our personal relationships with Christ, God confirms and substantiates our faith in Him. What we believe will all be proven true on the last day. We will be vindicated on the day that these scriptures Philippians 2:9-11) are fulfilled:
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

To provide justification or defense for
Galatians 3:6-9 – Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,”  so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.”  For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.
God has provided the justification we needed by giving us faith in Him. We who believe in Him are no longer slaves to sins, but have been given a clean slate because of the faith worked in us by the Holy Spirit.

To protect from attack or encroachment
In the Old Testament, there were many attacks on the people of God. When they put their faith in God, they were never disappointed. We too can trust in God to protect us from the attacks the devil wages on us (often through those we expected to be able to trust). God has our back and will vindicate us. Keep your focus on Him that you might not lose site of all the Lord is doing for you each day.

To maintain a right to
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
Because of the love the father has given us we are able to maintain a right to call ourselves children of God. We are His children and we have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven. We have a right to it, not because of what we have done, but because of the righteousness of the one who sacrificed that we might live, Jesus Christ.

Do you want vindication?

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My God is…Renewing a Right Spirit Within Me Psalm 51:9-11

Psalm 51:9-11 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart O God

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Renew a Right Spirit within me

My church often used this verse as an Offertory hymn. After 40 years of attending church, I can hardly read this verse without hearing that music. I’m humming it right now.

Definition of RENEW

1: to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection<as we renew our strength in sleep>
2: to make new spiritually : regenerate
3a : to restore to existence : revive
 b : to make extensive changes in : rebuild
4: to do again : repeat
5: to begin again : resume
6: replacereplenish <renew water in a tank>
7a :
<renew a license>
 b : to grant or obtain an extension on the loan of <renew a library book>
Why do we need God to Renew a Right Spirit within us? 
There are a lot of opinions on what was meant when these words were written. The Psalmist asked for God to create in him a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within him. This is my prayer as well. We don’t need God to create a new heart from scratch, we already have a heart, but I think what the Psalmist is trying to say here is that we can’t make our heart clean apart from God. Creating is an action that only God can do. He is the only one who can truly make something out of nothing.
Looking at the definitions of renew above, I am again blessed at the depth of the words chosen in scripture.
  • I want God to make me like new : restore me to freshness, vigor, or perfection
  • I want God to make me new spiritually
  • I want God to restore me to existence
  • I want God to make extensive changes in me
  • I want God to do again or begin again a good work in me
  • I want God to replenish a steadfast spirit within me


There are many times in my life where I have felt very separated from God. Where I felt there was no coming back from the sins that I had committed. I felt that no matter how much God loved and forgave others, I could not imagine how He might begin to get past the evil I had committed. I had turned from what I knew was right. I recklessly abandoned my beliefs to satisfy my own desires. I was selfish and self-seeking. Sure I hadn’t done what some of those in jail had done, but I felt that those who came to know Christ after sin were more likely to be forgiven. I had known Him since childhood. I knew what I was supposed to do. I knew that the things I chose were contrary to how my Lord wanted me to live, but I did it anyway. I couldn’t forgive myself, and couldn’t see how God could either.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me

This section of scripture really puts into words what I was feeling. Lord, fix my heart. I am doing what I don’t want to do and not doing what I do want to do. Lord I need a clean heart, a fresh start. I need to be renewed, and only You can make that happen. I want to be right with you again. I want to be able to make decisions that are pleasing to you and help me to spread your word. I don’t want people to look at me and think, that’s why I hate Christians, they’re all hypocrites. I want my actions to match my beliefs. I want to live my life for you, Lord.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

The verse right after our reading above, Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”  brings me hope. Those years when I felt I could never be forgiven for the things that I had done, left me craving the joy of God’s salvation. I didn’t feel like I could hold myself up anymore, and became dependent on my Lord for my joy. He upholds me and He strengthens me. I know now that I am forgiven, not because of anything I have done, but because of His love for me, in sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins. He restored my soul. He renewed a right spirit within me and now I am being equipped to do what the following verse in scripture says, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”



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My God is…Forgiving Mark 2:1-12

Mark 2:1-12 – Jesus Heals a Paralytic 

And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Hope for healing

The story of the healing of the Paralytic is really interesting. Obviously by this time the word had gotten out that Jesus was a great healer, and those with chronic conditions like being paralyzed now had hope of a different sort of life. The Paralytic’s family and friends were likely his caregivers, and they too had the new hope that they would no longer have to care for their friend or family member. Yes they likely loved the man they brought to Jesus, but there was something in it for them too. They had a hope that their life was going to change for the better when Jesus healed the paralytic.

“Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Great – thanks a lot Jesus! Do you think the paralytic was going to be satisfied with being forgiven? What he wanted (and his friends) was that he would walk out of that place on his own. Little did they know that Jesus was less concerned with the paralytic’s physical condition than with the condition of his soul. Jesus knew that this man’s body was temporary, but with faith and forgiveness from the Lord, this mans life would continue for eternity. That’s what mattered to Jesus.

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins

Jesus didn’t heal the man for the man’s sake. He healed him so that the scribes sitting there calling Jesus a blasphemer would be able to see that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins. Jesus was showing them that He had the full authority of God the Father behind Him and that He could rule over sins, health and anything else.

Jesus, a Man with all this authority chooses to forgive first

What a blessing! Our sins are often more debilitating than our diseases. Often the worry and stress we gain by our sins are contributing to our bad health. God is less concerned about our comfort than the condition of our heart. He wants us to be forgiven so that we might be drawn closer to Him. Often when we feel we’ve battled and won against one sin, we fall for another sin. Sins get our focus off our Lord and puts it back on ourselves.

Healing or Forgiveness?

Often people ask for prayers of healing for our friends and family members, but how often do we, like Jesus, focus on what’s more important, their forgiveness. Have you ever asked for prayers of forgiveness? Have you ever prayed that someone would repent of their ways and seek God’s forgiveness? Not often, I bet. As modern Americans we don’t really like people sticking their noses in our business and we don’t want to stick our noses in theirs. We don’t want to judge, lest we be judged. But I think we may want to take a page out of Jesus book and focus on what’s really hurting that person. Not that we need to judge them per-say, but that we can pray for forgiveness for those who are struggling. That they might find the freedom to live for God that only comes after we’ve been healed from our sins. After we’ve been freed from the paralyzing nature of sin. Sin that keeps us from moving forward, closer to God and our families. Sin gets in the way.

At least you have your health

I find this to be an annoying phrase. A lot of people don’t have their health. I don’t. I know I have a disease that could eventually rob me of my mobility and make me very dependent on the people around me. That burden that is created on those around you is saddening and frustrating. I’m sure I’ll be ever pleasant and easy to work with if I ever need that kind of care (I’m never cranky or bossy now – so nothing will change). But one of the things I felt I learned by finding out I had Multiple Sclerosis is what do you do when you can’t say “at least I have my health”. I can say – “At least I have Eternal Life”. My hope doesn’t rest in the years my body works, but in the work Jesus did for me on the cross. His death that worked the forgiveness of sins is more important to me than whether or not my legs work right, if I have pain in my feet, back or head. I have a hope that surpasses human understanding that would have us focus on the physical realities of this world. God is good, even when my legs don’t work. He’s more concerned about the condition of my heart than the condition of my body.

Forgiveness or Healing – which is more important to you?



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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in My God is Forgiving


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My God is…My Peace Ephesians 2:14-18

Ephesians 2:14-18 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

For He Himself is our Peace

In the verses above, we hear about how Jesus came and broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles. The Law was set aside so that all could have the inheritance of eternal life. He created a new humanity that he reconciled through dying on the cross. That’s how He put to death their hostility. And now we have access to the Father by one Spirit.

The Trinity

This is a beautiful section of scripture that really points out the trinity (God is three in one – Not Three Gods – One God with three persons). All of the persons of God are present in this scripture, Jesus, God the Father and the Spirit.

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.

Jesus came to bring the Jews (the religious people of the day) together with those who had been worshiping other gods or no gods at all. Jesus came and went far and wide to spread the grace of His Gospel. He didn’t hold it back from anyone. Some people didn’t believe, but that wasn’t because He didn’t tell them.

God is our Peace 

Normally I think of peace as a spiritual state of being. Something we feel or don’t feel. In these verses in Ephesians, it is an interesting look at the fact that Jesus brought peace through reconciliation. He reconciled all people Jews and Gentiles by dying on the cross. He made amends. He worked peace, bringing people back together. Not just the peace in your heart, but the getting along with your neighbor kind of peace.

Every Conflict is an opportunity to witness

I went to a Women’s Leadership Institute conference a few months ago and one of the things I think about almost daily since I went is the idea of reconciliation. The last speaker of the conference was from the Ambassadors of reconciliation. One of the things the gentleman said that will likely stick with me for a long time  (yes there is more than one) is that for Christians, every conflict is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to witness for Christ. To react as Christ would react, not as the world would react. In the verses above we get a sense of what that reaction might look like. It is a reaction of peace; bringing people together not pushing them apart.

How we respond says a lot about our God

Could you be like Gladys Staines? Gladys Staines had not heard from her husband, Graham, a respected missionary, or their two sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6. They were at a religious retreat in a village four hours away. Had they been the ones killed by an anti-Christian mob, the ones burned beyond recognition in a jeep. She forgave the killers their deeds.

Could you be like the Amish in Pennsylvania? When their children were shot and killed by their milk delivery man, how did they respond? They responded with forgiveness. The media went crazy. Forgiveness in these difficult times points people to Christ. They wonder why and how Christians can forgive, and in these verses we see it is because that’s what Jesus does, he brings peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding.

What do you do when someone does something bad to you?


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My God is…the One who lifts my head high Psalm 3

Psalm 3 

Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him. ”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!

I have an unusual laugh. Some say it sounds like a machine gun. I’m guessing some find it very annoying. In fact I’m sure of it. I remember coming into a new job. I climbed the stairs looking to find the woman who was going to train me. She was one of the people who had interviewed me. As I approached the office, I heard her say something like, “Wait till you hear her laugh, it’s crazy”. What to do! Should I turn around and walk out? How will I stop myself from crying? Should I walk in as if nothing has happened, when I feel so hurt?

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I chose the last option. Said a little prayer, put a smile on my face and walked in and introduced myself. The words she had said were still lingering in the air. You could see they all realized that I would likely have heard what was said. I prayed again, and the Lord lifted my head. He helped me to get through that first day. Of course I went home and cried, telling my wonderful husband between hyperventilating type breaths how much the people at my new job hated me.

Eventually I became a real part of the office. The people in the room that day came to accept me for who I was. The problem that first day? They didn’t know who I was. To them, I was loud with a funny laugh. I even became friends with the woman who said those things.

The Lord lifts my head high

Embarrassing moments happen all the time (at least to me). Sometimes they don’t even have to happen for me to drop my head in shame. I just think about what might happen and I start to feel down, letting satan get a foothold in my life. I begin to doubt my gifts, abilities and sadly even my Lord.

Avoiding eye contact

When my boys do something wrong, they walk into the room, avoiding eye contact with me looking at the ground. Sometimes they’re even shedding a tear or two. “Look at me”, I’ll say, as I lift their head so our eyes can meet. We talk about what went wrong and how to fix it. Then I look in their eyes, pronounce forgiveness for their sins, and tell them that I love them.

When we do things that are stupid, selfish or sinful, I think we avoid eye contact with the Lord. We start shifting our gaze from Him, because looking at His perfection reminds us how we’ve fallen short. But God doesn’t leave us shifting our eyes from side to side. He lifts our head high so we might look in His eyes and see His love. The love He showed by sending His son to die for us that we might be forgiven of our short comings and sins, and instead of death, spend eternal life with Him.

Keep your eyes on Him

Yes when you look at Him, you may be reminded of your sin, but keep looking, don’t turn away. God wants to tell you how much he loves you.

Are you avoiding eye contact with God?




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God is … My Savior Psalm 68:19-20

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death. Psalm 68:19-20

My God Saves

Funny how I have to be reminded of that so often. I wallow. I wallow in guilt and self loathing. That may be a surprise to some of my friends, while others will have seen me do it way too often. I’m not someone who lives with cheap Grace. The kind of person who says, “It doesn’t matter if I do it, the Lord will forgive me”. I don’t say that because I think I’m better than those people. I’m sinning in a different way. I deny the salvation Jesus secured for me on the cross. I don’t know which is worse, but I do know I’m not proud that I do this.

Satan knows how to get to me

Satan likes to remind me daily of the stupid things I’ve done in my past. I let him dredge them up and show them to me like they happened yesterday. These are not sins I have ignored or not acknowledged. These are sins I have confessed and that have been forgiven. I wallow. I hang out in those sins, starting negative self talk that the devil rejoices over. I think and act as if those sins are still with me. Not shedding them and releasing myself from them, but beating myself up as if the work Jesus did was not enough.

Forgiveness is for everyone else

It’s bizarre really. I believe that the Lord forgives all who believe that He died and rose for them. That we are washed clean and are no longer considered sinful after we have confessed and do not continue in that sin. Unless of course you’re mean me. I somehow linger outside of the forgiveness. Obviously I know that’s not true, but that’s the game the Devil tries to play with me. He shows me my sin, not to make me turn from it (as other Christians and the Holy Spirit might), but to make me wallow. To get my focus off the Lord and what He has done for me. He doesn’t want me to have the joy, security and blessing that comes from being a forgiven follower of Jesus – My savior. The one who died and rose again that I might have a place in heaven with Him when I die.

Thank God for other Christians

One of the biggest blessings the Lord has given me is a husband who trusts in the Lord. As I was struggling last night with all sorts of demons, my husband reminded me that Jesus is the answer. To keep my focus on the one who forgives. The one who gives me strength and cares about me more than anyone else. Without the support of other Christians, I would wallow a lot longer. I’m grateful for all the blessings my Lord has given me, and that I have Christians around me who are there to remind me that I am forgiven.

Do you Wallow? Do you know you’re forgiven? 


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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in God is a Savior, Psalm


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