Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 27

Today we have come full circle. On Day 1 you asked God to search your heart, to make you aware of any offenses. You journeyed into that deep part of your heart that most of us desire to cover and hide. You then contemplated Christ’s life and words and actions. You considered his suffering. You recognized his resurrection, the joy and love made complete in his ultimate gifts of adoption and the Holy Spirit. From a place of beginning to recognize sin in your life, to where you stand today, we acknowledge that God has desired relationship with you. Have you accepted it? Have you pursued it?

"And when He is come, He will convict the world of sin. . . ." John 16:8 (R.V.)
Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin; we know the experience of being disturbed because of having done wrong things; but conviction of sin by the Holy Ghost blots out every relationship on earth and leaves one relationship only - "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned!" When a man is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every power of his conscience that God dare not forgive him; if God did forgive him, the man would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the rending of His heart in the Death of Christ to enable Him to do so.

The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the Divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. When we have been convicted of sin we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary, and nothing less; the love of God is spelt on the Cross and nowhere else. The only ground on which God can forgive me is through the Cross of my Lord. There, His conscience is satisfied.

Forgiveness means not merely that I am saved from hell and made right for heaven (no man would accept forgiveness on such a level); forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a recreated relationship, into identification with God in Christ. The miracle of Redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One, by putting into me a new disposition, the disposition of Jesus Christ.

(Oswald Chambers, November 19th, My Utmost for His Highest, 1935, Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc.)

Morning Questions:
What thoughts have you about this passage?

Evening Questions:
Recognizing we will continually need to examine our hearts and ask forgiveness for that which we do not want to do, but continue to do, how do you anticipate this practice of examination (which you engaged in through this 28 day process) will become part of your every day?