“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” – Romans 4:7-8
Heavenly Father, in a world that offers us no shelter from turmoil, we run to this refuge again and again and find it always waiting for us in open welcome. You have declared in Your word that we are blessed – we who are saved. You have refused to leave on our account all that we owed you, all that we could never afford to pay. You have not imputed our ghastly debts to us, and You have emancipated us from the punishment that accompanies our inability to pay. Jesus, all of our lawless deeds are impossible for us to deny; we have lied, stolen, coveted, lusted, hated, slandered, feared and acted out in pride all during the fading vapor of our lives. On top of it all, we have also judged others for the very things for which we ourselves have requested mercy from You.
We have spent days in joyless restlessness as we stewed over the wrongs done to us. You know our hearts, and we cannot deny that we have doubted You, questioned You and, occasionally, been suspicious of You in our lives.
Yet Your word declares that all of these sins are forever covered. You do not (and will not) view them as ever belonging to us.
These transgressions are taken out of the way and replaced by the sovereign decree that we have been made acceptable to the Father by Your sacrifice, Jesus. We are completed in Your eyes. It is spiritually impossible for us to live as those condemned, and this will be our glorious lot for all of eternity. You have blessed us with a never-ending new start.
Lord Jesus, help us to abide in this simplicity. Aid us in our feeble and fickle state that often compels us to move in and out of spiritual peace.
Let us be brave enough to accept all others with this same kindness and love that You lavish upon us.
Help us to know that we are called to accept people, even if we cannot approve of their ideas, words or manner of living. You have accepted us without endorsing all that we may do. Give to us that same magnetic grace that was so obvious when You, Jesus, walked the earth. Make us to be like You so that the result is that a religious Nicodemus will seek answers from us, as well as an irreligious Zacchaeus who would want to invite us to his home. Because we are blessed in our pardon from You, give us the eagerness to forgive any and all who have wronged us. We tend to put on probation those who have sinned against us – so make us people of swift horizontal pardon, O’ Lord! Let us bless others with what You have blessed us with, and let us refuse to draw back in fear.
Holy Spirit, we need You in ways that we cannot fathom. Help us not to rely instinctively on all the props and crutches that our day affords us. Help us to tarry and linger until we are filled by You. Help us to hunger for Your fruit, Your wisdom, Your power and Your gifts more than we long for neat and tidy moments that are perfected by our own power and experience. Deepen our desire for authentic encounter with You and help us remain there until those encounters occur. If we have made You unwelcome by our indifference, we now repent and declare that our deep cry of ‘Abba!’ is the indicator that You are pressing us into “the more” of our relationship with Christ. Remain relentless with us, Holy Spirit. When we grieve You, pour out grace upon us, lest we dry up and die. When we quench the fire of Your power through our thoughtless words, be quick to convict us and lead us to repentance. When we require Your anointing for the assignments You have for us, let those touches from You be heavy and undeniable. Surprise us with Your presence in the midst of a generation who believes that You, omnipotent Spirit of God, have been domesticated and tamed. We believe differently – we believe You are eager to roar.
Thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for blessing us in our salvation. Thank You for covenant and commitment. Thank You for love and life. Thank You for faith and forgiveness. We choose today to rest in what You have accomplished for us. We will welcome You to run the universe today. Our charge is to worship You with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul and all our strength. With Your assistance, this we will do with gladness.
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