A Woman Forgiven

Read Luke 7:36-50

“And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven” (v. 48).

The happenings in this account seem to be suspect from the very beginning. A Pharisee invites Jesus to eat in his house, a woman known by reputation to be a sinner enters in and is allowed to make a scene. The purpose of Simon the Pharisee now becomes evident. He wanted to see if Jesus could indeed see the heart of humanity. In his arrogance, he didn’t believe that any man who was holy and knew of sin would allow himself to be touched by it. Sin, however, could not take away the holiness of the Son of God. Women were often seen as being of very little importance in the society of that day. Jesus time after time in His ministry went out of His way to lift them up. The woman in this story is a prime example. Her sorrow over sin and faith in Christ for forgiveness was considered equal to that of any man. Jesus saw the heart condition, not the physical appearance nor community reputation. This heart condition is what He honored then and still honors today. Jesus was known as the friend of sinners. Do we dare to have that reputation also? (Tim J. Brubeck)

Ruined sinners to reclaim, Hallelujah, what a Savior! — Philip P. Bliss

Lord, help me to see the soul and not the sin.

2019-01-09T10:00:05+00:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

God’s Command to Repent

Read Acts 17:29-31

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (v. 30).

Waxing eloquent, Paul stands to speak on Mars Hill to the worshipers of the “unknown god.” Definitely a God-moment, he senses the yearning from the religious leaders’ hearts. Given the opportunity of a lifetime to describe WHO the unknown god truly is, the message he delivers is completely relevant today. We must all repent! Notice that wink is in the past tense. This is the day of salvation; God is not only a merciful Father, but will soon be the Judge of all the earth. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our souls through a torturous death at Calvary. Not sparing the life of His only Son, God will not continue to “wink” or overlook sin. We must repent! Think of the benefits we receive when we are truly repentant before God. Peace for today and everlasting life just ahead! Sharing the good news of salvation through holy living is a command for every believer. God wants a loving relationship with us and reveals His abundance through extended mercy, delivery from seemingly impossible troubles, and peace derived from total forgiveness. He is not a mysterious being locked away in the clouds, but an understanding and compassionate Father. He buries our sins in the sea of His forgetfulness. As we prepare for a new year, ask God for forgiveness and cleansing. Share your Savior with the world in which you live. Let Him be your guide as He leads you to new opportunities. Grasp His hand and NEVER let go! (Beverly K. Tatum)

With Him, my soul’s eternal Guide, What can I wish or want beside?
In life or death, my song shall be, My loving Savior leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me, Let this my theme of rapture be!
He leadeth me; He leadeth me, My Savior’s guiding hand I see. — Fanny Crosby

“I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide” (Martin Luther).

2018-12-26T10:00:12+00:00December 26th, 2018|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Necessity of Salvation

Focus Text: Romans 3:7-26

Central Truth: Every person stands before God as a sinner.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list several reasons why every person needs salvation.

Lesson Outline
1. The Sinner's Condition
2. The Sinner's Character
3. The Sinner's Cure

2018-12-24T10:00:41+00:00December 24th, 2018|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

A Prayer of Confession

Focus Text: Daniel 9:3-6, 11-19
Central Truth: God’s grace is extended to those who confess their need to Him.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify some areas of need in their lives which require God’s help.
Lesson Outline:
I.   The Burden (Dan. 9:3-10)
II.  The Confession (Dan. 9:11-15)
III. The Request (Dan. 9:16-19)

2018-10-15T09:00:40+00:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , , |0 Comments

God Our Salvation

Read Psalm 37:34-40

“But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble” (v. 39).
We typically use salvation to refer to forgiveness of sins and, relatedly, to deliverance from eternal condemnation. So we talk about being saved, and we look forward to everlasting life. Clearly Psalm 37’s proclamation of God’s salvation of the righteous includes these wonderful benefits.
But the bulk of Psalm 37 focuses on this earthly life and salvation’s benefits for the “here and now.” Repeatedly the psalmist tells us to “fret not” about wicked people’s success, not to indulge anger at their prosperity. Why should this apparent cosmic injustice not rile us? Psalm 37 reminds us of coming judgment (vs. 2, 9, 10, 13, etc.), but it also teaches us that righteousness works!
Psalm 37 presents some of salvation’s present-tense aspects. God provides for physical needs (vs. 3, 19, 25, etc.) and frequently brings to reality our godly dreams and desires (vs. 4, 5). He causes us to live in peace and security (vs. 9-11). This does not mean no Christian will suffer hardship and deprivation but describes a general pattern of blessing and provision even in this fallen world. God’s salvation regularly includes abundant daily blessings.
We begin to taste the joys of God’s saving us now. And the best lies ahead when the Judge of all the earth welcomes the righteous into His presence forever, where there are pleasures forevermore. (Aaron D. Profitt)
God’s salvation of the righteous begins now and ends never!
2018-09-26T09:00:02+00:00September 26th, 2018|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

A Prayer of Hope

Focus Text: Psalms 71:1-5; 130:1-8
Central Truth: God’s merciful nature extends help to those who seek Him.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify ways in which God shows His mercy to man.
Lesson Outline:
I.   Trusting in God (Ps. 71:1-5)
II.  The Sinner's Cry (Ps. 130:1-3)
III. The Hope for Forgiveness (Ps. 130:4-6)
IV. The Mercy of God (Ps. 130:7, 8)

2018-09-24T09:00:30+00:00September 24th, 2018|Categories: Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Do you have a predisposition for forgiveness?

In "God's Word for Today", David Woods writes the following discussion question:

What does it say to you that Jesus was known for His forgiving spirit while the religious leaders were known for condemnation? Is our church known for its willingness to forgive or its tendency to condemn?

He follows this up by saying:

Our passion obviously is to live holy before God. But what does it say when our church is known for strict, even judgmental, attitudes, rather than a caring love for others? Did Jesus, while He was on earth, have a reputation for holiness or for loving the sinner?

Discussion: Are we more like Jesus or more like the religious leaders in regards to forgiveness? What is our predisposition?
Source: Jesus, the Son of God: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 5.

2016-03-03T09:00:00+00:00March 3rd, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

The Forgiving Savior

Lesson 1 - March 6, 2016
Focus Text: Matthew 9:1-7; John 8:1-11
Central Truth: Christ’s character is marked by His forgiving love.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list at least two ways Christ’s forgiving love should change our lives.
Lesson Outline:

  1. Jesus' Power for Forgiveness (Matthew 9:1-7)
  2. Jesus' Predisposition for Forgiveness (John 8:1-5)
  3. Jesus' Perspective on Forgiveness (John 8:6-9)
  4. Jesus' Purpose in Forgiveness (John 8:10-11)
2016-03-02T15:20:00+00:00March 2nd, 2016|Categories: Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

Forgiveness for All Sin

Read Isaiah 43:22-28
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (v. 25).
My desk in grade school had an ink well that held a bottle of black ink. I learned to write with a quill pen. After dipping the tip of it in the ink, I then had to move it lightly across the paper to form neat letters. Lingering or pressing too hard caused the ink to flow and spread, blotting out any letters it contacted. The blot could not be removed, and anything covered by it could not be read. That blotting out was far more thorough and permanent than attempting to erase, for it covered and totally concealed what had been there.
The sins and iniquities of Israel were a record against them, as are ours! Neither they nor we can blot out or conceal our own record, as much as we might wish to do so. We don’t have the power to undo what we have done! However, the LORD says He can, and He will blot out our transgressions, and by choice not remember our sins! The blot on our record indicates past transgressions that no longer bear record against us because He blotted them out! (Rodney Stearns)
They are covered by the Blood; they are covered by the Blood.
My sins are all covered by the Blood.
Mine iniquities so vast have been blotted out at last.
My sins are all covered by the Blood.
— Nellie Edwards
While God never discounts our transgressions, He is willing to blot them out.
This devotional is the Monday, February 29, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.

2016-03-01T08:00:00+00:00March 1st, 2016|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments


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