I know that when I have guilt I don't run towards Christ, I hide, I hide from people, I'm not genuine, I just become fearful.
I think a lot of times people fall into the thing of-oh gosh, I have to do something good, I have to do something right, I have to make up for this thing that I've done wrong which is a completely wrong mind-set because it's nothing that we do, it's all about the grace of God.
I know that my sins have been forgiven because Jesus Christ died on the cross for me.
I don't think it's a question of do I "feel forgiven," because sometimes I don't. Sometimes I pick up my own problems and carry them with me. But, for the most part, I have to believe and know that I'm forgiven, and not get so much go on emotion.
There is a freedom that comes with feeling forgiven, and that's the feeling of forgiveness that I feel everyday. A freedom to know that what I've done in the past has been simple and wrong and is forgiven, and what I'll do in the future has already been forgiven too.
Do you feel like you're walking around with a load of guilt? And do you sometimes wonder if you'll ever experience the same love and forgiveness that you hear other Christians talk about?
Frequently we experience anger or resentment from friends and family members when we fall short of their expectations. Now, if you've truly wronged someone, then confessing it and making it right will release the guilt. But feelings of guilt will linger if you don't forgive yourself and if you continue to try to live up to the unrealistic expectations of others.
No one's perfect. But as Christians, we're not condemned anymore. Because we have been forgiven, Jesus makes us right in God's sight.
I know because I've place my faith in Christ, that He has endured my punishment, and it's based on the fact that because of that, I'm forgiven even though at times I don't feel like it, I know that I am.
He loves me, and I'm his child, and he sees me through the lens of Christ's blood, so He sees me as perfect even though I'm not. And I mean, He's angry when I sin again, and I know I have to work it out, but He forgives me every time.
I want to share with you a simple process, a spiritual formula that has helped thousands of people to experience God's love and forgiveness.
Step 1. List Your Sins
It begins by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal every sin in your life. Take a pencil and paper and list every sin He brings to mind. As you write, confess each one of them to God.
I encourage you to humble yourself before God as you do this. Give Him time to reveal everything in your life that is displeasing to Him. This list is just between you and God, so be completely honest. Tell Him everything that's wrong.
Your list may include sins like:
Lacking faith in God
Lusting after material things
Dealing with others in a spirit of pride
Or, entertaining immoral thoughts
Whatever your sin, write it down and remember: you have a loving God who forgives you-who even gave His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die for you.
Step 2. Write God's Promise Across the List
After you have written the sins that God reveals to you, write God's promise of forgiveness from 1 John 1:9 across the list:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9, NIV)
Step 3. Destroy the List
When you have completed your time of prayer and confession, accept God's forgiveness by faith. Then destroy the list as an illustration of the forgiveness He has granted you. You may want to tear it into pieces or burn it to show how completely God has forgiven you.
Step 4. Make Restitution
You may need to apologize for having a bad attitude toward someone. You may need to ask someone to forgive you for the way you have treated him or her, or you may need to return something you have stolen.
It's important for you to make restitution to others because you cannot maintain a clear conscience before God if you still have a guilty conscience before people. Confession often includes making restitution.
If, after you have fully confessed all your known sins to God, you still feel a sense of guilt, it may be because you have not been completely honest with Him by making a full disclosure. So be sure you are honest with God.
When you have completed this simple process, any feelings of guilt that remain are not from God. They are from your enemy Satan. According to Psalm 103:12, Your sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west. They are buried in the deepest sea. God has put them behind His back and remembers them against you no more.
All of your sins have been forgiven by God on the basis of Christ's death on the cross and the shedding of His blood for your sins. Whenever Satan accuses you of some act in your past that has grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit, you can say with great joy, "I have confessed that sin and I know God has forgiven me and cleansed me as He promised." Then leave that sin buried in His forgiveness.
As one who has been forgiven, you are righteous before God in Jesus Christ.
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