Receive God’s forgiveness
When God forgave David for adultery and murder, he wrote: ‘When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long…Finally, I confessed my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said…“I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone’ (vv.3-5 NLT). Unconfessed, unforgiven sin will make us feel guilty and ashamed. But after we’ve acknowledged it, taken it to God and received His forgiveness, we shouldn’t continue to feel that way. So why do we? We can often be brought up to regret our actions, and people around us can continually remind us of them. Our mistakes can become part of our identity, so we see ourselves as failures. But because Jesus died and defeated sin, God no longer looks at us and sees sinners. Instead, He looks at us through Jesus and sees His beloved children made pure. When we’ve done something wrong, we can bring it to God and ask for His forgiveness. The Bible says that love ‘keeps no record of wrongs’ (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV). God is love (take a look at 1 John 4), so God doesn’t keep a record of the things we’ve done wrong. The Bible says: ‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1 NIV). The enemy wants us to feel guilty and ashamed so that we feel separated from God by our sin. He wants us to think we’ve messed up beyond repair, because that will stop us glorifying and serving God. But instead, we need to say the words of the psalmist: ‘You forgave me! All my guilt is gone.’ And then go out and live freely.
Draw a picture of a cross, then write in it every mistake you’re feeling guilty and ashamed about. Tell God about each mistake, ask for His forgiveness, and then destroy the paper to help you remember that God doesn’t keep a record of your wrongs.
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