Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Will my husband forgive me for my sexual past?

With tears in her eyes, hesitating to ask, she whispered, “Will my future husband still love and forgive me?” My new friend had a fear common to women who have found freedom from sexual sin. Jesus freed her from the chains of pornography, but currently she was gripped by the chains of fear. Have you had this fear or other fears about your future spouse and marriage because of your sexual past? (more…)

Finding Forgiveness from Sexual Sin

Finding Forgiveness from Sexual Sin It’s easy to be angry at the people we sin sexually with. It is easy to blame them. We might think, ‘they pushed me further than I would have gone.’ This might be true, but we still are at fault. Our sexual sins hurt God, hurt ourselves, and they hurt others. We must come to God in prayer asking Him for forgiveness. (more…)

Letter to Old Friends from New Self

Dear friends from high school,

A lot has changed since high school. It has been almost 4 years! Can you believe it? I wanted to write a letter to you all and apologize. I openly proclaimed to be a Christian, yet my life said differently. I called myself a Christian because I went to church every Sunday and tried to be a good person – later I realized these two things did not make me a Christian. I gave Jesus a bad reputation because I was not living out Christ’s love. Instead of living for Jesus, I was living for myself. I made decisions based on what would benefit me, please me, and promote me. Everything was about me.

I had everything wrong, and as a result was a horrible example of Jesus’ love and life change because I had yet to experience it. Here are some examples of how my life did not reflect Jesus:

  • My high school boyfriend told me I was a “bad Christian” because my thoughts on boundaries constantly changed.  (Read the story.) 
  • During our relationship, I would push physical boundaries and try and get as far as I could without having sex. I had no idea that even making out can lead to further thoughts, actions, and sin when outside of marriage.
  • I had no idea why I shouldn’t date a non-believer, so I dated them.
  • I didn’t care what the Bible said – I did what I wanted because I was king. I was in control. The Bible as authority had no effect on my life.
  • To gain approval, I was a different person around different groups of friends.

Jesus needed to break me in order for me to realize that I was not living a fully surrendered life. As painful as my freshman year of college was (Read the story), I can look back and be thankful because that was a turning point in my life. I decided to stop living for myself and live for Jesus.

I had experienced Jesus, but not fully. I did not understand important aspects of him: the freedom he brings, the life change, the love that constantly pursues, the feeling of worth, and the countless other blessings he pours on us. Since I did not truly understand Jesus or have a personal relationship with him, I sought approval and satisfaction else where. I changed who I was to gain approval.

Friends, Jesus has changed my life. Do you remember the Joy that needed the love from a guy? The Joy that obsessed over a certain boy? The one who took me years to get over? Do you remember that Joy? I remember her. She was never satisfied with life. She thought this boy would complete her. She thought this boy would give her worth, beauty, love, and completion. She did not know that only Jesus would give her all that she needed.

I called myself a Christian, yet I never spent time with God reading his word. In college, I learned it is impossible to experience life change or be able to love others when I’m not getting filled with God’s word.

I’m sorry for being a bad friend. I’m sorry for giving bad advice. I’m sorry for pressuring you into doing things you might not have wanted to do. I’m sorry I invited you to church, but never shared the gospel with you. I’m sorry I cared more about myself and what others thought about me than you and your salvation.

Jesus has healed my wounds. The wounds from desiring to be loved, from being emotionally abused, from never feeling good enough, and from so much more. Jesus loves me. This love is like no other love. And he feels the same towards you. Jesus loves you.

Thankfully, your salvation is not based on what I did or didn’t do, it is based on what God has done. God can redeem these situations and he can change your life. I’m so thankful for each one of you, if we are still friends or not, because you all impacted my life in some way. I pray that Jesus would come into your life and change your heart the way he changed mine.

Love, Joy


For other posts in the Dear Friend Series, click here.

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God’s Grace – Can it run out?

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There are days when I doubt that God’s grace could cover my sins. How could God ever forgive me? I have disobeyed God and have rebelled against him. Is there enough grace to cover my continual rebellion?

I am just like the Israelites in Psalm 78. Over and over again the children of Israel claimed that they would follow God and put him first, but each time they would end up turning away from him. They could have put God first, but they turned back to their old comfortable ways. We do this so often. Instead of continuing to fight our battles in our sin issues with God on our side, we give up and turn back to our sin.

The Bible states that they did not keep God’s covenant, or promise, refused to keep his commandments, and forgot all the wonders that God had done in their lives. And what did God do? “He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly” (vs 15). This wasn’t enough for them.

How frequent do we say that the gifts God gives us isn’t enough? If only I had this or that, then I would be satisfied. This is us in rebellion, and the Israelites did the same thing.  Yet, God showed them more grace.

They continued to sin and even tested God by demanding the food they craved (vs 17-18). God gave them water, but that wasn’t enough. Now they wanted food.

When God heard their demands, he was full of wrath, because they did not believe that he was enough for them. They desired more. What does God do? He opens the Heavens and down rains manna, a bread-like substance, for them to eat.

Now that is grace.

This is the best example of God’s grace that I have ever read. Grace in the form of flaky manna falling from the sky. God’s grace is giving us what we do not deserve.

We do not deserve anything, but God forgives us. That is God’s grace in our lives.

Throughout the rest of Psalm 78, the Israelites continue to sin, God gets angry, but then he blesses them and gives them grace. The chapter ends by beautifully saying, “with upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”

Turn to God. Let him guide your life with a hand of love. Let him lead you to safety like he did with the children of Israel. Your sins are never too big for God’s grace to cover.

God’s grace can not run out. It did not run out for the Israelites, and it will not run out for you or for me.

 

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!