Hope Discovery of the Day:

Forgiveness would not be a gift if we had to earn it.

Scripture of the Day:

Colossians 1:13-14
13 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

As we explore these gifts that Christ gave us when He came to earth to express the love of God toward His people, may we never gloss over the radical demonstration of that unconditional, passionate love that God has for us.

Like the feeling we have on Christmas morning, a secret delight over the joy that others will have when they receive gifts, imagine waking up one day to find that everything you had ever done that was displeasing to God was wiped away as if it never happened. Wait – we don’t have to imagine that – God’s mercies are new each and every morning and He provided At-One-Ment for our sins. Forever. What a feeling of freedom and joy!

What is atonement? We who have inherited this free salvation are now “at-one”, or united with Christ. Like a blanket of snow covers the ground and all we see is pure white (until the dog comes along), God sees us through His Holy Son, who is Holy and righteous and covers our transgressions – once and for all.

Atonement could not happen if it were not for a sacrifice, and our Savior willingly came to provide our forgiveness – free. Undeserved. Yet given nonetheless.

Sometimes we have a hard time accepting this gift of forgiveness. If we really understood what we were saved from, we would accept it readily. But our own hearts or others condemn us and we find it difficult to receive something we have not earned. Forgiveness would not be a gift if we had to earn it. Our forgiveness in Christ is undeserved, but that does not mean we cannot receive it.

When Jesus brought the gift of forgiveness, He overcame our condemnation, too. He knew it would be hard for us to accept such a gift, but He also knew there was no way we could be reconciled to a Holy God without it.

This Christmas, receive the forgiveness you have been denying yourself and give it freely to others, too. Forgive. And be set free. Don’t shun others or treat others as if they are unforgivable. Embrace the gift of forgiveness that Christ gives us and share it with others. You just might find that forgiving others produces an even greater joy within us.

Like us, others might not deserve forgiveness, but we who have been given forgiveness freely must give it freely, as well, as an offering of gratitude. Holding forgiveness from others will rob us of joy, but the soul who truly forgives is set free.


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