I was listening to a devotional by Zac Poonen a couple of days ago and there was a part that really had me thinking. It was talking about the difference between being saved and forgiven. Well I don't know about you but I never really thought of what the difference between the two was.
Let me give you the scenario Zac Poonen gave. "A father tells his son not to play in a certain area because it is dangerous. The boy decides to play in the area anyway and ends up falling in a ditch, he cries out for his father for help. The father comes and the boy is pleading for the father to forgive him for disobeying, the father tells him he is forgiven and walks away."
Now when I heard this I had to pause for a second, why would the father walk away? I was confused, he had forgiven the boy and just left him there. Then I realized the boy wasn't asking to be saved from the situation rather just to be forgiven for disobeying and sorry that he got himself there. Hmm...now this really got me thinking, how many times have I asked my Father in heaven to forgive me for things I have done and sins I have committed? Plenty! Now, how many times have I asked to be saved from that particular sin or situation? Not as many.
I looked at my life and realized do I only want to forgiven and move on? Or do I also want to be saved and be changed? Do I want to stay in the ditch or do I want to be taken out so I can move forward? How can we claim to be saved and not have something we have been saved from?
God is a just judge. He tells us the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God doesn't discount the debt of sin but rather gives the verdict as a judge and gives us our bail money as a Father. He sent his son to pay the price so that if we choose to accept the gift, that gift pays our price.
~1 John 1:9~
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
~Ephesians 2: 4-5,8~
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
If we are willing to repent and turn from our wicked ways we will be forgiven. We can be cleansed from our sins, but if we keep going back to the same old mess are we changing? I want to be saved so that I don't have to go back to the same situation over and over. We can't save ourselves but rather only be saved through the gift of God which is Christ Jesus. The Lord won't force you to change, he won't force you to obey him. He allows you to choose the direction you want to go.
Lord, thank-you for another day! Forgive me of any selfishness, jealously, un-forgiveness in my heart but also save me from them. Lord save me from anything that is unlike you. I want to be changed by you daily. God I know if I am not moving toward you I am moving away. Help me to grow closer to you! I pray that you turn the switch on in peoples lives, save them Lord from anything that has them bound. Please give me ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart to follow your will. Here am I send me.
In Jesus' Name