Forgiveness Illustrated

February 4, 2014

HT: Denny Burk

We’ve all been sinned against. No doubt, as you reflect on that statement someone’s face comes to mind. We can easily hold grudges and walk around with what seems to be terminal unforgiveness. We all know that this hurts us more than the person needing to be forgiven. But more to the point, it highlights the truth that we have forgotten who we are and where we’ve come from. We all continue to sin against God in grievous ways. And, if we have escaped any sin, or never struggled with a particular sin, it is solely because of grace. If you are spiritually healthy in anyway, it is only because of grace. Shouldn’t this produce graciousness in our lives? I’ll close with a quote from the hymn writer John Newton. He sums up this truth succinctly.

A company of travelers fall into a pit: one of them gets a passenger to draw him out. Now he should not be angry with the rest for falling in; nor because they are not yet out, as he is. He did not pull himself out: instead, therefore, of reproaching them, he should show them pity….A man, truly illuminated, will no more despise others, than Bartimeus, after his own eyes were opened, would take a stick, and beat every blind man he met.


October 23, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Tim Challies lists eighteen things he will not regret doing with his kids. There is good encouragement here.

The issue of divorce and remarriage is a sticky biblical issue. In what sense is remarriage adultery? Douglas Wilson grapples with the question.

Gambling has never been attractive to me. I have other vices. The idea of giving what little money I have away in the hope that I might get more in return has never gained traction with me. Yet, many do battle with this issue. Daniel Darling highlights the social cost of gambling.

In this life, the need to forgive and be forgiven never goes away. We are fallen people and intentionally or unintentionally we hurt those around us. We too are hurt. David Murray briefly talks about the variations of forgiveness and its benefits.


September 27, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_We hear from time to time that we need to forgive ourselves. I don’t always say anything but when I do it is something like this: “Help me understand how you see self-forgiveness taught in the Bible?” Of course, I never get a good answer because the concept isn’t in the Bible. Here is an article that not only says that self-forgivness isn’t biblical but also that it is dangerous.

Here are a couple of parenting pieces. First, here is a LA Times Op-Ed article communicating the idea that losing is good for you. Maybe all those plastic trophies in the closet aren’t good for our kids after all. Second, Abby Lawson makes the point that God uses us even though we aren’t perfect (parents, etc.). Good encouragement.

Josh Blount encourages readers to use scripture like glasses not a Viewmaster.  The piece didn’t go where I thought it would. He has a great illustration that could be used a number of ways.

Got two minutes? Watch this:


August 9, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_I’ve been more out of the office than in lately. Once again, there are many good articles worth considering.

First, some free stuff (I love free stuff). This month’s free audio book from Christian Audio is Stott’s insightful book “Basic Christianity.” Also Sinclair Ferguson’s wonderful book “In Christ Alone” is free. Finally, Wiersbe’s “Be Equipped (Deuteronomy): Acquiring the Tools for Spiritual Success” is free for the taking.

Based on my limited experience, one of the most difficult things we have to do in life is forgive others. Many of us have a list of personal Hitlers in our lives. Here Tullian illustrates the truth that people who are forgiven, forgive.

As we leave church on a Sunday morning we might very well discuss with our family whether or not we liked the sermon. Tim Challies says that this sort of critiquing isn’t what we should be doing with sermons. As you might suspect, I appreciate what he says.

People who are opposed to Calvinism typically don’t use scripture to argue against it. I suspect this is because scripture is the Calvinist’s home court. Usually the mode of attack is more straw man based. Caricatures, misinformed myths of Calvinism are attacked. Michael Patton discusses twelve common myths about Calvinism. Even those who believe in the doctrines of grace should read what he has to say.

Finally, here is a encouraging post about the power of singing. The piece was written with Sunday mornings in mind, however, I think that the power of gospel-centered music he articulates is available the rest of the week as well.


May 24, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Here are a few quick stops that I believe are worth your time.

Relationships are difficult. More specifically, forgiveness is difficult. Here Justin Taylor touches on the responsibility believers have toward those who have hurt them. This is well worth the time it takes to read it.

Most every believer battles depression and discouragement from time to time. Some believers are crippled by it. Here are 7 Tips from John Newton On Battling Depression.

I appreciate everything Justin Holcomb writes. Here he highlights the power of grace in the life of the believer.

Michael Horton is one of the premiere theologians of our day. His family’s roots are in Moore Oklahoma, and his brother and his family still live there. Mike grapples with the age old question of how a good God could allow this awful tragedy to take place.