Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
God cannot allow man to simply sin with impunity because of His holy and righteous character that demands a righteous judgment. Yet, the Bible proclaims that the Lord is “good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon” Him (Psalm 86:5). It is important to realize that the Lord’s ultimate desire involves His desire to forgive a man’s sins. Therefore, the key to a relationship with the Creator involves trusting wholly in God’s provision. This is what the Bible means by, “The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Punishment for sin is death and man’s singular hope rests in God’s mercy. Based upon this readiness to forgive, the Father sent His only begotten Son to shed His blood for the sins of the world. Salvation is not the end all for forgiveness. Even after salvation, the Lord desires for man to remain in close fellowship with Him, but sin separates. The Bible again holds the key when it says that the Lord “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We are clean at salvation but must look to God for an ongoing cleansing.
- (For children): Read Luke 23:39-43. One of the two thieves crucified with Jesus mocked Him. The other thief on the cross recognized that he himself had sinned and confessed that Jesus was Lord and had done nothing wrong. Jesus was dying for the sins of the world, including those of these two men. When the thief asked for the Lord to remember him, Jesus was ready to forgive and did so.
- (For everyone): How could the Lord be a God of justice and forgive a sinner at the same time when the sinner is undeserving? How does the word covered bring justice and forgiveness into agreement?
- If God is ready to forgive man when he sins against the Lord, how should we be when forgiving others? Why do we find it so hard to forgive others when they wrong us?
- Ask the Lord to help you to be ready to forgive.
- Ask God to show you His mercy in forgiveness.