“’Father,’ the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you.  I am no longer fit to be called your son.’  But the father called his servants.  ‘Hurry!’ he said.  ‘Bring the best … and let us celebrate with a feast!”  ~ Luke 15:21-23, GNT


The story of the Prodigal son is an amazing picture of forgiveness.  One-third of the father’s estate was wasted away.  Lost forever.  He could not recoup what his son had squandered.  And yet enthusiastically he responds with forgiveness and restores his son’s position in the household.  Many questions in my mind have always been a follow up to this parable.  Does the son continue to live in that forgiveness?  Did he repeat his past mistakes?  Has his life really changed?


Essentially that’s the emphasis of this article.  Has my life changed?  Has your life changed?  Are we livin’ forgiven?  Have I received God’s forgiveness and has that radically changed my life?  Has my life been transformed like only God’s forgiveness can do?  Or does my life continue on the same as before? 


The inability to live forgiven causes us to be sick.  Sick emotionally.  Sick physically.  Sick relationally and spiritually.  Karl Meninger, the famed psychiatrist, once said that if he could convince every person in a psychiatric hospital that they were forgiven, if he could do that, 75% of them would walk out of the hospital the very next day.


Our biggest problem is not psychological.  Our biggest problem is forgiveness.  We carry around the baggage of doubt, guilt, grudges, regret and fear.  These are symptoms of the un-forgiven life.  They become heavy weights that shackle us down and we are unable to move forward in the victorious life God has meant for us to live.


The writer of Hebrews reminds us to “let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.”  ~ Hebrews 12:1, GNT


When God’s forgiveness enters our life, it’s a power and freeing thing.  When God’s forgiveness comes into our life, it removes our doubt.  When God’s forgiveness enters our life, we no longer have guilt, the grudges that we have carried around for so long, that weighed us down, we can then lay those aside, and God replaces that with freedom.  When God’s forgiveness enters our life, the regrets that we have had about our past have been replaced with hope.  And then when God’s forgiveness comes into our life, we no longer have to live with fear. 


Why not live this day and all of those days ahead of you … FORGIVEN! 


~ Pastor Greg

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