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January 15, 2021 2:00 am
Most of us know that we aren't what we should be or could be. Sin has scarred our lives. We're aware of personal failures. In the message "We've Failed...but God," Skip explains that the really good news is that we may fail, but God forgives.
This teaching is from the series ...but God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Faithfulness is our promise and here's what's amazing about this prayer as it figures this out for God's love is so different than anything we could ever know in that even though we blow it over and over and over again. He keeps God keeps pursuing us gifts following us keep forgiving of Christian author Philip Yancey said grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is not because of who we are. Connect with Skip Heitzig today as you share some encouraging insight and just how strong God's love is for. But before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that will transform your spiritual life as you see God for who he really is. Does God exist, and if he dies. Is it possible to know your answer to those two questions shapes how you see the world. Skip I think once wrestled with those very questions himself, you know, I've been teaching the Bible for over three decades before I became a Christian and when I was new to the faith.
I studied science and philosophy alongside the Bible as I studied, I grew confident that God does exist.
And yes, we can know in the biography of God. The brand-new book by Skip I think you learn to remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. Everything changes when you acknowledge and believe that God is who he says here's biography of God is our way to thank you when you give $35 or more today to help expand this vital teaching outreach to more people request your copy when you give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888 okay will be in Nehemiah chapter 9 for today study selects joint Skip Heitzig at the end of that little section on the cursed things God says this when all these things come upon you when what things all the cursed that if when sources if your baby this lab if you disobey me that'll happen and when all these things come upon you and you return I will bring you back. So God knew from the beginning, but there were limited not only that fast-forward some years when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem. And he also has a public prayer with the people gathered around first Kings chapter 8 Ellison what he says and when they sin against you. For there is no one who does not sin. And you become angry with them and get them over to the enemy who takes them captive into his own land far away, or near, then from heaven, your dwelling place here there prayer in their plea and uphold their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against C. God knew, even Solomon knew in his prayer reflects that knowledge when they blow it now.
They won't and now they're back in the captivity that was predicted and Ezra standing there in this prayer all about to say that your sin and your failure never surprises God is ready for. He's ready for it. In this verse but you are God, look at the description ready to pardon or forgive gracious and merciful, slow to anger, we covered that last week in another passage abundant in kindness and did not for sick. The very first words uttered by Jesus when he was put on the cross were father forgive them. They don't know what they're doing all the things he could've said why those words because forgiveness is our greatest need.
Father, forgive them, you could take the word them. In fact, you should and substitute your name father forgive Skip father, forgive Jerry or Sue or whatever your name, returning their personalized father forgive them. So Ezra is making confession. It's been said by so many people like you've heard the saying confession is good for the soul right you know that every psychiatrist or psychologist worth his or her salt will say the same thing. Even the secular world acknowledges that when we do something wrong and we feel bad about a thought or word or inaction when we make confession that the burden is lifted and especially when you make the confession to God because he can do something about it and cleansing us first John chapter 1 John says if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Something about confession confess means more than admit is more than okay.
I did some wrong. I admit we were confess means to say the same thing about sin.
The ideas I am saying the same thing about my failure as God says about my failure.
That's confession. Sometimes people say warlord I send. I'm sorry if it is if you're not sure what are you talking to God about it in the first place to confess means more than temporarily feeling bad. It implies I say the same thing about it, which includes my turning from it. Member repentance is turning from something and turning to someone so God is ready to pardon your sin. He's ready to part question is are you ready to confess your sin to the next two words that describe them.
Not only are you ready to pardon, but gracious and merciful on a touch on those two attributes.
These are two attributes of God's grace and mercy that sound similarly sound like the related NAR but they're very different from one another. Grace is getting what you don't deserve mercy is not getting what you do deserve. So, in mercy, God withholds the judgment. You do deserve in grace God adds the blessing you don't deserve. Not a question for last week we talked about God's justice right in his judgment. God is just. Therefore, he must judge.
Here's the question how can God be just while at the same time being gracious and merciful. The answer, the cross. The cross, a perfect sinless human being who is also God taking all of the punishment for guilt of a guilty party on himself so that justice is satisfied so that grace and mercy can be extended. So let's say you drive down the street and just for sake of illustration you're doing 30 miles over the speed and I can ask if you've ever done it because I know you have okay maybe not that much. Maybe more you get pulled over. The police officer has it right there in the little speed gun.
This is not actually going now, what would the just thing.
What would justice be you get a ticket you pay for us justice, mercy would be the officer say you know you're you're doing 30 miles of the screen that I got you here on the gun. Your nail, consider this a warning not to give you a ticket but slow down. That's mercy.
He's not giving you what you deserve. You deserve a ticket he's in withhold grace would be you really have to stretch your imagination. The officer pulling out his wallet, giving you 20 bucks ago get a nice meal. They never gonna happen on this earth. Now let's say the police officer says you going 30 miles over the speed limit. He writes the ticket hands it to you before you even get your hand on the ticket.
He takes it back, I'm to pay the fine for you. Now that's justice.
Justice is meted out. If a crime has been committed citation has been made. He takes that punishment withholds judgment from you and gives you 20 bucks now, there's justice and mercy and grace. And that's what Jesus did. He took the ticket all of our tickets on himself so that justice was done and he can extend you grace and mercy you're ready to pardon your gracious you are merciful take you to 1/3 word and that is faithfulness from failure to forgiveness to faithfulness, faithfulness is our promise and here's what's amazing about this prayer. Ezra figures this out to God's love is so different than anything we could ever know in that even though we blow it over and over and over again. He keeps God keeps pursuing us gifts following us keeps forgiving delivers 18 even when they made a bold account for themselves outside idolatry. The height of and said this is your God brought you up out of Egypt and were great provocations yet in your manifold mercies. You did not forsake them in the wilderness, the pillar of cloud do not depart from them by day to leave them on the road nor the pillar of fire by night to show them light the way they should go you also gave your good spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and give them water for their thirst 30 years. You sustain them in the wilderness, they lack nothing there close did not wear out their feet do not swell verse 30 yet for many years you have patience with them and testified against them by your spirit in your profits.
Yet they would not listen.
Therefore, you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in your great mercy. You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them, for you are God gracious and merciful is the truth of that God's love is unstoppable. God's love is unrelenting, unending, unconditional. It keeps growing and keeps pursuing even when they ran from you. As for would say, even when they rebelled against you even when they repeatedly replace you with idols even when they settled in the land of Canaan and Projecting you. You sent them of the captivity, but you listened and you brought them back I was reading this and of verse in the New Testament, popped into my mind is from first John chapter 3, where the apostles is behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us as a way of saying what kind of love is this what kind of foreign love is this who loves like that only God only God is somebody in the Bible who actually is an example of this kind of love's name is Hosea is a prophet in the Old Testament. A lot of people don't know a lot about them, but Hosea had a ministry that I'm think any of us would like, God told Hosea to marry a prostitute exist as you marry this girl and you settle down in your home with her you love her and at first she's in a lot of humor choosing to get restless and she's gonna leave the marriage and sleep around town with a whole bunch of other guys and what you are to do is while she walks out on that marriage is you are to pursue her and give gifts to her through her lovers, so she was provided for in her harlotry and then after she is gone all around town you bring her back in restore her to the marriage and reconcile the relationship. Who would want that ministry was to be a pageant was to be a play Hosea God would say you're playing the part of God your life. The prostitute she's playing the part of the nation of Israel because this nation keeps walking out on me walking out on me walking out on but I keep pursuing them to restore by the way, I have a couple friends in real life that I know who were very similar to that story. Hosea. She was a gal that I knew years ago work with her. Her husband and her were married for a period of years, and he left the marriage he walked out hooked up with another gal had an affair with her moved in with her and for months this gal Kathy this Christian gal saying I believe God is in the restore marriage.
I believe God was dormant while months turned into more monster in and do a year or two and I members heard her faith and I remember saying, you know, you may want to give up on this idea that that's ever going to happen then look like it's a map he's long gone, but God I've got to do something that is something should more faith than I had Jack calling Dave from him said I'd like to come back if you'll take I'm so sorry for what I did a lot of restore a relationship. She said I've been waiting for this call. I am so ready to reconcile and I will forgive you so well. There is a complication. This girl is pregnant she doesn't want the child. He said she said you tell her to have that baby I will raise that child as if that baby were mine, I had the privilege of doing a second marriage ceremony for them as a reconcile the relationship and raise that child in the fear of God that was a pageant that was a picture to me like Hosea about pursuing the love of God, the unrelenting love of God Malcolm Muggeridge used to refer to God as the hound of heaven always like that term. The hound of Heaven is after you chasing you loving you. Sometimes I hear people say I'm searching for God new/he's not lost.
You are the truth of the matter is, he has been searching for you all we like sheep.
Isaiah said, have gone astray, maybe even running from God made you find yourself doing the same thing the same bad behavior over and over again and maybe you even feel like you've reached the end of God's patience like a message we talked about last week were God said, my spirit will not strive forever with mankind.
I will be patient only up to a limit, then I will judge them.
If you feel you've reached that limit hate. Just the fact that you may even be concerned about that shows there's hope if you had no concern whatsoever. That's where the problem lies the fact that you may be worried that you reach that point shows that there's hope.
Here's what I want you to know. Romans chapter 5, Paul said, where sin abounded, grace abounds much more. Or you could say where sin reach the high watermark grace completely flooded over. There is no damn that sin can a rat that God's grace cannot flow over influence travelers. We don't know this kind of faithfulness it's foreign to us. Behold what manner of love who loves like that is certainly not like human love. Human love is object oriented. We love an object based on the object we see a cute girl go I like that girl we see a cute guy like that God needed to know my room like I love that person you loving the object you see a car. I like that car its object-oriented God's love is vastly different. It is subject oriented, is not based on the worth or value or beauty of the object is based on the character of the subject.
God loves you because your irresistible God can't live without you because you're just so awesome God loves you because he's God and God is love and God's love therefore is a pursuing unrelenting, unstoppable love God's love is like a son you can't stop the sun from shining but you can get out of the sunshine. You could put up an umbrella of sin that stops you from enjoying the feeling of that sunlight in the New Testament. Judith said keep your selves in the love of God most misunderstand that verse as if it says keep yourself in a place where God can love you didn't say that that mean that keep yourselves in the love of God means staying in the sunshine of God's love, enjoying his love because he loves you no matter what the keep yourself in a place where you're feeling the effects of so our failure is met by God's forgiveness and God's faithfulness, which demands a response from us in the fourth-largest following that's the response from us. Following is our priority in verse 32 just quickly looked down and noticed he uses the word.
Now therefore now therefore I played all this, I acknowledged all this now, therefore enemy take you to verse 36 where he says here we are servants today in the land that you gave to our fathers to eat its fruit in its bounty. Here we are servants in it and it yields much increase to the Kings you upset over us because of our sins.
Also they have dominion over our bodies in cattle at their pleasure. We are in great distress and because of all this we make a short covenant and write it. Our leaders, our Levites in our pre-sealant. Then the next chapter which we will not look at is all the details of the covenant that they make and sign before God. So this section is like the Romans 12 of Ezra's prayer in Romans 12 basically the same format as what we just read Paul has told them in all these chapters about God's mercy and grace in the human condition and divine solution because it is, I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, which you present yourselves your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service.
This is the Romans 12 of Ezra's prayer he saying our failure was met by your forgiveness and your faithfulness in our responses to follow you. We are making a covenant with you to follow you so's I like what we just feel bad about our future are about our past, but we are to follow you in your future into the future.
That's repentance. A lot of people mistake and confuse remorse and repentance are two very different things. One is a feeling, what is change.
One is a sensation. The other is a decision I read about a man who wrote the IRS. A very interesting letter. He said I haven't been able to get good sleep since 1970.
He said in this letter. This is a few years back. I haven't been able to get a good night sleep since 1970s that I haven't paid all my income taxes. So in the letter he included five crisp $100 bills in the letter he's paying the IRS back and then he said, and if I still can't sleep. I will send the rest.
I know you money out to pay now to get a good night sleep better and work on the payout Medicaid everything. I know you will pay the rest today is the day. Some of you need to pay the rest the day you need to step up and finally surrender your life in totality completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the therefore here we are, Lord. Here we stand, we give your life that include Skip Heitzigs message from his series, but God now through script to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong connecting you and many others to the Lord. The Bible is full of God's promises, but if you want to know them, you have to study Scripture while our goal is to connect friends like you with truth found in God's word. That's why we share these Bible teachings on-air and online and through your gift today.
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