Father, Forgive Them (Luke 22-24)

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Luke 23:34

The point of the gospels is to lead us to the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. These are the historical and theological realities on which the Christian faith hangs. Jesus utters several statements on his way to the crucifixion as well as from the cross that help us understand his mind. He knew exactly what he was doing and exactly what was taking place. He knew He was an innocent man dying at the hands of guilty sinners. Yet, even from great physical and emotional agony He has the presence of mind to care and pray for those who torturing Him.

A seminary professor once told me that ignorance and arrogance look the same in a person. When someone hurts us it is easy to ascribe to them all sorts of arrogant motives. However, many times the injury comes not because someone is maliciously against us, but because they are ignorant of what they are doing. They may not even know they are hurting us. Certainly ignorance isn’t innocence, but it isn’t also necessarily malevolent.

How clearly Jesus sees the issue of sin even from the cross. He is literally in the the midst of paying for their sin as he intercedes for them. They didn’t know what they were doing that day, but they would know one day. And on that day, there would be mercy for all those who would come to Jesus in repentance. He was willing to forgive them even while they were crucifying Him.

As I reflected on this verse this morning I couldn’t help but contemplate the way that I have seen and understood some sins in my own life. There are things I’ve done in the past and that I understand more about now. At the time I thought they were no big deal. I look back and realize I was ignorant. I didn’t see everything rightly. I am thankful that God in His overwhelming grace chose to love me despite my sin. As I contemplate how God loves me, that even while I was sinner Christ would die for me (Romans 5:8), I can’t help but examine how I deal with those who sin against me. Certainly I don’t see with the clarity that Jesus sees sin, but there are moments where others have sinned against me that I need to recognize that sometimes people sin out of ignorance and that at the end of the day, forgiveness is more important than offense.

Father, thank you for loving me so much that while I was still dead in my trespasses and sin that Christ died for me. Thank you for the hope of the resurrection. Thank you for the amazing grace poured out on my life each day. Please continue to cultivate the character of Christ in my life. Let me be quick to forgive. Let me be concerned with the wholeness of others more than I am about perceived offenses today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Last Year’s Post

Never the Less, not my will but yours be done

He was looking for the Kingdom of God

Why was the bible Written?

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Appointing Faithful Leaders (Nehemiah 7:1-2)

Appointing Faithful Leaders (Nehemiah 7:1-2)

We all have mountaintop and valley experiences in life. When it comes to spiritual matters I’ve learned that shortly after the mountaintop moment there will be a time of temptation. I have to be more aware than ever after camps, conferences, or even weekly preaching where I have been sharing or learning life transforming truth from God’s Word. It will be those moments in which I think something great has been accomplished that I will find myself challenged.  It usually begins with the temptation to coast. We usually justify coasting because of everything we have been through or our tiredness after an event. I’ve learned though that this is the exact time I don’t need to coast and no matter how tired I am, I need to keep the routine that has drawn me near to God.

It is normal to experience a mountaintop moment like camp and think your world has changed and maybe your world has changed, but it won’t be different for long without some intentionality to help you get through the valley that follows the mountaintop.


Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many.(Nehemiah 7:1-2 ESV)

Nehemiah understood that once the wall was built, the work wasn’t over.  There was still more to do. Leaders needed to be appointed. The people were feeling good about themselves and the work that God had accomplished through them. However, Nehemiah realized that without Godly leadership in place, even a city with walls could fall prey to its surrounding enemies.

He makes appointments to watch and guard strategic places along the wall and in the city. Most importantly he places his brother, as someone he can trust, in charge of the city. This is both someone who will be a Godly leader and someone who won’t give in to the pressures of people like Sanballat and Tobiah.  Nehemiah knows that he has to leave and go back to the king. He had already made that promise.

James 5:19-20 (Devotional Thought)

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My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20 ESV)

My family loves to go hiking. Since we really don’t have any mountains to hike around Pensacola we do the next best thing, we go for a walk through the woods. One time we were walking through the woods and I stopped abruptly. My three-year-old wanted to keep on trekking and started to go around me and I snatched him back and held him close to me and said, “Wait! Do you see that stick there in the middle of the path?” The stick was actually a snake and I had prevented him from stepping on it. Thankfully that particular snake wasn’t poisonous, but my son did learn a valuable lesson. Look out for snakes!

James says that when we bring someone back from wandering that we cover over a multitude of sin. The sin being talked about here is the sin of the person who has wandered. When I reached out and pulled my son back from the path I kept him from being bit by a snake. When we reach out to those who are wandering from the faith we are keeping them from hurtful behavior that can hurt themselves or others.

When I was younger I was angry about some things that people had done to our family and I responded by hanging out with the wrong crowd and drinking. When my dad became aware of my alcohol abuse he confronted me about it. I repented and haven’t been drunk since. My dad knew all about alcohol because his dad was an alcoholic. I was already showing the classic signs of being an alcoholic by drinking alone, etc. I am confident that my dad’s intervention changed the course of my life for the better and in the end covered over a multitude of sins.

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