Thursday, October 29, 2015

Christian devotions: Divine Gift - Acts 13:39

Today’s Bible readings can be found online here: Proverbs 15:1-11 and Acts 13:36-52.

Acts 13:39       Through Christ everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the Law of Moses. 

            One of the greatest gifts of Christianity is that people, even the wickedest among us, can be forgiven by God. This allows all of us to begin our lives again and make a new start. Many of us have past regrets and have made terrible mistakes. We carry the burden of our guilt within us, and sometimes even punish ourselves for being so foolish, corrupt, and sinful. To be human, is to be frequently wrong. To be forgiven, is to be set free from the past.

            Our beautiful world and wonderful planet is full of broken, guilty, and remorseful people. Much of the disappointments we experience or cause, are deeply rooted in our sinful nature. We all could be better people; we all could make better choices; we all could do better things with our lives.

            Christ gives us a gracious opportunity to begin again, no matter who we are, no matter what we’ve done; no matter what age we are, and no matter what hurt or damage we have caused. He sacrificed Himself for our sins and, as Paul preached long ago, ‘everyone who believes is set free from every sin.’

            Today, I rejoice in the eternal fact that I am forgiven. I hope that you can also receive and experience this greatest of all gifts from God. As the poet, Alexander Pope once wrote: ‘to err is human; to forgive, divine.’

Personal questions for reflection

What is currently my biggest regret? Have I truly asked Christ to forgive me?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, You are our Divine Savior and Gracious Lord. We know the wrong that we have done and the disappointments we have created. Forgive our past mistakes and foolish choices. Allow us the opportunity to begin again and to re-start our lives by being connected to You. In Your Holy Name, we gratefully and humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is one of John’s latest drawings called “Northern Delights.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Northern.

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