A few times a year my electronic devices experience what I call “the upgrade syndrome.” Suddenly, apps and programs that once worked perfectly start to slow down. My work becomes unfruitful, and I get frustrated. When Instagram goes through the upgrade syndrome, I can no longer take photos, share my videos, or see what my friends are doing. I rejoice when an upgrade is about to happen. Once the upgrade is complete, I can use the app to its full capacity.
Forgiveness works in a similar way. Once we confess our sins, God gives us a forgiveness upgrade and we can live up to our full potential as the people we are called to be. God put away David’s sin because God is good and because David’s life needed to work at a greater capacity. Sin separates us from God; God takes sin seriously. But God offers forgiveness.
God offers David forgiveness but notice that David’s sin still has consequences—consequences that will be lived out through his family and household. “The sword shall never depart from your house.” The ramifications of his sin will carry through successive generations.
However, once David confesses his sin, God gives him a forgiveness upgrade. Nathan tells David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin.” Forgiveness is a benefit worth embracing with thankfulness. I wonder if any area of your life could use a forgiveness upgrade. If we confess our sins, God is able to forgive us and cleanse us. (See 1 John 1:9.) Forgiveness restores us to our full capacity in our relationship with God and in our ability to serve others as followers of Christ.
God, you see in secret and you forgive openly. We confess our sins and ask that you restore us. Thank you for the abundance of life we enjoy. Help us to remain thankful all our days. Amen.
David thinks he has gotten away with adultery and murder, but God sends Nathan to tell David a story. The story angers David, but Nathan reveals that the story is really about David’s own sin. Indeed, it can be tempting to condemn others’ sin, while we justify our own sin. Psalm 51 is David’s appeal to God for forgiveness and restoration. If we want to please God in our own lives, what does this look like? Ephesians tells us that the signs of a redeemed life include humility, love, patience, and building up one another (the opposite of what David displayed). In John, Jesus has crowds following him because they want a free meal. The lasting nourishment they truly need, Jesus teaches, comes through believing that God has sent him.
• Read 2 Samuel 11:26–12:13a. The Lord has put away your sins. How has God’s forgiveness changed your life?
• Read Psalm 51:1-12. When have you felt “unclean” before God? How did God restore you?
• Read Ephesians 4:1-16. Who has been essential in your walk with Christ?
• Read John 6:24-35. God’s presence in our lives is as important as food. How do you feed your soul?
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