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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Accepting Forgiveness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

When I first met Sally (not her real name) she came to a Bible study which I was teaching. The class was made up of young women who were recovering from difficult situations. They all had much to overcome.  Sally fit right in.

Sally was a drug user. Her husband had recently died from a drug overdose. They both were college graduates and had lost good jobs. They had allowed drugs to overtake their lives. Both had been in jail more than once.

After her husband’s death, Sally had to move to Salvation Army. While there she attended a Bible study and asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. It wasn’t long before I learned that Sally was in jail again because she was caught with drugs in her possession.

I made weekly visits to Sally while she was jailed in our city. She was soon sent to a prison in another city. This time, God had her attention. Each visit she wanted to talk about forgiveness. She felt that she had messed up her life so much that she didn’t deserve God’s forgiveness.

Sally began to understand Jesus’ love for her and why He died on the cross. In the past she had admitted her failure, but she didn’t stop what she was doing. Admitting our wrongdoings is not enough. We must repent, which means a change of behavior. Finally, Sally grasped this truth.

 After we confess and repent of our sin, we must accept God’s forgiveness. Sally accepted God’s forgiveness, but she could not forgive herself. This is where Satan likes to step into our situation. He tries to make us doubt that we’re forgiven.

When I last heard from Sally, she was still suffering from drug withdrawals. She was trying to forget her horrible past and move on with her life.

We must admit our sin, repent of our sin, accept God’s forgiveness, and forget the sin. As my pastor, Dr. David Dykes says, “We must admit it, quit it, and forget it.”

Georgia Andrus           

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