Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

Interview: Philippians For Pastors

Recently the good folks at Best Bible Commentaries interviewed regarding my latest commentary, Philippians for Pastors. I think you’ll find it gives you a glimpse behind the book. You can access the interview here.

Forgiveness Prayer

I recently wrote the following prayer for a professing believer who, despite much study, Scripture memorization and overall maturity in the faith, still struggles emotionally with whether his own sins are actually forgiven by God. He has a clear testimony of faith, is well studied in the theology, is not walking in willful sin. But he struggles. So I wrote this prayer and challenged him to begin each day by standing up, planting his feet and praying this prayer slowly, thoughtfully aloud to God. I offer it in case it may be helpful to you as well.

Heavenly Father, I confess that I struggle to believe you have forgiven me of my sins. Please help me in this.

In view of this struggle, I confess to you all my sins—known and unknown. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24).

Father, I ask you to cleanse me from hidden failures and sins—known not to me, but certainly known by you. Keep me from presumptuous sins; do not let them rule over me (Psalm 19:13-14).

I affirm by faith that, having confessed my sins, you forgive me all of them and that you cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

I affirm by faith that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all my sin. I choose now to consciously rest in the declaration of your forgiveness. I rest in the righteousness of Christ provided to me by your decree of justification. I affirm that you have chosen to gift me with the standing of Jesus’ own righteousness and that you now view me not as a sinner, but as your child and son—loved, adopted, embraced, affirmed, made to stand in the grace you have provided to me through Jesus Christ.

By faith I stand against Satan, the accuser of the children of God, and all his demons and forces. I stand against their lies and intimidations. I bring the blood of Christ against them and declare their accusations invalid and powerless.

Lord, I declare that you have cast my sins behind your back (Isa. 38:17).

I declare that you have blotted out all my sins (Isa. 43:25).

I declare that you have chosen not to remember my sins against me ever again (Jer. 31:34).

I declare that you have tread my iniquities under your feet (Micah 7:19).

I declare that you have cast my sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).

I declare that you have clothed me in robes of righteousness (Isa. 61:10; Rev. 21:14).

I declare, Lord, that you have cleansed me from all sin.

I declare that you have forgiven me all my sins.

I declare that there is no condemnation for me as I stand in faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:1).

I declare, Lord, that you have removed my sins from me as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).

I declare that you have pardoned me from all my sin and its judgment (Jer. 50:20).

I declare that you have reconciled me to yourself and I am loved, embraced, cherished, protected and kept by you.

I declare that you have sealed me to the day of redemption by your Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).

I declare that you have canceled the record of my sin debt, having set it aside by nailing it to Jesus’ cross (Col. 2:14).

I declare that you have taken upon yourself, Lord Jesus, the shame of my sin and replaced it with the favor and honor of salvation as a child of God (Heb. 12:2).

I declare that far from being shut out from your salvation, O God, you have made me an heir and a co-heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17).

I affirm that “you … God [are] ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and [have] not forsake[n me] (Neh. 9:17).

I rest in your redeeming, saving, accepting, blessing, enfolding, inclusive love, O God! Convince me in the deepest parts of who I am of your love for me.

By your Spirit, O God, witness to my spirit, that I am a child of God (Rom. 8:16). Fill me with your Holy Spirit and release Him to spread abroad in my heart your great love, O Lord (Rom. 5:5).

In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Weight of Waiting

Here is this year’s Christmas story, shared at our church’s Christmas Eve service. It is based on Luke 2:22-35. The print version is here: The Weight of Waiting and the audio is here:

Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

My Place

“… history is to mankind precisely what the experience of living is to an individual – that is to say, a drama to be lived through. We do not write the script, nor do we choose our allotted parts; what is required of us is to speak our lines, make our entrances and our exits, until the curtain falls and our role is for the time being exhausted. … Our business is to find God, the dramatist behind the drama, and, having found Him, to follow Him in the light of the revelation vouchsafed us in the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (Malcolm Muggeridge, Confessions of a Twentieth-Century Pilgrim, 78)

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