“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 1:8-9)


Sin separates. It separates us from God, it separates us from others, it separates us from ourselves, and it separates us from who we could be. Sin destroys peace.

Most importantly sin is an offence against God. It needs, firstly, to be acknowledged and dealt with at that level. Until it is there will be no peace or sense of intimacy with Him. He is the only one who is able to forgive, cleanse and heal our spirits in a way that makes a difference and sets us free.

Jesus cried out upon the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing

He did not wish His crucifiers to be condemned to bear the burden of sin and guilt forever. In fact, the purpose of God is to forgive and to set us free so that we might live life to the full. Sin is indeed terrible, none more so than this, but Jesus came to set us free, not to enslave us.

God is both willing and able to forgive us – and that means He will remove the guilty stain from our spirits completely, whatever the worldly consequences might be or have been. He can do this, not because sin does not matter, but because Jesus stood in for us, and has carried these sins, your sins and mine, with Him to the cross. What is required is a sincere repentance, acknowledgement of Jesus death for my sins, and a prayerful resolve to turn away from such sins in the future. Whilst there may be a number of failures along the way God will be there with us to help us up again and to carry on with Him. With the knowledge of God’s forgiveness we may also forgive ourselves.

He has given us an awesome and life-changing gift. We need to accept it and the new life that it brings. Why not?

Be still for a moment – allow God to bring to mind areas in your life that need forgiveness and liberation. Then ask Him. Start the new year free from the stains of the past.


Father, I confess that I have sinned in these ways…….. please forgive me. I acknowledge that I battle in the following areas….. please forgive and strengthen me. Please help me to accept your forgiveness and cleansing and, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to walk with You, and to know that You walk with me. And no matter how many times I fall please help me to always get up again and go on with You. Thank You so much for giving me this wonderful gift of new life.Amen.





He’s Coming

“I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.”
 (Isaiah 46:10)


We can so quickly forget what our life and our salvation is all about. So we need to be reminded, to celebrate the wonder of it all, and to honour the God at it centre. This is why the Church has certain seasons and festivals.

The season of Advent is a time of preparation to commemorate the coming of the Saviour Jesus Christ whose birth will be celebrated at Christmas. It is also a time to reflect on why we need a Saviour, to prepare ourselves for His second coming, and for the moment when we will see Him face to face. It is a period within which to focus on reality – our reality, the reality of the world around us, the reality of sin and the reality of the awesome love and power of God. It is to acknowledge that in our present personal, local, national and international situations we really, really need a Saviour.

The world has trivialised God in turning these great celebration into commercial carnivals from which it is slowly removing the name of the Lord. On the other hand we, to whom the Lord has given the grace of faith, need to pause, to look at the true reality of what has taken place and to acknowledge with deep humility and gratitude that it has been done for us. The darkness, strife, violence and abuse that clouds the world and shatters the lives of so many will not prevail. The Light of God is already in the world and will indeed overcome and banish this darkness and all who live by it.

The true wonder of the season is not that a virgin should bear a child. It is that the Lord God Almighty, the Holy, Majestic and Everlasting One, should come amongst us in human form – to live as we live and to suffer and die in our place and for our sins.  Each celebration of this season is a reminder of the great love that God has for each one of us – and how He came to seek and to find us.

Is my life aimless or a journey with a purpose and destination?

Thank God that you do not walk this life alone, that you have a mighty God to guide, lead and watch over you –God whose purpose and plan will be fulfilled in every way.


Heavenly Father, I thank and praise You for Your great love, Your mighty power and Your wonderful promises that have and will be fulfilled in Jesus – the one true Light of the world. Amen.


Case Dismissed

“Jesus straightened up and asked her,
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.
“Go now and leave your life of sin.”
(John 8:10-11)

“The God who sees me” sees everything.

The teachers of the law and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery. The Law given by God through Moses stated that she should be stoned to death. They now confronted Jesus with the question, “What do You say?”

Jesus saw the woman and He saw her sin. Jesus also saw the religious leaders and knew that they were really trying to trap Him into an action or statement that they could then turn against Him – using it as a basis for putting Him to death. So He confounded them by acknowledging and supporting the Law but challenging them with their own sinfulness – “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Of course there was no one there who could claim to be without sin, and particularly not in His presence. So one by one they slipped quietly away. Left alone with the woman Jesus turned and looked at her once more. In the absence of the ‘two or three witnesses’ required by the Law He would not judge or condemn her – even although they both knew her to be guilty.

But even more, Jesus saw in front of Him just such a person whom He had some to save – and for whose sins He would die. So again He would not condemn her but would die in her place instead.

  • “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
  • “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17)

When Jesus looks at you He does not see a sinner to be condemned, but rather one to be saved.

Let Him have your sins and weaknesses – and accept his forgiveness and life.

You might like to watch this: https://youtu.be/rFyymEvM6Dw


Lord Jesus I hold out my hands to You. Please forgive me for all that offends You and keeps me from being the person whom I was created to be. Please cleanse, heal and strengthen me and help me to stay close to Your side. Amen.



Forgiving Others

“But I tell you: Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you”
(Matthew 5:44)

Jesus instruction for us to love our enemies is a great challenge. Our normal reaction is to do anything but that. However, His words and life leave us in no doubt.

There are three very good reasons for us to hear what Christ teaches us. Firstly, we were once ourselves “God’s enemies” and He reached out to us in forgiveness and love, so that we could be reconciled to Him and enjoy the blessings of His eternal love. Secondly, God loves the people who might fall into the category of enemy to us and would want us to love them for His sake and out of our love for Him – even if we are offended by their actions.  And thirdly, for as long as we do not forgive the anger and pain live like an open sore within us, eating away at our life and peace and relationship with the Lord. Forgiveness can be a great healing for us as well and sets us free from the influence of the perpetrators.

There will be many who have been terribly hurt or harmed through the violent or careless actions of others. For them forgiving and loving their enemies may be a longer and more difficult road to walk. The most important thing is then to openly acknowledge our emotions and reactions to the Lord. Ask for His healing and strength within to enable us to begin responding more fully to His command. As we do so our own inner healing will begin to be liberated. On this journey of forgiveness it will help if, every time our emotions rebel at the memory, we say deliberately and even out loud “In Jesus Name I forgive ….”

Never think for a moment that in this God is implying that our pain does not matter. It matters to Him very much but He does not want it to cripple and destroy our lives and relationship with Him. When we forgive we are placing the matter back in God’s hands for Him to deal with – which He will.

The best response that we can all make towards our enemies is, as Jesus taught, to pray for them. It is what He did – even from the cross. To pray that God will bless them with love, and healing and truth. Then we need to pray for ourselves, that we will decide to forgive them and, with God’s help, not stoke the fires of hurt and anger within us. We also need the love and healing of our Father – and can ask for it.

Don’t hold on to hurt. Pray it out. Speak to a counsellor if necessary.


Father You have forgiven me so much, and never stopped loving me. Please help me to be more prepared to forgive and to love others – for the sake of Jesus who died for us all. Amen.




Set Free

“Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
(Matthew 9:2)


Not all paralysis is caused by the sin of the person. However sin can paralyse us in certain ways and in some areas of our lives. Anyone who is in bondage to a way of life, a way of thinking and a way of acting may find themselves unable or unwilling to change into a different and better way.

The first step towards healing is to recognise the problem and the second is to do something about it. Many people would love to be healed but are not really willing to go through the process or to abandon their relationship with the problem itself – which may have become their escape route from emotional pain. Some receive healing but fall back again. They may either give up or go through a period of despair, self-loathing and fear of the displeasure of God before re-trying.

There is absolutely no doubt that God wants us to be set free and is prepared to help us. Jesus first words to the paralysed man are filled with compassion, life and love. He did not belittle or condemn him, but said,

“Take heart, son.”

He then freely forgave him and offered him healing.

“Your sins are forgiven ……
Get up, take your mat and go home.”

The ball was now in the man’s court. He had to respond by getting up off the ground. The story does not go further but, in effect, the man would have to keep doing the same thing every day. He would have to stand up and walk in newness of life. He could no longer rely on others to cart him about or to provide for him. He was free now to live life himself, and to take responsibility for himself, if he would.

For many of us the process is rather like a child learning to walk. We try and fall a number of times before we begin to stay on our feet. Then we can find that not only are we walking in a new way but running and dancing with a wonderful and glorious freedom in areas and ways that we would never have believed to be possible. It is all because of the love of God, the salvation in Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit.

We need God if we are going to be set free – for our strength and will are often inadequate. We may need others as well – just as this man needed his friends – to help, encourage and support us along the way. We may even need the professional help of those gifted and with experience in our areas. However more than anyone else we need the Lord. The one Who says to us, and does so as many times as is necessary,

“Take heart, your sins are forgiven, get up and walk”

It is His power that enables us to respond to His words.

Ask God to show you where you may need healing. Ask Him for forgiveness and help. If you fall don’t give up – go back to the Lord!


Lord, please forgive me, heal me and help me. Please renew my vision, strengthen my faith and give me the courage to carry on with You in newness of life. Amen.



Forgive them

“.. as we forgive those who sin against us.”
(Matthew 6:12)


Suddenly, and for the first time, a condition appears. Where God’s love is unconditional, and where salvation cannot be earned but can only be accepted and lived, it appears that now something more is required of us. It is so important that Jesus went on, after teaching His disciples the prayer, to enlarge upon it,

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

 Both here, and in others teachings of Jesus, the message is quite clear. If we are to carry on receiving the unmerited and complete forgiveness of God we must not then presume to continue to hold anything against somebody else. If God is prepared to forgive us all and everything then we must be prepared to pass that love and forgiveness on to others, and in the same spirit.

 Peter asked Jesus,

“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  (Matthew 18:21-22)

 That is, without limit.

 There are a couple of important points to highlight:

  • We sin – therefore we need to be fully forgiven by God – every day!
  • Others sin – and need to be fully forgiven by God – every day.
  • If we want God’s forgiveness then we have to forgive – or at least work towards forgiving – those who have hurt or offended us. Sometimes it is not easy and takes much prayer and perseverance. Remember, as you battle to forgive someone, that someone else may be battling to forgive you! (Hullo!!!) That means me too!
  • Not to forgive others creates a hardness in our hearts that stands between us and God as much as it does between us and others. Jesus, who came to reconcile us to God, seeks to reconcile us to others as well.
  • We are not entitled to withhold forgiveness until the other person comes and grovels before us! Jesus is our great example.

“When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:33-34)

 Finally, we are so incomparably rich in the love, grace and forgiveness of God – why should we then act as if we were impoverished frowns? It might mean that we haven’t yet appreciated the great love of God – for love and forgiveness travel hand in hand.

Examine yourself for people against whom you hold a grudge. Ask God to help you. Say your forgiveness of them aloud and ask God to bless them.


Father Your great heart longs to forgive me – please help me to open myself to You by forgiving others, in Jesus name. Amen.


Forgive me

“Forgive us our sins”
(Matthew 6:12)

The problem that men and women have faced from the Fall has been that of sin. Sin came into the world through the action of the first humans and has not left. The consequence of sin, both that of Adam and Eve and that of each one of us, is that it separates us from God – as well as causing us to fall short of who we could be with Him! There is nothing that we can do to erase it or to bridge the divide that it causes. All sin is essentially sin against God and only He can do anything about it.

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4)

 It was because of sin that Jesus came into the world,

  • “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,” (Luke 1:76-77)
  • “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
  • “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
  • “He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)

 When Jesus died upon the cross he took our sins, our guilt and our punishment upon Himself. He died in our place. However, He did not die only for the sins of the past, He died for the sins of the present and of the future – for everyone who had lived, was living and was still to be born. Without His death there would have been no forgiveness, no liberation, and we would all have nothing to look ahead to except the final judgement and eternal separation from God, whatever that might mean.

 When Jesus teaches us to pray for the forgiveness of our sins He is recognising that, no matter how committed to Him we might be, we will still sin today, tomorrow and the next day. In fact no day will go by in which we will not sin again and again. Having died for these sins He has opened the way for us to ask God for direct and immediate forgiveness and absolution.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  (1 John 1:7-2:2)

 That does not mean that we can be casual about sin, and treat it as mere naughtiness. Sin is a horror and a rejection of God. Only in Jesus is there the forgiveness of sins and the gift of new life – today and every day. It is however vital that we understand that sin does not cast the true believer – who has entered into a new relationship with God through belief in Jesus and who has received the Holy Spirit – back into the outer darkness of separation from God. Although it may bring great grief and shame, cloud our relationship with God, and still cause us to fall short of our true potential, it no longer has the power to separate us from Him. Once we have received the adoption as His sons and daughters, then nothing

“in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

 Every day should see us approach the Father Almighty in honest acknowledgement of our sin, and in humble appreciation of His great love and grace.

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)

Acknowledge sin as a reality – examine your life and conscience regularly.


Father, thank You so much for Your great and wonderful love and salvation. Please forgive us our sins in Jesus name and help us to trust You and accept it. Amen.