.Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV)

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,  11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.  13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.   

Colossians 1:13-14 (NIV)

13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.   

DEVOTION – Lynn Hare (Oregon)

One Summer, mu husband and I arrived home from a road trip to find large cracks in a window of our apartment.  We learned that while playing with friends in the nearby courtyard, a young neighbor had kicked a ball that broke the window.

The boy was usually playing outside with other children, but now he was nowhere to be seen.  We went to his home where he hesitantly came to the door, eyes downcast and shoulders slumped.

“We heard about the ball.  It was an accident; it could happen to anybody,” we said.  “We forgive you.”  The boy straightened.  His eyes came up to meet ours, and he smiled.

When we make mistakes it’s easy to wrestle with shame and withdraw from our world.  We may feel like we don’t deserve to be loved by god or anyone else.  We sometimes have the sense that our faults are so big that they can’t be forgiven.

But God sent Jesus Christ to die for us and redeem us.  This grace covers us.  We can hold our heads up high and meet the future with confidence and the certainty that even in our brokenness, God forgives us.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s mercy precedes our mistakes.

PRAYER: Dear God, when we are feeling discouraged with our shortcomings and doubts, thank you for believing in us.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WHO STRUGGLE WITH SHAME

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