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Daily Devotions – Freedom in Forgiveness

Photo by Junior REIS on Unsplash

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:

 

Mark 2:1-12 (NIV)
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat, and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

 

In what ways is sin like paralysis?

 

Physical paralysis is the loss of the ability to move in part or most of the body. Lord, I pray for anyone suffering physical paralysis. Emotional paralysis is the inability to act or function. It can be just as debilitating. Lord, there are people so entwined in sin, that they are powerless to do anything about it. Fear can control us in such a way that we are frozen in its grip. Moments of weakness or failure can create such guilt that we don’t have the courage within us to move on.  Hurt feelings or arguments can keep us frozen in time and living in the past recirculating and reliving our pain. Sin and living in unforgiveness can also paralyze us. It makes us consider that maybe You won’t really forgive us. Sometimes it is that we can’t forgive ourselves. Before You gave the command for the paralytic to walk, You forgave his sin. Thank You, Lord, that You release us from the sin that immobilizes us by forgiving our sins. You open our prison doors and set us free from the demons in our own hearts, the bad choices, addictions, and poor decisions. You demonstrate forgiveness so that we can forgive others. You take us by the hand and guide us out of our sinful situations. You give us the courage to walk in trust with You. By Your grace, You give us the ability to overcome the paralysis of sin that destroys relationships, families, our communities, and our world. Gracious God, thank You for Your unfailing, never-ending love, forgiving me no matter how many times I sin. Work in me, Lord, to strengthen my resistance to temptation. Thank You that You released me from the chains of sin and I am no longer paralyzed but freed. Amen