From: Rich Carlson
Date: February 4, 2021
Subject: It's February 4; Good Morning Union

Luke 19


“The Son of Man came to seek and save those who were lost.”       Vs 10


The paradigm shift in Jesus’ live appears to be changing quickly. Up until the last few days He has sought no attention and “slipped away privately” whenever anyone tried to give Him glory or tried to make Him Israel’s king. Now the end was near and the purpose of this visit to Jerusalem is the capstone of His ministry and He wanted everyone to know about it.


Passing through Jericho, on His way from Galilee to Jerusalem, Jesus called Zacchaeus from the tree and dined at his home, to the chagrin of the crowd, or at least the religious leaders, but with the intentional focus on offering hope to sinners! His response was my text for today. Jesus came to save sinners!! What a concept. Of course He did, I just want sometimes to decide how sinful those sinners should be before I approve of Jesus forgiving them! Unfortunately sometimes I want to be a selective forgiver; but Jesus knows no limits to His forgiveness for anyone, any time, anywhere. It’s a very healthy activity to try and wrap my mind around that, not only as I look at others but as I look at myself.


The devil’s tactics never change; I don’t think he ever tries to convince me to sin- that would be too easy to detect and deflect. I have never been tempted to kill another person, but I have been tempted to be upset at someone, and upset can turn to dislike and dislike can turn to disdain, and that disdain will look a lot like hate, which according to Jesus in a type of killing of the soul, even if that hate seems very justified to me because of what they have done!! So I conclude, for everyone else, that no one should hate, and then I hate without concern because I have convince myself that they deserve it! How easy it is to condemn someone else and then condone myself for the same thing! And after Satan has trapped me in the hate mode he says, “How can you call yourself a Christian when you treat someone with hate?” And I am suddenly trapped in guilt and convinced God can’t forgive me. He repeats that cycle in my life and I keep falling for it UNTIL I realize not only how forgiving God is, but how powerful He is. He has already forgiven me by His power at the cross! I don’t even have to ask for His forgiveness!! He forgave me at the cross; now all I do is confess, or acknowledge that I forgot that promise for a minute and admit that my attitude and behavior was caused by my forgetfulness of who Jesus really is and what He has already done for me. When I remember His forgiveness for me I am much more likely to be forgiving of others, whether they ask for it (or “deserve” it) or not.


Jesus wasn’t coming to save me in my “goodness,” He came to save me IN my sin and FROM my sin. And He did the same for everyone. I’m a sinner, but I don’t live in my sinfulness. I live in my forgiveness! And with that assurance my desire is to be as forgiving toward others and He has been toward me. It’s a VERY freeing and delightful way to live!


Have a great day not hoping to be forgiven but knowing you’re forgiven already,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      "Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me."              Anonymous


PS        uGather- 10:30am in the church. Join us each week as we come together as a Union College family to build community and fellowship with God and His word. David Yeagley is with us from Sunset Lake Camp in Washington and will bring God’s word to us today.

PPS      Enjoy the snow!! Remember Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are as scarlet they are as white as snow.” Thank you Jesus for today’s reminder in the snow of your forgiveness!