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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Fellowship With God FEBRUARY 20


Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Rom. 8:33.

Too many people take everything on the side of anxiety and are guilt-ridden. They do not know how to forgive themselves. They are forever coming short of the ideal. To be guilt free they need the loving forgiveness and acceptance of our Lord and of fellow Christians.

There are those respectable Christians who have ceased to love the unlovable and the wayward. They no longer feel deeply or care greatly for sinners. The love and compassion of Christ has pretty well faded away. They become constricted and contracted in their religion and in their judgments of people.

People on every hand want someone to love them as they are. God's rescue of us will seem great only in proportion to the acknowledgment of our own need for forgiveness and mercy. If we come to see ourselves as we really are, disfigured by selfishness, pride, conceit, envy, and lack of love in the face of all that Christ's love means to us, then we ourselves can find freedom and can communicate it to others.

Freedom from guilt comes when we open ourselves to Christ, to acknowledge the kind of persons we really are. The great enemies of life are not our refusal to conform outwardly to church standards, although standards are important. The real issues do not reside here. The great enemies of life are within us: fear, anxiety, guilt, insecurity. These destroy all that is beautiful in life. Back of emotional problems for many people is the unwillingness or inability to accept themselves for what they are, to acknowledge this before God, and to allow God's love to take over. There can be no freedom from guilt and from the sense of rejection unless we are willing to face the truth about ourselves, accept God's forgiveness, and then forgive ourselves.

In Jesus we have forgiveness for what we are. To experience God's love, mercy, and acceptance is to meet our emotional problems squarely. To feel the forgiving way in which God looks at our lives means we have overcome one of the most serious handicaps to emotional recovery.

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