April 20 Not Guilty

scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 7:9–10
key verses: Isaiah 55:6–7

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

The newspaper headline read: “Bank Robber Turns Himself in After 20 Years.” The accompanying story told how a man finally had gone to a local jail and confessed to a crime he had committed twenty years earlier.

Why would he voluntarily surrender to authorities when he might not be found out, at least on earth? “I just could not live with the guilt anymore,” the man said.

Guilt afflicts the entire human race. We know the inner gnawing and churning that come with having violated the moral or civil code. It drives some to depression, others to compulsive behavior, still others to suicide.

The foundation for dealing with all guilt is the cross where Christ died. Jesus, the Son of God, became a guilt offering for us. Because Christ bore God’s ultimate judgment, we are free to experience the forgiveness of God.

When you receive Christ by faith, God declares you not guilty. The slate is clean—from both its penalty (which is death) and its guilt. Your conscience is cleansed, and your burdens are lifted.

The verdict is in, and I’m not guilty! I am free from sin and its penalties—both death and guilt. Thank You, Father, for a clear conscience.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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