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Blessed Indeed!

Daily Reading: Romans 4

Scripture Focus: Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin. (Romans 4.7-8)

Devotional Thought: Last night we had a wonderful service at our church. The presence of the Lord was there as we prayed for healing and deliverance, comfort and strength. As we prayed in Bethel, 20 miles away - in Anderson Township - a dear friend of ours, a saint of God was traveling the last mile of her journey. Diane went to be with the Lord. Her husband described her journey beautifully: "The angels just came and took Diane away to heaven... so peacefully." How is it that we, as her daughter said to me, "do not sorrow as those who have no hope"? What makes us so blessed that even in times of grief we have hope?

In Romans 4, Paul gave us three reasons for counting ourselves blessed. We are...

• Forgiven. No one is righteous before a holy God. All have sinned and fall short of God's perfection. But with the shedding of Christ's blood on the cross, our sins are forgiven. The debt has been paid! How blessed to know we can stand before God with a clear conscience!

• Covered. Not only are sins forgiven, they are covered. God has cast our sins into the depths of the sea. They are never to be remembered against us. God himself does not see them anymore. Gone is the guilt. Gone is the shame. Gone is the fear. How blessed to know that our sins are covered by the God who is our Judge.

• Released. Not only are our sins forgiven and covered, the debt we had accrued because of them has been canceled! How could we ever hope to pay the cost for our sins? But, as the song goes, "He paid a debt he did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay..." How blessed that the slate is wiped clean and there is no longer any debt!

We are blessed indeed!

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the blessedness of sins forgiven, of life eternal, of joy unceasing. We praise you and worship you today, for you are our hope. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 18.31-34

31 For who is God, but the Lord?

And who is a rock, except our God?—

32 the God who equipped me with strength

and made my way blameless.

33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer

and set me secure on the heights.

34 He trains my hands for war,

so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

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