FOCUS DAY 22:
The Season of Redemption
HEAVENLY CONVERSATION 22: “A new heart."
KEY: F (God the Father Speaking); J (God the Son, Jesus Speaking); S (God the Holy Spirit Speaking) [Read the verse(s) and “Heavenly Conversation” as a family. Suggestion: Choose a different family member to read each part of God’s conversation.]
F “Christmas is about forgiveness! One of our greatest heavenly celebrations is when someone repents and confesses their sins and receives complete forgiveness!”
J “It brings me joy when I see someone forgive another.”
S “And I rejoice when someone forgives themselves.”
F “They are all related. It is hard to forgive others when they have not first experienced forgiveness from us. Forgiveness is my special Christmas gift. We forgive sins.”
J “In my parable of the debtors, I reminded people that our forgiveness is to be passed on to others. [Luke 7:41-47]”
S “Christmas is a great time to rebuild relationships, especially through the power of forgiveness.”
F “To be able to truly forgive others, people need to first repent and experience the joy and relief of our forgiveness in their lives. It changes everything.”
J “Luke quoted me in 11:9 when I shared, ‘So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ Asking is key.”
S “The apostle John also shared this certainty of asking in his first letter, writing, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Asking for our forgiveness changes people, and also helps them live a holy life!”
F “Forgiveness makes a life fresh and new. Remember how Paul described it? ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ [2 Corinthians 5:17].”
J “Repentance and confession renew our relationships and removes fear and guilt even before seeking restitution.”
S “Forgiveness is not just saying ‘I’m sorry’; it is being willing to make things right and change their ways.”
F “People call it a lot of things, like being saved, born again, justified, and reconciled, but I like redemption.”
J “When someone redeems something, they get it back renewed and of greater value. It brings wholeness.”
S “That’s right. When someone asks for forgiveness, they get back a holy relationship with us and all the benefits.”
J “My birth and sacrifice made our forgiveness available without having to go to a priest. Immediately, Spirit, when you remind their conscience of sin, they can confess, change their choices, and stay close to our love – anywhere, 24/7! Redemption is always near and now!”
S “Christmas is a time to redeem relationships.”
F “Christmas is a ‘Season of Redemption’!”
1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17;Luke 7:41-47, 11:9; “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
MY CHOICE DAY 22:
I will ask God to forgive my sins and redeem our relationship.
DAY 22 ACTIVITY:
OPTIONAL: TAKE THE “Catch Up” FORGIVENESS INVENTORY
It is easy to put things off, especially when they demand honest reflection of our choices. Seeking forgiveness is one of those things. However, putting off forgiving or seeking forgiveness only makes it harder. Forgiveness is an mportant step in redeeming relationships and giving and receiving love. Spend a few minutes to take this inventory and “catch up“. Since confession and forgiveness are personal, and can be threatening, discuss answers only if someone desires to do so after the inventory is completed. FORGIVENESS INVENTORY: Instructions – 1) Read the 3 Questions below one at a time. 2) Tell each one to answer the questions quietly, “to themselves”. 3) When they have answered the questions, have them raise their hand. 4) Proceed to the next question, repeating 2) & 3). 5) After the last question, say to everyone, “Christmas is a time of forgiveness and redemption – use it to ‘catch up’!” 6) Consider closing in prayer, thanking God for his gift of forgiveness and for each one to enjoy its blessings.
3 Questions – a) Can you think of the last time you asked for God’s forgiveness? b) Can you remember the last time you asked God’s help in forgiving yourself? c) When did you last ask God for help in forgiving others?