Read: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11
Propitiation is a big word with a big, eternal impact. And, as we’ll look at today, it’s also God’s answer to the blame game. Propitiation is the act of appeasement. Through His death on the cross, Christ satisfied God’s wrath; He appeased the anger that was meant for us. Because of the cross, we no longer have to worry about the law of retribution, for it has been made fully complete through Christ. It is through propitiation that we have been made whole, and have been made blameless when we invite Christ into our lives.
If Christ has made us blameless in the eyes of God, if we are fully forgiven, then our walk of faith should include letting go of the need to blame ourselves and others. When we accept Christ into our lives, God no longer sees our broken mess - He sees Jesus, and He sees us as complete. We inherit the undeserved and perfect gifts of eternal sonship - we are deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, and totally accepted by God. When we begin to understand this about ourselves, we can begin to catch a glimpse of how God truly views us. It is an overwhelming grace that once it begins to sink in, begins to reshape the way we view others as well. When we begin to understand the depth of God’s grace for us, we can’t help but experience transformation that allows us to more freely give grace, forgiveness and love to others, especially when they have failed to meet our high expectations.
If you have been struggling with the ability to forgive, either yourself or others, take some time today to ask God to begin to reveal to you the measure of His grace. Ask him to give you a glimpse of how He views you - and others. Ask Him to transform your heart that you might begin to love and forgive others in the beautiful way that He has forgiven you.
Pray: God, thank you for your forgiveness. We deserved your wrath, but you forgave us anyway. Help me to see myself the way you see me. And, when I struggle to let go of the hurt others have done to me, when it’s hard to forgive, help me see others the way you see them. Help me love them the way that you do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.