In this week's account of an unlikely experience we are reminded of God's mercy and His grace. If you are carrying the burden and guilt of past mistakes you've previously repented, take a listen and learn how to ease that burden and finally accept His forgiveness.
This podcast is based on award-winning devotional Living a Parable: Finding Lessons in Unlikely Experiences get your copy today! www.livingaparable.com
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Welcome to Living a Parable. This podcast is based on award-winning devotional, Living a Parable: Finding Lessons in Unlikely Experiences written by author and motivational speaker Silvia Davis. In this podcast, we focus on the fact that God is always teaching and even in the most mundane experiences in our lives, usually if we dig just a little beneath the surface, there's a nugget of knowledge waiting. So be sure to take out a pen and paper so that you can jot down whatever the Spirit brings to your mind and join me as we extract a lesson from this week's account of an unlikely experience, Hello everyone and welcome to the very first episode of Living a Parable podcast. I'm your host Silvia Davis in this podcast. My primary goal is to remind everyone that life isn't something that happens to you, but it's something that happens for you. And every day presents you with opportunities to learn and to grow if you would just grasp it. So each week I will share with you an excerpt from everyday life and share with you the lesson that came from it. Now that the context has been given, let's get into this week's episode.:
A few weeks ago, I was downtown and downtown's not someplace that I travel very often. I, I don't enjoy going down there, but I was going down to, to see my daughter and it, it's not very easy to find parking downtown. So I found the first parking space that I could get into that did not require me to parallel park, because that is not my strength I parked.Speaker 1:
And right before I got out of the car, I looked down at my arms and I noticed that they were looking kind of ashy. Now, for those of you who don't know what ashy is, I will explain it. It's dry skin. Now you have to know I'm black. So when I look ashy on my arms, it looks like I'm wearing gray sleeves. So anyway, I wasn't getting out the car, looking like that. I took the lotion that I always have on deck. It's a must. Lotion in the car, lotion in the purse, lotion in the locker at the gym, lotion. And I took this lotion and I rubbed it rather generously on my arms. And then I got out of the car. And as I got out of the car, I noticed that there was this woman who was walking towards me and she was holding a shoe in each one of her hands. Now, if you were going to make an assumption based on appearances alone, you wouldn't have been, I don't think anyone could have blamed you if you had thought that this woman was a little bit down on her luck. She was, she had some dirt on her face. She was a little dirty and, and her clothes were tattered and torn,with a shoe in each hand, she comes over to me and, and she asks me, she says,"Excuse me, miss. Um, I was wondering, would you like to buy a pair of shoes?" Now, keep in mind, the shoes did not match. And I, I looked at her and you would think the shoes not matching would have been enough for me to make a hard pass, but my mind still went to"You don't even know if these are my size." But anyway, I, I looked at her and I, I thanked her for the offer, but I told her that I, I really didn't, you know, need a, a pair of shoes. And she said,"You know, but you'd look really nice in heels." Now, keep in mind, only one of these shoes had a heel, but I, I told her, I said,"You know what? I don't really need a, a pair of shoes, but how much are you selling them for?" And she told me she was selling them for$5. And I said,"You know what? It must be a sign because this is one of those rare occasions where I actually have cash on me." So I reached into my purse and I pulled out a$5 bill and I handed it to her and she looked at me and, and she smiled. And she said,"Thank you." Then she took a step back and she looked me up and down and she said,"I would hug you. But, um, you look kind of oily and I don't know where you been." Then she folded up her$5 and walked away. I wish that there had been a camera on me at that moment in time, because I seriously do not know what the expression of horror, shock, fury, and amusement looks like all baked together in one facial expression. So I just kind of smiled as she walked away and I let it go. But I did ask myself, okay Lord, what can I learn from this? So as I thought about the encounter I had with this woman, a thought did come to mind here was this woman who was pretty much asking for money, no matter her circumstances that brought her to the point where she had to ask once she got what she asked for, she accepted it. And that made me think about forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that I have had to ask for from God so many times. And even though I know when I humble myself before God and I repent, I know that the blood of Christ affords me that forgiveness and yet I continue to torture myself with the guilt over my mistakes. And I carry that hurt with me like a Scarlet letter. I wanna ask you a question. Have you ever felt so broken and so low? Like you've messed up so badly. You're you're not even, you're not even worthy of forgiveness. I mean, you messed up, not once, not twice, but over and over again, doing the same thing. And you have beaten yourself. You've berated yourself to the point to where you just think that you're horrible. And even though, you know, God will forgive you think to yourself, but this sin? This one right here? This thing right here? This thing that I was saying to myself, you better not do it and then did it anyway, that thing? And you let that thing follow you like a dark cloud that is always raining on you. And then even if you can come to the conclusion that God can forgive you, you can't forgive yourself. One of the many things that I absolutely love about the Bible are the examples of human nature that we are given throughout all of its pages. It is. It's so easy for us to see ourselves in some of these people. And when we see how God and Jesus treated, these flawed individuals, we, we can take comfort and we can rest because we can see verses like Hebrews 13:8, where we're told that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. So the forgiveness and the mercy that he extended to those flawed people, then we know he still extends to us today. In Luke chapter seven verses 36 through 50, we're told of a woman who came to see Jesus while He was dining at the house of a Pharisee. Now this was a sinful woman and not only did she know she was sinful, but whatever it was that she did, it was, it got the attention of everybody and everybody judged her for it. And they, when she came to this Pharisee's house, not only was this Pharisee in his heart judging this woman, but he was judging Christ because Christ let this woman even come near Him, much less touch Him. And because Jesus knew what was in the Pharisee's heart, He took that moment, that opportunity to use this woman's actions to teach the Pharisee, something about forgiveness here, this woman was, she was broken. She was weeping and her tears were falling on Jesus' feet. And she was wiping them away with her hair. This woman had humbled herself. This woman was hurting and after Jesus kind of taught that Pharisee, something about forgiveness. He, He turns to this woman and he says to her, your sins have been forgiven. Do you think that she walked out of that room feeling the same way she did when she walked in? Think about it this way. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm pretty sure some of you listening grew up, like I did brought up in the old school way. Meaning that I got my little behind spanked. Probably<laugh> definitely more than a couple of times. Now. Imagine if after the punishment was done and my parents had gone about their day, they're in their room, watching Family Matters. I'm gonna pick up the paddle and continue to beat myself with it? I never did that. And I bet you didn't either. But think about it. Isn't that kind of what we're doing when we continue to beat ourselves up over sins that we've already repented about? I want you to do something with me. I want you to go through this exercise with me. And if you're in a place where you can safely do so, I would love for you to just relax and sit back in your chair and close your eyes. But I want you to bring to mind that sin that you're refusing to let go of, I mean, really allow yourself to feel how it's weighing you down. I want you to feel it sitting on your shoulders, like an anvil. I want you to think of how remorseful you are and know that this is not just a shallow feeling, but this is true, honest, deeply felt regret. I mean, I want you to feel it all in this moment and I want you to carry it with you right now. And don't leave a piece of it behind and you need to have it all because this is going to be the last time you ever bear it. And you need to make sure that you don't leave any of it. Can you see yourself? Does the load feel so heavy? You can barely stand. Now. Imagine standing there in front of you right now, right at this very moment is Jesus. You can see the Savior's face and you buckle from the weight of the guilt over the sin you've been carrying. You know, He's the one, the only one, the only one who can take this burden from you. If you'll only give it to Him. So you fall at His feet and just like that woman, so many years ago, you begin to weep. You begin to weep over the sin as you have done so many times before, but this time is gonna be different. Can you see yourself? Can you feel what you've been carrying? Now, you already know what's coming. You know what He's going to say? And in anticipation of hearing those words, I want you to right now, take in a deep breath, do it now, take in a deep breath, a slow deep breath. And then as you're inhaling, you hear the words,"Your sins have been forgiven." And now exhale through your mouth, allowing yourself to feel that anxiety completely leave your body as you blow out every bit of air. And as you exhale, you can see that anvil that you've been carrying shatter. You can feel the weight as it's being lifted off your shoulders. You're free. Now, open your eyes. It's done, whatever it was, it's done. Like that woman in the park, you've asked for what you needed. You've asked for what you've wanted. Like that woman in the park, except what's been given to you.:
This breathing exercise is something that I like to do when I can feel that anxiety or that guilt trying to creep up on me. It's just, I like to take a moment to, to sit back and calm myself. And just to, to remind myself that I've already asked for forgiveness, I've already repented. And I remind myself that Jesus has already forgiven me. So this is not an exercise in, in no way am I saying that in doing this, it equals that you are forgiven. What I'm trying to convey is that sometimes we need to acknowledge the fact that we've already asked for this forgiveness. We've already cried at the feet of our Savior and He's already forgiven us. And sometimes we just need to do something to remind ourselves to accept that forgiveness. And that's what this is about. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of living a parable brought to you by award-winning author and motivational speaker, Sylvia Davis. Be sure to come back next week for new episode and for even more stories and lessons like the one you heard today, visit www.livingaparable.com to order your copy of Living a Parable, Finding Lessons in Unlikely Experiences available in paperback, ebook, and audible. So until next time my friends be blessed.