Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Today's bible reading included Psalm 25:7:
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.
That, of course, reminded me of Psalm 103:12
…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
In fact, the Bible is filled with verses that proclaim our forgiveness from sin, when we repent and turn away from our past sins.
When we turn away and face forward, who is there before us? Jesus. Always.
Why then do we so often return to the past; relive our mistakes; hold on to our sins? They only build up our shame and guilt. They only make us feel unworthy of the grace and mercy God freely gives. They only remind us that we have not yet truly taken ownership of that forgiveness. They reinforce a sense that we are not truly worthy.
But of course we are not worthy. That’s the point of grace.
It may be our natural human nature to return to our past and nurture our regrets. But God is SUPER natural and His power includes the power to leave our past behind and move forward in His power.
We often hear that when we forgive others the pain will no longer eat at our souls. When God forgives us, He does just that. Our sins—how we have hurt Him—no longer eat at His soul.
But in our human relationships, sometimes I wonder if it’s easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves the pain we’ve caused others and God. Why is it so easy to keep hold of the pain of understanding how we grieved others and God?
Some days I recall sins with a sense that I committed them in another life. And truly, it was in another life, having since been reborn in Christ.
The temptation is to pull those sins out from their box where Jesus buried them and give those sins new life, too. To feel the guilt; relive the moment; hold fast to the shame. That is when we must rely on the power of Jesus. He pulls US out of the grave. He gives US new life. But as for our sins—they remain buried to Him and should remain buried to us as well.
The theme of the Christian Writers this month is "forward." It has given me a new focus for today, in light of this morning’s bible reading: to turn away from my past—again—and again every day if I need to—and face forward to Jesus.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your forgiveness and the new life you give us through Jesus. You know how we sometimes struggle with our past. Please remind us that our past is past to you because we have turned away from our sins and have turned forward to walk with you. Please always keep our focus on you, reminding us that our old life has been replaced forever with our new life in you. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU: Is there a scripture that speaks loudly to you about the power of repentance to turn away from past sin?