October 29, 2012

Got Baggage? Unload It Here.

I'm in the middle of Jeremiah at the moment and I've really been enjoying reading this book of the Bible.  Jeremiah had the difficult task of prophesying the exile into Babylon and he was often mistreated by the people, his own people.  God is having him share of destruction and sorrow, but what has struck me most are all of the undertones and sometimes overtones of grace and mercy.  They're going into exile, God is using pagan nations to destroy Jerusalem, but after those seventy years God already has the plan for wiping out the pagan nations and gathering His people back to their land.

In chapter 31 today I was reading about God's plan to bring Israel and Judah back into the land to be His people and Him their God, and God speaks of a new covenant He'll make with them, where He'll write His law on their hearts and they'll know Him.  He concludes that little declaration with these words (31:34b)

"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

Of late, God is trying to impress upon me that His love for me is real, that His grace is no joke, that I belong to Him and my sin is no obstacle for His mercy.  Reading Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the epistles has been hammering home this truth.

And joy of joys!  This truth is for all people who would turn to God, ask Him to forgive their sin, and turn their lives over to Him.

According to these verses, when God forgives our wickedness, He remembers it no more!  All of those regrets and all that shame I hold on to?  Yeah, God's not doing that, so why should I?  He really forgives our sin.  I don't forgive that way, so perhaps that is why believing God does is so difficult.

If you're one of God's children and He is your God, he has flung your sin as far as the east is from the west.  He really does not remember, because Jesus' perfection and glory is the lens through which He looks at you. You.  Are.  Forgiven.

That means you are free!

If you do not yet believe this good news, it is a gift for you to take.  Nothing you've done or left undone is beyond the reach of God's grace.  Jesus died for our sin so we don't have to and so we could have new life, a new life with the God who made us, both here and now and through eternity.

You, too, can be free!

As you begin this week, I share this word with you again:

"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

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