"For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12 (ESV)
In the midst of a heated conflict do you ever get historical?
Not hysterical, as in acting totally out-of-control ... but historical. As in bringing up the past; reliving and rehashing former wrongdoings and offenses.
"You'll never change!" "You're acting just like you did when ..." "There you go again. You always ..."
I do this to others. But mostly I do this to myself.
At times I have trouble remembering the name of the person I just met or where I put my cell phone. However, I'm keenly adept at remembering my sins from the past. Or the shame and guilt they carry with them as ammunition to target my heart and make me feel defeated. I can recount my sins as easily as I can say the alphabet.
Oftentimes forgiving myself sometimes feels like it's impossible to do.
When it comes to God however, we don't have to fear He will bring up our past sins and use them against us, throwing them in our face and refusing to forgive. In today's key verse, God says, "For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." (Hebrews 8:12 ESV)
This verse reminds me of a story of a man who claimed to have dreams where God regularly visited him and they talked together. He shared this with his pastor who doubted whether this was actually true. So the pastor issued a challenge to prove whether or not the man's claims were valid.
"The next time God visits you," he instructed the man, "ask Him to tell you the worst sin I've ever committed." Since this pastor had a wild background he was certain there were a lot of sins lurking there from which God could choose.
Later when the pastor saw the man again, he asked him, "Well, did God visit with you again?" The man replied, "Yes, He sure did."
"Okay then, tell me, what did He say was the worst sin I ever committed?"
The man responded, "I asked and God looked straight at me and simply stated, 'Hmmm ... I don't remember.'"
In God's Word we are told, "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." (Psalm 103:12 NLT) And, as today's verse says, He not only removes sins, He forgets them!
His ability to forget is His way of giving us a new start. He hits the refresh button on our lives and enables us to start over, no mater what grievous wrongs we've committed. Or how often we've committed them.
We must simply confess our sins to Him. He is faithful to forgive our wrongdoings and hit the restart button of our heart, giving us a fresh beginning.
Perhaps it is time we "forget about it" - just like God does. If He chooses not to remember our sins, why do we keep shaming and blaming ourselves for them?
Let's pray for the ability to forget and live like the holy and forgiven people God says we are when we bring our sins to Him. Instead of remembering our history, let's focus on the history of Jesus' death on the cross and His forgiveness and forgetfulness . . . of our sins.
Dear Lord, help me grasp the truth that You do not remember my sins. Thank You for not only forgiving my sins, but for forgetting them as well. May I live as a new creation, holy and blameless as I seek to serve You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources: If you liked this devotion, check out Karen's new book LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith. It will enable you to control what you should and trust God with what you can't.
Confessions of an Adulterous Christian Woman by Lyndell Hetrick Holtz
Reflect and Respond: What sins in your past or present do you tend to beat yourself up over? Make a list of them on a piece of paper.
Now, read today's key verse again and then tear up the list and throw it in the trash. Promise yourself that, since God doesn't bring up the sins anymore, you won't either.
Write out the verse to post in a prominent place for those times when you are tempted to shame yourself again. Memorize it if you must!
Power Verses: Psalm 103:2-4, "My soul, praise the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits. He forgives all your sin; He heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit; He crowns you with faithful love and compassion." (HCSB)
© 2012 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org