Today I was reminded of my past failures and sin. I remembered the times when I disappointed God and might have broken His heart. The place was sad and full of pain; regrets that I could have done things differently.
Why do we remember these moments? Does it stem from a negative place or is it just that we think that we are not forgiven? Is it the enemy pulling us down or is it God reminding us that we were once sinners saved by His Grace?
Maybe we remember because we need to remind ourselves that we still walk in His mercy. We are no better that anyone else. Sin is sin, so they say, there is no big sin or small sin. God has no degrees for sin. We all have fallen short of His grace and failed Him (Romans 3:23). We fail Him daily in our thoughts or in our actions.
Does God make it as mountainous as we do? How does He see our sin? Is His expression anything like mine? OH no, what have I done?
It’s only when we fail God and let Him down that we realize how big He must really be to forgive us and forget it all. We will always remember. But God is merciful; His forgiveness never loses its strength or its power. He still smiles down and says, “I forgave you. Move on. I buried it. Why are you visiting it again?”
When I reflect on the purpose of Jesus’ life for mankind, I know that we were a part of His plan.
He came to this world because we failed at being human on our own. He knew that we needed a redeemer and a saviour. If we were perfect why would we need Him? Why would we need Him to say that we are forgiven if we could do it on our own? He chose this life on the cross. He chose it for me.
So, we failed, we sinned. Here is a God who says, “I forgave you!” Do we need anyone else’s approval when the Man upstairs says it’s ok?!
He validates us! He says, “I took it all. Pick up the pieces and move on. Don’t let this stop your walk with me. I atoned you. My blood atoned you. Keep walking, I am beside you to remind you not to fall again.”
As I ponded on His voice in my heart, I saw how He waits for me to accept and move on. He reminds me of His promises. He reassures me once more through His word.
Here are 10 ways how God reassures us when we are reminded of our past sins:
1. You got a friend in Him.
Have you noticed how people are so quick to judge you when you fall? Words like, “Well I knew it was coming”, or “I expected nothing less.” Friends are friends only when they are prepared to die for you. A friend is someone that believes in you to the point of death. Jesus is that friend. John 15: 13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (NIV)
His mission: you and me. His purpose: take on sin and redeem us.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
2. He is faithful.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
If God says that we are forgiven, then so be it. He is a faithful friend.
3. From Crimson to wool.
This beautiful play of colours in Isaiah 1:18 dances around me. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Our sins are seen as the colour of crimson blood yet Jesus sheds His blood for the remission of our sin. His blood washes over our sinful human blood.
Our blood-stained crimson life becoming as white as snow and wool. The contrast between snow and wool can be seen as two extreme levels of comfort. Snow freezing cold compared to the warm comfort of wool. And yet His blood washes us as white as snow and wool.
Christ’s blood has given us the comfort of His forgiveness.
4. He knows how to care for what belongs to Him.
Isaiah 43:1 “…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
We belong to Him. Notice the words redeem ‘by name’ and ‘mine’ in one sentence. This is a strong bold declaration made by God. He summoned us, and He paid for us. He purchased us with His blood. You belong to Him. You are His; therefore He knows how to care for what belongs to Him. Be one with God.
5. Don’t hide behind your stone.
In John chapter 8, we read of a woman who committed adultery. She was brought before Jesus by a group of teachers of the law. Stoning was the capital punishment for adultery at the time. She stands before them alone. Although she was caught in ‘the act of adultery’, the person she committed the adultery with was not with her. She was singled out. They must have seen her as a filthy and sinful person. They probably felt that if they didn’t pick up a stone to kill her, then they are as guilty as her. They hide behind their stones, each claiming to be sin-free.
Then Jesus bends down and begins to write something on the ground, and He says, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 NIV). And as He continues to write something on the ground, one by one the crowd disperses.
What did Jesus write on the ground that caused everyone to walk away? Was He looking at the crowd of people and was He writing down their names and their sins that they have committed? Or was He reminding them of Exodus 31:18 where it says that the same finger that was used to write the 10 commandments writes again. He knew each of their sins. Whatever it was that Jesus wrote on the ground surely convicted them. But what stands out in this story is that Jesus spoke out for this woman.
Even though the teachers of the law were trying to trap Jesus, testing Him to see whether He will speak against the Laws of Moses, Jesus still came to the woman’s rescue. He spoke out for her. He could have her left her alone, instructing the teachers of Law to do as Moses had commanded, but Jesus did not leave her alone in this. He didn’t pick up a stone. He challenged his audience by taking them back to their place of unforgiven sins.
6. What’s the Verdict?
How does Jesus pardon this woman, what is His verdict for her sin?
“Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ 11 ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’.” John 8:10-11 (NIV)
And we, the Jury, find you: Not guilty.
Notice that Jesus says to her that if no one has condemned her then neither does He. He sets her free. He says, “Go now, leave your life of sin.” Her sinful life was left behind with Him. Our hero!
7. He is the terminator of our sins.
Jesus not only forgives us and forgets about our sin, but He also removes it. It’s out like a rotten tooth. Extracted by the root.
Psalms 103 11:12: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
8. It’s time for an upgrade.
Here is our chance for an upgrade. We have traded our old ways for new ways in Christ. He has made all things new. Our old ways are history. Time to start over.
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”
9. Let bygones be bygones.
Hebrews 10:17: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
Our sin is forgotten, let it go.
10. What’s my Sentence?
Heaven holds no prisoners. It’s as simple as that. You confess to Christ and He forgives and forgets.
So what’s my sentence? Freedom
Acts 13:38-39: “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the Law of Moses.”
So step into the freedom of the future. Lets leave the past where it belongs!