Do you actually believe God would make a statement like, “I will not hold their sins against them”—and then rub your nose in it whenever you ask for help?” Was He exaggerating when He said He would cast your sins as far as the east is from the west? (Psalm 103:12).
Are you really forgiven? Does He really forgive and forget? Yes, but you and I don’t. You still remember. That horrid lie. That jealousy. That habit. That business trip.
Do you think God is the voice that reminds you of your past? Was God teasing when He said, “I will remember your sins no more?” You and I just need an occasional reminder of God’s nature, His forgetful nature.
It’s against God’s nature to remember forgiven sins. He is the God of perfect grace. Grace forgets. Period.
Are you tired? I don't mean just the, "I have had a long week" or "I didn't get a good night's rest" kind of tired. I am talking about the deeper, more persistent and gnawing kind of tired. The "I have been running from my past for too long" or "I am tired of trying to measure up to everyone else's expectations" kind of tired. You won't find rest to that kind of weariness on vacation or a change of scenery. Renewal of the spirit comes from God alone and He gives it freely to those who seek Him. Your Father loves you and He promises rest to the weary. from 728b Facebook page "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
I was thanking the Father for His mercy. I began listing the sins He’d forgiven. “Remember the time I. . .” I was about to thank Him for another act of mercy. But then I stopped. Something was wrong. The word “remember” seemed displaced, off-key. It was like a baseball game in December… It didn’t fit. Does He remember?
Then I remembered His words in Isaiah 43:25, “I am He who blots out your transgressions, and I will not remember your sins.” Wow! That’s a remarkable promise. God doesn’t just forgive, he forgets. He destroys the evidence. He clears the hard drive. He doesn’t remember my mistakes.
He doesn’t remember! For all the things He does do, this is the one thing He refuses to do!
Genuine humility doesn’t mean regarding yourself with contempt or engaging in self-abuse, but rather means esteeming yourself in realistic terms. And since God regards your life as worthy of an infinite redemption, true humility means respecting yourself, honoring the miracle of God’s presence within you and valuing your identity as a beloved child of God... An old chassidic tale says that every person should walk through life with two notes, one in each pocket. On one note should be the words anokhi afar ve'efer (אָנכִי עָפָר וָאֵפֶר) -- "I am but dust and ashes," and on the other note the words, bishvili nivra ha'olam (בִּשְׁבִילִי נִבְרָא הָעוֹלָם) -- "For my sake was this world created." We are dust, yes indeed, but we are glorious dust because of God’s love: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49).
The Spirit expressly states that in acharit ha'yamim, the latter days, people will have “seared consciences,” that is, a moral sense that is rendered unresponsive, numb, and unfeeling... People will be unable to discern the significance of moral and spiritual reality, thereby silencing any qualm of moral protest. We see this today in our scandal-saturated culture, as politicians brazenly lie with impunity and moral anarchy is openly celebrated. We must be careful not to heed ...the devil’s logic of compromise, that “dialectic” that denies transcendental moral reality by pretending that truth can only be defined by the pragmatism of the hour and its desire. "The world passes away and the lusts thereof..." (1 John 2:17). We must consciously remind ourselves that the LORD God of Israel does not endorse sin, regardless of any supposed political benefit given to the world at large, and that the end never justifies the means. God is not a pragmatist, and there are no "noble lies" for sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.
You will likely receive a Christmas card this year that says something about “peace on earth.” That was after all the promise that came with the birth of Christ. But if you know anything about what happened to everyone associated with that story, what they experienced after that seems far from peaceful.
Jesus did not seem concerned with making others comfortable. That wasn’t the peace he brought. He constantly challenged his disciples, such as with the short-term mission trip he sent them on in Luke 10.
Luke 10:1-7 (NIV) "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go . . . 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you."
Basically Jesus strips away everything that would normally provide them peace. They have to leave familiar surroundings to go to different and sometimes hostile towns. They have to live with strangers. They don’t have credit cards, they don’t have any extra supplies, so their peace and security will not come from what they possess.
He strips away everything that would normally give them peace, but Jesus talks like they will still have this sense of peace that is something they carry with them.
It’s a peace that comes with depending on God. It’s the peace of being in His forgiveness. It’s something they carry wherever they go..
The lesson they were to learn on this trip is that they have a peace they can give to others, but a peace others can never take away from them. We can have that too. We can have peace that doesn’t depend on how others treat us or how much we have in the bank. We have a peace that we can bring into our marriages, our homes, our offices, if we have Christ and his forgiveness.
John 14:27 (NCV) 27 “I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid".
The world thinks of peace as a lack of conflict, and that is always threatened when circumstances change, when a recession hits, when disease strikes. That sort of peace never lasts. That sort of peace is always vulnerable. Jesus says that is not the brand of peace he offers.
His peace, his shalom, is not just the absence of conflict, but an empowering blessing connected to righteousness and the forgiveness and faithfulness of the holy God.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NRSV) "4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."