DAILY DEVOTIONAL – July 1, 2021
“Paid For, Not Ignored”
Prayer: Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we are amazed by Your love. You are how we know what love is. Help us Lord to receive the fullness of Your salvation and share Your love with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scripture: Jeremiah 31:33-34
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Devotional – “Paid For, Not Ignored”
Throughout my career thus far as a pastor, I have talked with many people who struggled to receive God’s free gift of forgiveness and continue to carry the burden of guilt and shame. I confess that I too have struggled with that same thing. We all have those sins in our life that have scarred our thoughts and that have wounded us deeply. Whether it was a sin from 20 years ago or a sin we committed just yesterday, we all have those regrets that haunt us.
Why is it, even as those who genuinely believe in Christ and know of God’s love and mercy, that we can still cling so tightly to the sins of our past and guard the guilt of which Christ died to set us free from? It is because we do not have the capacity or even a frame of reference as sinful people to fathom, understand, or quantify the immeasurable love and grace of God. We know in our hearts that we would never love our enemies as God has loved us. We would never be as patient and long-suffering as God is with our pride and stubbornness. We certainly wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice our own life for the sake of those who love us…but sacrificing yourself for someone who wants to kill you?! That kind of compassion and incomprehensible love can only come from God.
We find it hard to forget all the ways other people have wronged us. Almost without thinking, we can pull up the mental Rolodex of all the ways certain people in our life have hurt us or wronged us; even those we feel we have truly forgiven. Yet as God promised in Jeremiah 31, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Such forgiveness is foreign to us, but we can be certain that God indeed has forgotten our sins because Christ rose from the dead.
When God promises to remember our sins no more, He is not talking about turning a blind eye or forcing Himself to think of something else whenever we sin. God only forgets our sins because He has dealt with them by punishing His Son Jesus on the cross instead of us. God is holy and righteous and will not ignore sin. Evil must be answered for, and wrongs set right. That is the only way God forgets, and in Christ that is exactly what God has done. Through offering His perfect life for our sinful life, Christ has satisfied God’s wrath. For all of those who have faithfully and thankfully received God’s gift of forgiveness in Christ, when God looks at us, He no longer sees our unrighteousness, but the righteousness of His Son Christ that has been given to us through faith.
When we trust in the promises of God that He has given us in His Word, His promises of salvation in the blood of His Son Christ, then we are set free. We are only left with our guilt when we refuse the gift God has given to us in Christ. There is no sin more powerful than the grace of God. Whenever our own sinful nature or the devil torments us with the sins of our past of which we have repented, we should remember the Word of God when it says in 1 John 4, “every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God… Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Thanks for joining me today for another devotional, and remember, that God has forgiven yesterday, is with you today and has already taken care of tomorrow. Amen.