We all have a story. We have secrets. We have skeletons in our closets. We’ve made mistakes and have done things we regret.
However, there is good news! Once you turn to Christ and repent for your wrongdoings, you are forgiven instantly. God no longer remembers what you did five years ago, five weeks ago, or yesterday. All He is concerned about is what you’re going to do from now on.
Looking back at my life, I’ve made some really bad decisions. Some of my words and actions have affected me and others in negative ways. A few of them were made out of selfishness; others by hurt or by simply being irrational. Nonetheless, I’ve made choices and done things that I wish I could take back or do differently.
“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.” Psalm 51:1-2 (NLT)
I love how pastor and author Dr. Bruce Hebel explained God’s forgiveness and love for us: “Again, for reasons I don’t understand, God refused to give up on mankind. In His rich compassion, God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay man’s sin debt… Forgiveness of sins is the very reason Jesus came.”
It can be hard to really imagine someone loving you so much that they would be willing to sacrifice their life for you, but God’s love is unfailing, faithful, and true. He wants to set us free from our hurt, guilt, and bondage. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us so that we could live.
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. ” Ephesians 1:7-8 (NLT)
Another aspect of God’s forgiveness is repentance. When the Bible or Christians say repent, I immediately think to just ask God for forgiveness and that’s it, but in actuality the word repent is more than that. To repent means “to turn from sin and go the other direction.” So in essence, when we go to God truly sorry for the sins we’ve committed against Him and the possible hurt we have caused others, our hearts and minds must change. In relationships, we often say “Sorry doesn’t mean anything unless you stop doing what you’re sorry for.” That also applies to our relationship with God. He accepts our apologies, but He wants us to live better after we’ve said “I’m sorry.” Repenting does not mean that we’re going to be perfect from that point forward. God knows we’re only human, and we will continue to make mistakes. He just wants our intentions to be pure and to be mindful of our actions.
Thinking about it, God’s grace and mercy really does save us from ourselves. We don’t deserve many of the things He has blessed us with. He has kept us out of harms way and protected us, but we should not take it for granted. After a while, He may pull away His hand of protection over us, but He would not be doing it to punish us. God only wants us to be obedient to His Word and to wake us up from this invincible life we think we are living. He wants us to honor and acknowledge Him in our everyday lives and turn from our sins.
I am so grateful and thankful to God for His goodness. It is so awesome that as soon as we come to Him with a prayer of forgiveness, He forgives and forgets! The Lord no longer holds our sins and mistakes against us. OUR PAST IS CANCELLED. I like to imagine God taking a red stamp that says “cancelled” on it and slamming that stamp on my past like you would stamp a piece of paper. I encourage you to turn to God. Free yourself of the guilt. God won’t condemn you. He will simply love on you even more because you are a child of the Most High. Amen!
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“Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” Micah 7: 18-19 (NLT)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
“If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new a creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NCV)
“You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalms 51:16-17 (NLT)
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and your idols. Also, I will teach you to respect me completely, and I will put a new way of thinking inside you. I will take out the stubborn hearts of stone from your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and help you live by my rules and carefully obey my laws.” Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NCV)