One of Pastor Tim’s sermons [Prayer for Judgment, July 14, 2019] reminded me about a speeding ticket incident. Years ago I got a speeding ticket in Bladen County. I was a wreck (Southern for distraught) and called my good friend who is an attorney. He still laughs because I left a message for him that I was in a hotel in Fayetteville and needed his help. I left that message through tears of course. I forgot to mention it was just a speeding ticket! He was panicked til he heard it was a speeding ticket and then he couldn't stop laughing. He kept it "our" secret and acted like it never happened. To this day he never told Mike and neither did I. We will see if he reads this blog! He explained about the prayer for judgment that I could use. The ticket would be forgiven as long as I did not get another ticket within the next three years. But if I did get another ticket then I would be charged with both. I can tell you that kept me up that night. All night I beat myself up for speeding. If only! If only I would have slowed down. If only I would have had my cruise control on!
How do I "deal with" or “judge” others? Sometimes I keep fresh in my mind their injustices toward my family or me. When I feed the memory of their faults, my punishment for them grows. Sometimes we may even make them pay for their transgressions by holding it over their head. Let's read Psalm 103:10, "..He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities." We won’t even get into Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
I am so thankful that when God forgives, God forgets! Hebrews 8:12, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." In the old covenant, God promised to bless His people if they followed His commands. Because people were so sinful they could not do this. God sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. He sits at the right hand of God as the great High Priest. When we accept that He died on the cross for us and give our life to Jesus, He becomes our Lord and Savior. When we confess and repent of our sins, our sins are remembered no more. Psalm 103:10, "...He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities."
Psalm 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." I found the following information in an article about the Hubble telescope. "If you traveled 500 mph non-stop, literally sixty-minutes of every hour, twenty-four hours in every day, seven days in every week, fifty-two weeks in every year, with not a moment's pause or delay, it would take you 20,000,000,000,000,000 years (that's 20 quadrillion years) to get there! And that would only get you to the farthest point that our best telescopes have yet been able to detect. God remembers our sins no more!
When we have repented and asked for forgiveness, God does not remember our sins anymore so why should we? Guilt results from something we do not think we should have done. Shame results from our not being the person we think we should be. The enemy tries to keep us hung-up on past mistakes. If the enemy can keep us in shame then he can keep us focused on ourselves and not on what Jesus did for us.
If you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior then no matter what you have done in the past, you are FREE from the condemnation and guilt that comes with sin. Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, the debt was paid in full. Jesus fully settled FOREVER EVERY sin that God could have held against us. Remind the enemy that not only have we been forgiven but we are declared righteous! Isaiah 61:10, “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,...”
Next time you are feeling worthlessness and shame remember that is not conviction. Those are not feelings from God! Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,...” Start praising Jesus for what He did to free you from condemnation and guilt! Get your eyes off of ourselves and get them on Jesus! When we trust that Jesus’ payment was enough, we receive abundant and everlasting grace. Those thoughts no longer need to keep you up at night!
Have you thanked God today for forgiveness?