I, I am the one who wipes out your rebellious behavior for my sake. I won’t remember your sin.
Last week we looked at reconciliation. This week’s topic is forgiveness and I raise the question, “Who is the hardest person to forgive?”
If you are like me, and I think many are, you harbor unforgiveness in your heart for one or more folks. This is not good, in fact it’s damnable. We’re told that in order to receive forgiveness from God we must forgive others first.
So, who is the hardest for you to forgive?
Why not look in the mirror?
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Many Christians carry guilt and shame even though they’ve been forgiven years ago by our merciful Father. And yet we can’t forgive ourselves. Why is that? Especially knowing that God forgives us.
Look at Isaiah 43:25. I’m reminded of a sermon Preacher Dan used years ago. He used the New International Version, which states, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” But when Dan read the verse, he pronounced it “s’mores.
I’ve never been a big fan of s’mores, that popular campfire treat which is made by placing a roasted marshmallow and a slab of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.
I admit they are pretty tempting when the gang is making them during a scene from one of the greatest movies ever, “Sandlot.” But I guess I’ve never been a big fan of the marshmallow. I never really cared for cookies, chocolate covered or otherwise, that had marshmallow centers. I always preferred snacks with crème in the middle, like Ring Dings. But S’mores are so popular that August 11 is claimed by some to be National S’more Day in the United States.
Enough about s’mores, I prefer the “no’mores,” found in the NIV translation of Isaiah 43:25, where we are told God will remember our sins no more.
It’s also important to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.” (CEB)
God longs to forgive me. And for me to forgive others.
And while I’m at it, maybe I’ll give s’mores another chance!
by Rick Reed
For Pondering & Prayer
Forgiveness is also for us. We don’t need to hold onto our shame and guilt. We simply need to take it to God. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that God sent Jesus to forgive us, but we need to forgive others. And we need God’s help to do it.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to rise every morning knowing that you forgive me, even me! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please help me to extend this forgiveness to all. Amen.