“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:33b-34 NIV
CONTEXT: Jeremiah prophesied concerning the New Covenant instituted through the blood of Christ. For all who are in Christ, God will forgive their sins and remember them no more!
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19 NIV
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?
This is the story of a man who lusted for what he should not have seen. It is a story of sin that spiraled out of control.
King David was a man after God’s own heart, a good man who trusted God in all situations. He was surrendered to God’s will. He was a musician and wrote songs praising the Lord. Yet he lusted after a woman he should not look upon – Bathsheba, a beautiful woman married to one of his elite military commanders, Uriah the Hittite. David saw her bathing, and he sent for her, committed adultery with her, and she became pregnant.
David tried to cover his tracks by summoning her husband Uriah, who was away at war. He assumed Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba, and it would look like he was the father of the child.
However, Uriah refused to go home while the soldiers under his command were at war, and he slept outside the palace instead. David was so desperate to cover up his sin that he had Uriah sent to the front lines, where the battle was fiercest, so that he would be killed. And so he was. The sin of “lust of the eyes” spiraled down and down, and ended in murder.
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16
Yet God called David “a man after my own heart.” How could he do this? How could this man of God fall to such depths of sin?
“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” Acts 13:22b
There is no limit to the depths of sin a person is capable of once once he or she starts to walk away from God. Committing just one sin often makes people callous to bigger sins, until they find themselves doing things they never imagined they would do.” Dr. David Jeremiah
Dr. David Jeremiah
So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. He said,
“There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.”
Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!“ (2 Samuel 12:1-7a)
The consequences of David’s sin were severe. The child born to him by Bathsheba became sick and died; and calamity never left David’s household.
Broken-hearted over what he had done, David cried out to the Lord, repented of his sins, and was forgiven. In his sorrow, David wrote Psalm 51.
“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” (vs. 7)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” (vs. 10-11)
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” (vs. 17)
Once forgiven, and the weight of his sin lifted, David wrote this Psalm:
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 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.” Psalm 103:8-12
David experienced the overwhelming power of God’s forgiveness and mercy – forgiveness for sins which were evil in the sight of the Lord. That forgiveness is an indescribable experience that leaves one changed forever. It brings with it a deep understanding of God’s mercy and love. It brings relief from shame, relief from guilt that is too heavy to carry. And it is available to us today.
The Apostle Paul said, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift”. 2 Corinthians 9:15
May we forever praise Him and bring glory to His Name.
“Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.” Psalm 25:6-7 NIV
I was eavesdropping on a conversation recently (couldn’t help it – I was at the hair salon!) Anyway, one lady was complaining about her husband and another woman. The stylist listened attentively and threw in an occassional “Ohhh!” or “No!!” The complaining lady was really angry (and I could see why!)
I couldn’t stop thinking about what I overheard because it related to the subject of today’s post. When we’ve been deeply hurt and can’t forgive, it will lead to bitterness of heart.
The problem with bitterness is that, even though your anger and resentment may be justified, it will destroy you. Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., describes bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and deservedly regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.”
He says, ” if we repeatedly ruminate over how we’ve been victimized, our “nursing” our wrongs may eventually come to define some essential part of who we are. Take hold of our very personality. And so we’ll end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but, principally, of ourselves.”
Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
Since a root is the hidden part of a plant or tree, we can think of a bitter root as being the hidden source of bitterness. What is the seed from which that bitter root sprouts in our heart? It’s that tiny speck of unforgiveness, that tiny speck of indignation that we allow to remain in our hearts. It’s that tiny speck of resentment that we justify in our mind.
Let’s call this tree Bitterness. The function of it’s roots are the same as other roots. Roots can keep a tree in place for hundreds of years and nothing can move it . Winds and storms won’t dislodge it!
Secondly, the roots nourish the tree to make sure it keeps growing stronger and stronger.
And lastly, roots can cause trouble when they grow where they aren’t wanted – like when they invade water pipes or sewer systems.
Is it any wonder that God used the analogy of roots when warning us about bitterness? But where He gives a warning, he provides an answer.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1 NIV
As we humbly come to Him, seeking His way and His will, God will provide the grace to forgive and let go. Many times, the injustice we must forgive cannot be forgiven in our own strength, but God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And what is the opposite of bitterness? Contentment, Happiness, Sweetness! That is God’s plan for you.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 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. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;” Psalm 103:8-13 NIV
“God takes our sins – the past, present, and future, and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says NO FISHING ALLOWED.” Corrie ten Boom
Is your heart breaking? Are you in deep despair? Is depression crushing you? Even when you think you can’t hang on, God will hang on to you. No matter what life is throwing at you, no matter how weak your faith might be right now, God will hold you fast.
How do I know? I know because He has done this for me. It has been over 60 years since I asked Jesus to be my Savior. Through many trials, through many sorrows, through all my many failings, He never let me go.
He never said, “That’s it! I’m done with her. She’s gone too far now. Enough is enough!”
When I doubted, He held me fast. When I rebelled, He held me fast. When I went astray, He held me fast. When I was in deep despair, He held me fast. When my heart was broken, He held me fast. This is why I love Him and why I praise Him unashamedly.
It is when I acknowledged my own shortcomings, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses that I grasped the depth of His great love and forgiveness and understood just how much I really need Him.
If you are searching for love, forgiveness, and mercy, come to Jesus. His love surpasses all understanding. He loves you, yes you.
Scripture for Meditation
“If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there … Your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:10)
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
“You are not your own;you were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
During his 1953 Inauguration, Dwight D. Eisenhower had a Bible opened to II Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Easter reminds me that because Jesus paid the penalty for my sins, I am free from guilt and shame. Have you ever felt such deep guilt that you couldn’t get over it? Most people probably haven’t done anything terrible enough to bring on that kind of deep shame.
For those who have, love for Jesus runs very deep because it changes your life in a very tangible way. It can’t be explained to someone who hasn’t experienced it. Maybe you could imagine what it would be like when you hear the hymn, Amazing Grace, written by John Newton, a slave ship captain who experienced God’s merciful forgiveness.
Another example is a woman known only as “the sinful woman” found in Luke 7:36-50
This woman came to see Jesus while he dined with some religious leaders. The passage only tells us the bare bones of the story, but we can imagine what might have taken place. I have often wondered, what she was doing at the party?
“But it was acceptable in Jesus’ day for people to come to a party to watch and listen to the conversation. They were not allowed to eat, but they could observe. She was not interested in eating.” (Never Thirsty Ministry)
She was interested in seeing and hearing Jesus.
I have no idea what Jesus and the Pharisees talked about. Maybe Jesus talked about forgiveness of sins. Maybe, as she listened, she believed He was the Christ and she experienced the joy of receiving forgiveness.
Maybe Jesus quoted Old Testament Scriptures such as Isaiah 1:18.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Maybe He quoted Psalm 103:12.
“… as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
And maybe, He looked right in her eyes as he did, not at the Pharisees, but only at her, and maybe that is why she cried so hard that she could actually wash His feet with her tears.
Verse 44 tells us that Jesus turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “… her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Imagine how she felt, knowing He was talking about her.
She probably thought no one would pay any attention to her that evening. But Jesus looked right at her and spoke the words she longed to hear: “Her many sins have been forgiven.”
Easter means forgiveness and cleansing to me. Anyone carrying around guilt can be set free from that heavy load, just like I was. Only believe.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-8 KJV
(See Who is Jesus? below.)
Luke 7:36-50 Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”