Jeremiah 50:17-20

            Failure is not permanent.  The prophet Jeremiah had a message for Judah that excoriated their sin and wayward lives.  Most did not listen to Jeremiah.  As a result, the Babylonians came and destroyed Jerusalem’s wall and the temple, and took thousands into captivity.  But that was not the end of the story.  There would be a remnant of people who would survive.  The people in exile would return to the land.  When that time comes, “iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those who I leave as a remnant.”
 
            When God forgives, it is a clean slate.  The Lord does not hold people’s sins over their heads to use as leverage at some later point.  A pardon from God means that he takes his divine permanent marker and completely blots out the offense; it is gone.  The good news of the Holy Scriptures is that there is grace for the sinner. 
 
            One of the reasons we humans have such a difficult time forgiving others is because we do not really comprehend the forgiveness of God to us.  But when we discern and understand that God’s pardon means that he gives new life and a fresh start then we have confident hope for the future.  It causes us to forgive others as God has forgiven us.  This happens because we are in a place of spiritual stability and eternal security in Jesus Christ.  It is the secure, not the insecure, who know God’s grace and inherit the kingdom.
 

 

            Forgiving God, you extend your grace to me despite my past actions, attitudes, and words.  Thank you for this undeserved gift of new life.  Enable me to use this gift with great care so that Jesus is glorified.  Amen.

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