Study from God’s Word… Jeremiah 51: 59; Jer. 50: 1 - 40 … Passage for Reflection: Jeremiah 50: 20 … NIV 20 In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "search will be made for Israel's guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.
My Journal for Today: When I surrendered my all to Christ in 1983 at the age of 39, it was hard for me to imagine that God would – or even could – wipe me clean from well over 22 years of habituated and habitual sin; and it took several years for me to come to the realization that the Lord had done just that on the cross. And when I finally internalized that reality, the liberation I felt was mind saving, and actually mind blowing.
Today, in his devotional entry, Dr. LaGard Smith asks his readers (like me), “Ever wish you could start all over again … in a job, … in a marriage, … or in some strained personal relationship?” I’d wager [though I’m not a betting man] that anyone reading this would answer “YES” to that question. Well, if we’re really born-again Christians, we know that God, in and through Christ, has done just that by His death, resurrection, and re-coronation in heaven. So, the question is not whether God can – or has – wiped our slate clean; … no, the question is “DO I BELIEVE IT?”
It took me a long while in my discipleship to get to that place of complete trust in the reality of God’s saving and sanctifying grace. And it was truth, like that espoused in today’s highlight text, that helped my mind and heart grasp the reality that I’m forgiven, cleansed, and purged of all past sin, present sin, and yes, even future sin. And yes, I also realize, as the Apostle Paul expressed in Romans 6: 1-4 [linked] that this reality doesn’t give me the license to test God’s grace out and see if He’s the real deal in His promise and power to forgive and cleanse my slate.
No, recognizing that God has me in a constant state of forgiving grace motivates me all the more to live and walk in the freedom He has graciously and mercifully given to me. It’s simply wonderful to realize that if God can forgive the remnant of believers in Israel and Judah in Jeremiah’s day, He certainly can forgive a repentant Bill Berry in my day. And I hope that you have come to the place in your life when you recognize and live in the realization that your slate is clean, in Christ, as well.
Some time ago, I came across a wonderful poem, written by Woodrow Kroll, entitled “Start Over,” which expressed the hope and promise we have as Christians to live a “do over” life. It’s a wonderfully liberating poem; and anyone who would like a copy, I charge you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a copy of this poem. If you do, I’ll be glad to send it to you. You’ll love it; and it’ll be a good way for me to see who’s reading here. ;>) So, if you’d like to have a copy of Kroll’s poem, email me.
My Prayer for Today: Oh my Lord, thank you for cleaning my slate! Amen