As we begin this first full week of 2015, I would like to take a brief look back at 2014 and consider all the benefits God has bestowed on you. This will be a three-part message, rooted in these inspired words from one of David’s magnificent psalms:
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)
Of course, we could never be able to count up all of God’s blessings in our lives, but in this passage we see some wonderful thoughts for us to consider! Let’s take a look.
He Forgives All Your Sins
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
[The Lord says] “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25)
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 7:19)
It is instructive to see that David began his explanation of all the Lord’s benefits with forgiveness of sins, because without that forgiveness, what else really matters? And notice just how forgiven we really are! How far is the east from the west? It cannot be measured; it is a distance that can never be spanned. No matter how far you travel west, you will still have just as far to travel to reach the west!
God has assured us that He will remember our sins no more. Now, that is not the same as forgetting (as you and I might “forget” where we left our car keys), because God cannot forget. All things come from God (Romans 11:36) and all His works are known to him from eternity (Acts 15:18). But God chooses to remember our sins no more. He has blotted them out, meaning He will never bring them up against us for any reason. And that is because our sins were nailed to the cross through Jesus Christ.
Finally, picture God hurling all your sins into the depths of the sea. One of my favorite authors, Jerry Bridges, encouraged us in The Gospel for Real Life to note the force of the word hurl used in Micah 7:19. God “doesn’t just drop [our sins] over the side or even pitch them overboard,” Bridges wrote; “He hurls them as something to be rid of and forgotten.”
And then Bridges reminds his readers of a sweet phrase penned by the late Corrie ten Boom, who wrote, “And then God put up a sign saying, ‘No fishing allowed.’” There is no need for us to dredge up old sins and feel badly about them; God has placed them as far from us as the east is from the west; He has determined not to remember them; it is as if they had been hurled into the depths of the sea, never to be seen again.
So as you begin this New Year, it is important that we forget not the fact that God forgives all our sins. God’s forgiveness is the unshakeable foundation upon which a life of discipleship to Jesus is built. We’ll talk more about this on Wednesday.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!