Tuesday – December 20, 2016
Read: Romans 3:21-26
Focus: vs 24
“. . .and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
You know, most of us have memorized the verse just before this one, but stopped right there. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”. We seem to be more interested in letting everyone know that we are all sinners than letting them know they can be justified by God’s grace. “Justified” – what a word! I heard a preacher when I was young define it as meaning, “Just as if I’d never sinned.” All of us have sinned but God has made it possible through His grace to make it as if we never had sinned. How can He do that? When we harm one another in some way by committing sin against them can it be made to go away so they never even think of it anymore? Not likely, is it? With a little effort and most often with no effort I can remember saying or doing something that hurt someone else, or remember something someone else said or did that hurt me. Our remember-ers seem to work better than our forgetters in this area, don’t they? But God doesn’t work that way. When He forgives He is able to forget that it ever happened. Isn’t that a really good thing for us?
We live in a very technical age where most everything is digitally recorded somewhere. Social media users seem to think that they can say or do anything online and it will never impact them. Or, they feel they can write anything in an email – or receive one – and then delete it and it is gone forever. Not so, say the technical experts. Everything is still there and just needs to be extracted. It may take a while but it can be done. I think it is a good thing that it is not easy or inexpensive to do or we might all be trying to do it and who knows where that will lead? Some high-profile people have done these things and have found out the hard way that deleted items can be recovered.
The neat thing about God is that when he deletes something, like our sins, He never remembers them against us again. I know that I sometimes have a hard time keeping myself from remembering something someone did that hurt me or my family. It seems that even if I have been able to forgive them, the enemy of my soul keeps trying to bring those things back to trip me up and spoil my relationship with them and with others. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 103:12, “. . . as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Hebrews 8:12 quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-34 these words, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” What a blessing is the gift of justification to us! God, I thank You for justifying me and thus so completely forgiving my sins that you don’t even remember them anymore. Help me to live like a justified one ever grateful to an all wise and loving God.”