By Helen Knueven
In Matthew 18:21, Peter asked, “Lord – how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Seven?” Peter was being generous, since he was taught to forgive three times.
Imagine his amazement at Jesus’ answer. Probably expecting to be commended, Jesus tells him, “Not seven, Peter, but seventy times seven.” Of course, God was not really talking about counting, but forgiving.
Do you think that God’s standard for Himself would be lower than the one that He gives to us? Will God forgive us as much as we are commanded to forgive each other?
In Hebrews 8:12 – The Word says, “For I will be merciful to their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more.” (NASB)
Another great scripture that I love I Micah 7:19: “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths. Of the sea.” (NLT)
Many Christians are almost drowning in the sea of God’s forgetfulness. As Corrie Ten Boom said, “No Fishing.”
The Lord says that He forgives us when we ask. He throws our sins in the sea and chooses to forget them! It’s not that Jesus really has a bad memory, but He chooses to forgive and to forget.
Our sins are like evil sharks that could destroy us if we could not receive God’s great forgiveness.
But Jesus throws these sharks in the sea of His forgetfulness! How great and how unlike us He is!
You may be struggling with the same sin for a long time. But God knows your heart. When you ask Him to forgive you, He does not hesitate.
Get out of the sea of those forgiven and forgotten sins. Those sharks would like nothing better than to paralyze you and condemn you and cause you to run from God.
I’ve learned from experience that it just doesn’t work to try to pay for my sins by playing the movie in my head. Jesus paid for every one of them when He hung on the Cross. (John 3:16)
I, for one, am very happy to dwell on this subject. It clears my mind, it feeds my spirit, and energizes my heart in forgiving others when I remember the great mercy He has given me. How freeing to know that He looks at me so differently than I look at myself.
I recently heard a lady tell a friend struggling with condemnation– “If you have asked Jesus into your life, when God looks at you, He sees Jesus, not your sins.” The lady replied, “Now I’m starting to understand because when Christians are hard to work with, I try to see Jesus in them. Are you saying that God is seeing Jesus in me?”
Yes – that is what she was saying. And that is what God’s Word says about Jesus being the perfect sacrifice.
God’s love is like an ocean – free of danger, and rich in mercy. Wouldn’t you rather be there? I know I do.