One amazingly cool thing about God is His willingness to forgive us of our sins. Not only is He willing to forgive us, He calls us to Him for the very purpose of redemption. When we turn to our Heavenly Father with a contrite and repentant heart, He honors us by wiping our slate clean. Isaiah 44:22 says, “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you”.
Think about the imagery that verse produces. With an easy brushing of His hand, God breezily pushes aside the offenses we have brought before Him in genuine repentance. He does not require great effort to do this. Like a cloud that gently drifts away in the sky or the morning mist which quickly disappears when the sun begins to rise, our Heavenly Father erases our offenses forever. He does this so that we can return to Him.
Sounds easy, right? For us it is simple; we need only confess our sins and He is faithful and just and He will forgive us. (1 Jn 1:9) For God, I suppose the act of brushing away our sins seems effortless, but the sacrifice it took to bring about the path of redemption was horribly difficult. God sent to earth His only Son, Jesus, who was mocked, hated by leaders of the time, ostracized by society, tortured and crucified. Jesus faced rejection and pain so that we could return to the Father. God had to TURN His back on His Son so that through Jesus’ shed blood we can now ask God to put BEHIND His back every single sin we commit. What a gloriously undeserved gift we have been given.
I have abused this gift. I have willfully chosen sin over asking God to forgive me and to help me out of the sinful situation. I dare to say I am not alone in this. But, Praise be to God that He never stopped loving me. He never stopped longing for me to repent so He could once again bestow upon me His gift of forgiveness. He did this, so I could return to Him.
I have learned that, while this gift is always available TO me, it is NOT meant for me to take for granted. I must learn from the mistakes I make and from the forgiveness God grants me and I must not continue to sin (1 Jn 5:18). Again, the amazing thing about God is that when I return to Him, He will return to me. (Zech 1:3)
“Heavenly Father forgive me for my sins. Bring to my mind any unconfessed sin in my life that I can repent and return to You. Thank You, Father, for providing the Way to You through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice for me and all of humanity. Lord Jesus, may I not take Your sacrifice and the gift of forgiveness for granted. I ask that Your Holy Spirit lead me and guide me every day. May Your Spirit speak clearly to my heart so that my daily choices bring You glory and honor. I ask all these things in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.”
Kami R. Lobner