FORGIVEN, FORGOTTON, FLOURISHING

   Have you ever been rejected by someone you really love?  They hurt you really bad.  You have a scar on your heart that will be forever engraved there.  In fact the whole thing changed you, changed you forever.

   I did that to a person once.  A very close friend.  I rejected her completely.  I know I hurt her deeply.  Several years passed, and our paths met again.  Jesus had changed me and I was less of a self-centered and narcisstic person by then (this has been an ongoing process, Jesus is still working on that in me!).    I apologized to her for my past behavior and she accepted my apology.  She forgave me.  I expected her to be properly polite to me, but never dreamed she would ever want me as a friend again.  But that is what has happened.  She has not only forgiven me, but she seems to want to have a relationship with me.

   I realize that’s what our salvation is all about.  I fear the majority of us don’t have a clue as to what we’ve been saved ‘from’.  We don’t really understand that we are born in sin, we live in sin, we are sin.  We are like the fish that doesn’t ‘know’ it’s in water, it’s just IN water, and that’s all it knows.  All of us are in the same boat – from the worst of sinner to the devoted, church-going, praying person – we are all in the same boat without Jesus.  Only Jesus can remove the punishment that is due to us.  That wrath of God.  We don’t like to hear about it, or think about it.  But it is such a wonderful thing that our God is just and fair.  He is good and perfect in everything He does.  And if I stand before Him and I have not been washed clean by Jesus, then I would not be able to argue with Him when He sentenced me to eternal damnation.  It would be the only thing He could do.  He can’t be anything else but just.

   But He WANTS to be with me, and me with Him.  That just amazes me.  So He provided the way through Jesus.  I’m forgiven.  Abba Father says, “Sue, your sin is forgiven.”   Because of Jesus.  Thank you Jesus.  But God doesn’t stop there.  Just like that friend above, God not only forgives, but He forgets.  He forgets because all He can see now is His Son, Jesus.  Thank you Jesus.  Micah 7 proclaims: 

18 Who is a God like you,
       who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
       of the remnant of his inheritance?
       You do not stay angry forever
       but delight to show mercy.

 19 You will again have compassion on us;
       you will tread our sins underfoot
       and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

   What a reason to rejoice!!!  We are forgiven!   Our sins are forgotton! 

   But God doesn’t stop there.  We are flourishing.  He blesses us.  He guides us, teaches us, loves us, never leaves us.  Oh my!  On and on and on we can go!  And look at this!!!!!! –  “I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.”  Jeremiah 32:40 This is a promise from our God, dear brothers and sisters.  HE has made this covenant with us.  When we have been converted and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we have this assurance.  God will NEVER stop doing good to us!  And God will place His fear in our hearts so that we will not turn away from Him!  We will not WANT to turn away from Him, as we fear Him more and more.  ‘fear’ = knowing Him, in awe of Him, understanding His great power and majesty and goodness.

   I’m speechless.  Thank you Jesus.

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