Our past, and that of our family and ancestors, can make us feel either proud or ashamed, depending on their deeds, background or reputation. With God, our past doesn’t matter. He sees us as we are today. What a blessing!
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Past, present and future
My mom researched both her parents’ genealogies, most of which she was proud. Her dad’s family came from royal families. When his ancestors came to America from England in the 1600s, they became shipbuilders, founders of cities, whale fishermen and other interesting businessmen and world shakers. My grandmother’s parents were part of the famous Underground Railroad before the Civil War. But my family also included a few nefarious members. One was hanged after being caught stealing a horse, a serious crime in the 1800s. Another became a polygamist who fathered more than 20 children.
We all have interesting pasts, as did God’s chosen people. Many of the Old Testament patriarchs were caught in sinful deeds in spite of their faith in God. But the message comes through loud and clear that God is One who forgives when we repent. He offers us second, third, fourth and more chances to change. We don’t have to be identified with or known by our past, because He will wipe it out, to be remembered no longer.
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing … I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19) The apostle Paul adds, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
It doesn’t matter if we’ve failed in school or jobs, in raising our family or taking care of our health—or if we continue to do so. That is, with repentance—turning from our failures toward God with the desire to change a full 180 degrees—we can receive full restoration. We may find ourselves repenting of a bad habit over and over. Perhaps several times a day. But God, in His infinite mercy and love, promises to forgive and restore.
God sees us as we are at this moment, not as we were yesterday when we sinned. “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12) Think about this: east and west never end, but are on a continuum, unlike north and south which end at opposite poles.
Lord, thank You for Your limitless love and forgiveness. We repent of our sins and ask that by the power of Your Spirit, You will keep us from continuing in our sins so we can thrive as Your worthy representatives and servants. In Jesus’ name, amen.