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Tuesday: “If You, Lord, Should Mark Iniquities” — 6 Comments

  1. Last year I was on the Avondale University campus photographing birds when I noticed an old man walking down the path towards me. We both stopped and chatted for a while and as part of the conversation, I asked him if he was a local. He replied that he wasn't but that he had been a student at Avondale many years ago and this was his first return visit. I sensed that he may have been a student when I was a student so I enquired when and he told me he was here in the 1960s. So, we exchanged names. When I told him my name he reacted with a sly grin and he said, "I am glad to catch up with you again because I owe you a big apology." He then told me that back in our student days, he was angry with me over some perceived wrong and had tried to hit me. He had carried the feeling of guilt for over 60 years and was glad of the opportunity to ask my forgiveness.

    To be honest, I had forgotten the incident (old age does that to you) and of course, I forgave him. But, the incident reminded me that when it comes to things we feel guilty about, God forgets them too!

    “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
    This is God’s Message:
    “If your sins are blood-red,
    they’ll be snow-white.
    If they’re red like crimson,
    they’ll be like wool.
    If you’ll willingly obey,
    you’ll feast like kings.
    But if you’re willful and stubborn,
    you’ll die like dogs.”
    That’s right. God says so. Isaiah 1 17-19 MSG

    Where is the god who can compare with you—
    wiping the slate clean of guilt,
    Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear,
    to the past sins of your purged and precious people?
    You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long,
    for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most.
    And compassion is on its way to us.
    You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing.
    You’ll sink our sins
    to the bottom of the ocean. Micah 7:18,19 MSG

    The bottom line is that when we ask for God's forgiveness, he forgets what we have done - on purpose! He is not a divine score-keeper!

  2. "34...Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:34-37

    Every careless word?? All of our words are marked down and will be used as a witness for or against the state of our hearts? (Luke 12:3) "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." Oh boy! "Loose lips sink ships."

    So how do I avoid being careless? If You're marking down every word to review in Your Courts, Lord, who could stand?

    The opposite of "careless" is probably not "careful"....care-full....full of cares....

    The opposite of "careless" is probably "careless"....what?!.... as in "less cares" because I've handed them all over to Jesus. Less cares because the Holy Spirit is prompting me to bridle my tongue as He leads my heart to repentance of not wanting to say those words anyway. (James 3:2-6,9-10)

    And with less cares my words will be "caring". Because in Christ, careless words can be caring....patient, gentle, humble, kind, generous, peaceful, God-honoring, others-honoring..... wow.

    Through God's tremendous mercy, who I am when my guard is down can reveal that I am hidden in Him. He has forgiven my words.

  3. If I had to pay for all my iniquities, there may not be much left to survive. But because God is infinite love, He fixed this problem forever: accepting His Son's blood, which must lead to repentance, and developing a practical faith is the way to go. My fight against myself is to avoid falling into the same pit every day. And this can be a reward from a constant and persistent relationship with my Savior.

  4. If He counted all my sins,I would stand guilty as charged,but who is Our God? Full of mercy and compassion.Help me Lord,not to take advantage of Your mercifulness.

  5. If the Lord should mark iniquities without forgiveness, I might be already dead. Looking back over my life, I sometimes wonder how often the heavenly hosts might have 'shaken their heads' as they observed my abandonment of all conventions and safety, necessitating their coming to my aid.
    Having been forgiven – set right - in so many instances, I now understand that nothing is more consequential and more beautiful than God’s Forgiveness. It is the mortar binding us to Him! More than that - it provides all the building blocks, the timber, and nails necessary to establish the firm foundation for our house to be build upon the solid rock – His Son, Jesus Christ!

    We desperately need His and each other’s forgiveness! It provides hope and motivation to make the necessary adjustments to keep our ‘house’ stable and strong. Experiencing His Forgiveness is our heavenly Father’s greatest gift to all who want their house remain stronge and well insulated – Luke 6:47-49.

    We cannot live without His forgiveness - it is like a strong and healthy blood flow circulating throughout the body, nourishing and healing it. It is vitally important to recognize that we need to forgive one another as God has forgiven us; not holding a grudge or misgivings in our heart. Called upon to lay up treasures in heaven - forgiving one another is among the most precious gems – Matt.6:19-21.

    The lesson writer includes the statement by Hans K. LaRondelle: “... His ‘anger’ is aroused only by man’s failure to appreciate His love ... The purpose of His anger is not to wound, but rather to heal man; not to destroy but to save His covenant people.”
    Yes, to be forgiven and able to wait upon the Lord, allowing His timing to set things right is among our greatest blessings!


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