March 4, 2023
He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations. (From the Introit for the Second Sunday in Lent)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God always remembers, even when we forget. That can seem terrifying, can’t it? God our Father will never forget. He will always remember.
And if you’re stuck on thinking that he will always remember everything wrong you’ve done, every time you’ve messed up, every instance of back-talking and “massaging” the truth for your own purposes, you’ll be terrified of him.
But here’s the thing. God forgets because he remembers. It seems to not make sense, but look at what He says in His own words. In Psalm 103 the Holy Spirit inspires King David to write, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” God remembers his covenant, and his covenant says that He forgives those who repent, and that repentance is made sure in the shed blood of Jesus.
That sin that has been bugging you for weeks, maybe months? Have you confessed it to God? Then He’s forgiven it! He forgives and forgets it, because He remembers that Jesus bore that sin to His cross on Golgotha.
You should treat your sins the same way. Once you’ve confessed them, forget them. If God can’t remember them, then why should you? Oh, I know. It was such a terrible sin. You hurt people so badly when you committed it. And for the longest time, you didn’t really care. Then it started to bother you, so you still carry it around now as some sort of reminder about how bad a person you are.
But that is not how God remembers it, or you. When God looks at you, He has to look through Jesus to see you. And when He sees Jesus, he remembers that He has forgiven all of your sins, because Jesus took them all from you and died for them, left them in His grave, and rose without them.
Jesus doesn’t carry those sins anymore, so God can’t remember them. What God does remember is His promise that He forgives you, He has made you His child, and life everlasting is yours, because He has washed you in Jesus’s blood and taken all that sin away to the point that not even God remembers them.
God remembers that you are His child, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. He remembers that He’s made a place for you with Him forever. Thanks be to God that He remembers, even when we forget. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of Your laws and in the works of Your commandments that through Your mighty protection we may ever be preserved in both body and soul; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Collect for Divine Guidance)
-Pastor Duane Bamsch is the Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley, CA and the President of Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.