I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you. (Isaiah 43:25 TEV)
When something starts going wrong in your life, do you automatically think, “God's getting even with me. I know it! I did that thing I'm ashamed of yesterday (or last year or twenty years ago), and now he's settling the score”?
Does God really treat his children that way? Absolutely not! Isaiah says God doesn't hold our sins against us. Once we've confessed our sins to him, it's all forgiven and forgotten, and he doesn't even bring up the past.
If you're a Christian, pay close attention to Ephesians 1:4-5: “Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children—this was his pleasure and purpose” (GNT).
Do you realize that when God looks at you, he sees you through Jesus Christ? When Jesus died on the cross, he paid for all of your sins, so you are forgiven and they are forgotten.
That's why becoming a Christian is such GOOD NEWS. I give Jesus my life, and he takes it, forgives me and then gives me a new chance. He says, "Now I see you without a single fault. You stand before me covered with my love.”
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.