The thief, dying beside Jesus on an adjacent cross, believed and cried out to Him “Remember me!” (Luke 23:42). Instantly Jesus assured him, saying “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
Twice the author of Hebrews states the divine promise to those who repent (turn from sin and follow Christ Jesus) “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:12; 10:17)
Our Creator’s heart is to remember the sinner and to forget the sin! This is amazing! In fact, special words are necessary to describe it: Agapé: the love that motivated it, Grace: the un-earned kindness extended to us, and Mercy: the undeserved pardon only He could grant.
This willful remembering and forgetting on God’s part has all to do with His overriding desire for fellowship with us — His free-will creatures who can decide or not to love Him in return.
What can be our response to such an initiative?
This past Sunday at Lincoln Baptist Church Pastor Andrew directed our focus to the response of David in Psalm 103…
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits
- who forgives all your sins
- and heals all your diseases,
- who redeems your life from the pit
- and crowns you with love and compassion,
- who satisfies your desires with good things
- so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Stuff you learned in kindergarten really, but stuff sin led you to forget: say thank you, remember how blessed you are. Paul encouraged Timothy to remind his charge of these basics as “a good minister of Jesus Christ” (1 Tim. 4:6). “Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead,” he urges (2 Tim. 2:8). What a pitiful lot we are that we can so easily forget!
David ends his psalm as he began it, instructing his soul “Praise the Lord, my soul.” (v.22)
What things must you remember?
What things must you forget?
Which way is your soul going?
To every man there openeth a way and ways and a way.
The high soul treads the high way and the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats the rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth a high way and a low —
And every man decideth the way his soul will go. – John Oxenham
Lost one: Repent!