Last Sunday I delivered the New Year’s message at church. I covered six areas that we should all deal with as we enter into 2016. I’ll try to cover each one in the next few days.
I’ll introduce the first area by quoting that late great philosopher, Erma Bombeck, who reminded us that, “Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.”
Some “gift,” huh?
Guilt is such a waste of time and energy. Plus, it accomplishes nothing. The first don’t, then, for 2016 is: Don’t drag any guilt or shame from 2015 (or earlier) into the new year. Deal with it. Confess it and move on. You know as well as I do that the burden of condemnation for past sins we’re repented of comes only from the enemy whose goal is to distract us from our destiny in God. Don’t let him rob you of a single day of peace in 2016 by keeping you burdened by the guilt and shame of the past.
That don’t obviously leads to the do, which is DO bring total forgiveness and grace into your life in 2016.
If you are a believer in Christ, if His Holy Spirit lives in you, you are a forgiven person. Don’t let Satan take that away from you with his lies that serve to perpetuate guilt over sins that God has long ago forgiven and forgotten. If you’ve asked for forgiveness for your sin once, you’re forgiven. God’s not hard of hearing. He forgives us in Christ. We don’t need to ask twice. The second time we ask for forgiveness for the same sin, it’s an admission we asked in unbelief the first time.
When Satan brings up any confessed sin again—along with feelings of shame—silence him immediately by pointing him to the blood of the Cross.
Let’s all enter 2016 with the sure knowledge that we have a clean slate with God. His blood is continually cleansing us from all sin. There is simply no need to carry it any longer.
Here’s a great verse that describes God’s attitude towards our past sins. Pay attention especially to the highlighted part.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us “(Psalm 103:8-12 ESV).
Friend, don’t focus on sins that are as removed from you as the east is from the west. Focus today on God’s steadfast love for you. Focus on your righteousness in Christ.
Up next: don’t miss a vital component to your successful life in 2016.