Forget not all His benefits: Forgiveness

Psalm 103:2  Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits.  Who forgives all my sins.

Simple yet profound.  This is the beginning benefit for Christ followers!  Our sins are forgiven.  Amazing, right?  This past week I've been thinking about what a contrast there is in my life when I forget this benefit.  When I became a Christian at nine years old, alone in my bed one Sunday night, I prayed a simple prayer of asking Jesus into my heart and to forgive me for my sins.  I don't recall any dramatic interaction with Him, but I knew that this what the Methodist pastor had preached that day, so I did it.  Every disobedience, every wrong thought everything I had done wrong was gone that night!  I asked Him to forgive me, and I knew He did.

As I have walked on these many years since that day, I can remember coming back to Him and asking for forgiveness sometimes I "felt" forgiven, sometimes I didn't.  However, I always was and am.  When we ask Him to forgive us, we have to believe that He does!  It isn't about feeling, it is about truth.

At times I think I take it for granted.  I forget the truth of forgiveness.  Oh when the BIG issues happen I quickly run to Him, but sometimes its the little things that I ask forgiveness for--but not really focus on the fact that they are gone as much as what I perceive as smaller issues.  In reality, they are all the same.  He simply forgives.  The Hebrew word for fogives in ths verse is salach.   According to my Spirit-filled Life Bible, this word is used about fifty times in the Old Testament.  But it is only used in God's forgiveness.  It means to forgive, pardon or spare someone.  It is only used with God doing the forgiving!  It is His chosen privilege to forgive us.  We love because He first loved us, we forgive, because we have been forgiven.  When we walk in the memory and reality of this forgiveness, it should change our approach to ourselves and to others.

This week I ask my grandchildren to help me put out some of my Easter decorations.  We were having fun.  One of them is a small plastic chicken who lays eggs---this was part of my growing up decorations. We had this chicken since elemenatry school.  My daughter in law came and I got distracted talking to her.  Then one of them came up to me, Grandma, I'm sorry it broke.  There was this little chicken who had made it through my childhood, my children's childhood with no feet!  I just looked at it.  I looked at her.  She said, I'm so sorry.  I'm so sorry.  I knew she was.  

We looked at the broken feet, in too many pieces to try and super glue together.  I set it down, kind of in shock.  Then my other granddaughter came and said, Look Grandma and handed me a blown egg Darryl had decorated about 7 or 8 years ago.  Broken.  The joyful memories of that long ago day came flooding back.  I walked into the kitchen took a deep breath and reminded myself that they were just things.  

What helped me not over react that day was two things.  I had had a reminder by the Holy Spirit of His forgiveness and love.  I had taken time to focus on the benefit of forgiveness for my own shortcomings.  It was easy for me to really forgive them, because I knew my slate was clean.  How could I not forgive them (and they weren't really even being disobedient, just being children), when I was walking in the freedom and peace of His love?  I was walking in His peace and love.  It was easy for me to extend grace to them.  

The egg wasn't shattered, just cracked so we put it back with the others in some easter grass.  The chicken is nestled in next to them--you can't see its feet so it is good.   

As we get closer to celebrating Resurrection Sunday take time to remember this wonderful benefit of forgiveness, it is truly a treasure.