Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

You Are Forgiven – The Depth of Forgiveness

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Week Three – Day 4.  Thursday, September 15, 2016.

Read PSALM 103:11-13 (ESV)   SOAP v. 12wk3d4

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,  so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

O – If you read this passage in context, just before these verses, you read “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.” (v. 10)  But the whole psalm is FULL of these declarations – of how God deals with His people with compassion.  He does not delight in our sin, nor does He keep us in that condition of sin.  He forgives, heals, redeems, crowns us with love and compassion, satisfies us, renews our strength, is gracious, is slow to anger, is abounding in love, and…. More!  No wonder David wrote this psalm of praise!

Strong’s Concordance (Blueletterbible)

  • 11 – checed (noun) – merciful kindness
  • 13 – racham (verb) – to behold with tenderest affection, compassionate

A – I remember teaching cardinal directions to my fourth graders.  When we were discussing east and west, we talked about how if you head east, you just keep going and going and going and going…… then same with heading west!   You just never arrive, as you travel the globe, there is no ending point.  SO – if God removed our sins as far as the east is from the west – there is just no meeting point!  I read in a commentary (Chuck Smith) that if the psalmist had written north and south – that would be a different concept.  Once you reach north – you head south again.  There is a point.  BUT NOT with east and west!  THAT’S how far God removed them!  Never to be found or brought back again!  Hallelujah!

But this passage has more….   His steadfast love, His compassion, His removal of our sins.  His love.  Oh, how great it is!

So – I don’t need to bring up my past sins, to wallow in them, to pity myself, to beat myself up over them – because GOD doesn’t bring them up.  He removes them!  His kind, compassionate nature gets them out of my life!  He loves with a tender love.  Yes – He is a fearsome, awesome, majestic God – but He is ALSO a compassionate, kind, and loving God – my Father!

P – Father God, thank You for removing my sin.  You don’t bring it up again.  Thank You for that consistent, loving kindness towards me.  When I dwell on sin, or bring it up again, remind me of how far You have removed it.  When Satan accuses, remind me of my forgiven state.  When I am weak, remind me of Your strength.  Thank You for Your forgiveness – Your perfect forgiveness.  I wear Your crown of love and compassion today.  Help me to bestow that on others.

East to West (Casting Crowns) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy4ytwKfjBI

Here I am, Lord, and I’m drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don’t want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You’ve cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I’ve never sinned
But today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
’cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
’cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I’m in
Today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

I know You’ve washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can’t live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I’m not holding on to You, but You’re holding on to me
You’re holding on to me

Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don’t have to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
’cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other

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