For My Own Sake
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When I really need to hear the voice of God in my life, I find myself escaping into the words of Isaiah. I’m intrigued by God’s words, His active speaking through dialogue, which always strikes me.
One morning, as I read my Bible before class, I stumbled across what is now my favorite verse,(NIV),
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
I stared at this verse as my heart dove out of my chest and into these words, deeper and deeper, and swaddled itself in the insane amount of intentional love I found there.
I tend to fall into that category of folks who know they’re forgiven and receive it but still can’t shake the “wretch like me” attitude. As I stared at this verse, God took that attitude, turned it on its head, and shook it until understanding wove itself through every thread of my heart.
I pictured God saying these words to me. Like He was suddenly sitting in my tiny room with me, leaning over my Bible and saying, “For my sake. Forgiving you is about Me, not you. It’s that I want you near me. I want to be with you.”
This verse comes right after God is telling the Israelites how they haven’t brought Him offerings and didn’t call on Him. Rather they have “burdened” Him with sins and “wearied” Him. ()
How many times had I done the same? How many times had I told God with my mouth that I loved him, but done something contrary to what a love for God looked like? I’d stopped counting, and I was left wanting to prove the love I thought had been overshadowed by my sins. I wanted to draw close to the God I loved.
It was never about me. It’s about God’s love for me. It’s the great story of ... everything. It was never about us.
I took my Bible with me everywhere in the days following. I couldn’t part from the love that kept echoing in my heart, “For my own sake.”
We see this same principle echoed throughout everything — God forgiving our sins for His sake because He made us and desires us. Nearly a chapter later, in(NIV), Isaiah writes,
“Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.”
Cast off that “wretch like me” attitude, because God has forgotten your sins, redeemed you, and loves you! He frees us to sing for joy and shout it out — we’re commanded to embrace this attitude of joy because we have such a strong foundation for it. If you’ve asked for forgiveness, He’s given it to you. So why not take hold of it?
Our redemption is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. Love the gift He’s given you!
Copyright © 2017 Sarah Limardo. Used by permission.
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