Advent Message #1

Advent Message #1

Abiding Love Advent Message #1
Jeremiah 31:34 — For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.

Short Term Memory

When I was younger, one of my favorite games to play was Milton Bradley’s Memory. I grew up with three older brothers, and there was no chance they would let me win with games like Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. Luckily, Memory was one of those games where I knew I had a chance. I would methodically study the position of the cards, and thankfully my spatial memory worked to my advantage in this game. The game of Memoryis one of those games where short-term memory pays off.

Having a strong short-term is not always beneficial, though. A college student server in a restaurant may be able to remember exact orders and modifications for a party of eight, but she may not want to remember the shame associated with her last party. A high school student may be able to memorize facts and dates for his upcoming History test, but he may not want remember the guilt associated with the history on his internet browser. Our sins cause shame, and they cause guilt. They cause feelings of worthlessness and regret.

Of all people who could have a strong short-term and long-term memory, God would be highest on that list. We know God is omniscient, he is all-knowing. The Psalmist says he can perceive our thoughts from afar. Before a word is on our lips, he knows it completely. We have nowhere to hide from his knowledge, even though we often try.But God is a God of compassion, love, and forgiveness. He is a God of undeserved grace and mercy. He has every right to condemn us to an eternity of pain and suffering in hell, yet he chose to send his Son into the world as our substitute, to suffer the pain we should suffer, and to die the death we deserve.

Because of what Jesus has done for us, the words in our text ring true. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Our God who knows all chooses to forget our wickedness, to cast our sins away since they were paid for in full. We are no longer bound by our regret, and God restores our broken spirits.

Prayer: Merciful Father, we thank you for your love and compassion. We know we deserve your punishment because of our daily sins and struggles of the flesh, but you do not disown us. You bring us back into your presence and make us whole again. Continue to be with us and to bless us in our struggle against our old Adam, and make us strong to do your will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Children’s Activity: Use a sheet of white paper or cardstock to create your own Bible Memory game. For the younger crowd, write a promise from God on one card and draw a picture to match it on the other.

Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer

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