Tag Archives: forgiveness

Written in Sand ~ God Erases Our Sins

I left this message at the beach ~ figured someone might need it

I left this message at the beach ~ figured someone might need it

Written in sand
Our sins, such disgrace
Forgiven, our mistakes
God’s love does erase.

I have fond childhood memories of trips to the beach.  I don’t get to go very often anymore, but periodically just yearn to see the ocean.

I get to missing the taste of salty brine and the feel of sand between my toes.
Of relaxing to the gentle lapping of the waves, skirting back and forth on the shore.
Or building castles fortresses and writing heartfelt messages in the sand.

My memories of the beach linger.  Not long after formed, however, my seaside fortresses and writings in the sand all washed away.

Words written in sand, meant to last forevermore,
Erased quickly by the seashore.

The amazing thing about artistry in sand is that once eroded or washed away, the erasure is permanent.  There is no ability to precisely replicate what was before, whether castles or words.  Sand tablets have the ability to completely clean the slate.

Written in the Sand ~ Jesus

When He knelt before the woman caught in adultery, we don’t know what Jesus wrote in the sand that day.  Many speculate that while the religious leaders took turns hurling accusations of her guilt, Christ listed each of their faults in the sand.  Since there is no record in Scripture, nobody knows with certainty what He wrote. 

Jesus could have written about the sins of her accusers.
He could have documented the wrongdoing of the accused.

One thing is for sure, though, when the ordeal was over and the adulterous woman went on her way, she did so forgiven and cleansed to sin no more.  Had Christ listed her transgressions in sand during her trial, no trace of her wrongdoing remained when it concluded.  That is because when God forgives a repentant heart, He wipes the accusatory slate clean.

Covered completely by the blood of Christ, our sins lie forever forgotten at the bottom of the sea.  The tide of His merciful love erases the penalty of death written over our lives.  Our iniquities, washed away like messages in the sand.  No trace of former evidence remains.

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Micah 7:19

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Welcome Those with the Smell of the World

Snowy showcase

Snowy showcase

Where I live, the Bradford pear trees were spectacular this year.  Their coating of white clusters looked like clumps of snow that would easily turn the warming ground underneath into a frosty wonderland if given a good shake or two.

Bradford beauty

Bradford beauty

Their prolific flowers are beautiful, but they have a pervasive, putrid smell.  The odor is so offensive that it is one of the reasons I let others grow Bradfords.  I prefer enjoying them at a distance.

Beauty Lined

Beauty Lined

These photos are of the ones lining the parking lot of my church.  Although pretty during other seasons, when showcasing their floral display, they are particularly inviting.  Their snowy beauty welcomes, while the smell of the blooms, very easily overlooked.

Crossgates with Bradfords in bloomWhen welcoming others to our places of worship, do we open our doors as equally to those with beautiful lives as we do those with the smell of the world on them?  Are we as loving to those we think have it together spiritually as with those who still have the stench of issues?

Not that we should ever neglect to have truth in love clearly spoken from our pulpits, in order that people leave closer to God than when they arrive.  But if we shun those lost and broken, distancing ourselves from them because they still resemble the world, we fail to love like Christ.

Bradford Pear Cluster with blurred churchHe loves everyone, regardless of the condition of the heart.  It is His job to change sin-stained lives.  Following the Lord’s example, our assignment is to love and welcome whosoever will.

Clustered Branches

Clustered Branches

The reality is that we all reek of sin and are in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus to cover us with His beauty.  A beauty that through forgiveness no longer has the putrid smell of the world; rather the fragrant aroma of Christ.

 “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Ephesians 5:2

© Sue Nash/ 2014

Back From the Woodshed

My dad's infamous garden 'shack' where he spent much of his time.  After he died, I had my neighbor Mary paint it for me.  Hanging now in my home, every time I look at the picture, it lovingly reminds me of him.

My dad’s infamous garden ‘shack’ where he spent much of his time. After he died, I had a friend paint it for me. Hanging now in my home, every time I look at the picture, it lovingly reminds me of him.

I’m back!

I missed all of you.  Reading your posts and interacting with comments.  I did not plan this reprieve from blogging.  Rather unexpectedly, God tapped me on the shoulder, and asked that I temporarily separate from all the online voices (social networking, blogging, etc) to hear His voice more distinctly.   There were things I needed to know.

I was in for some surprises.

Hoping simply for a time of refreshing in His presence, I was unprepared for why the Lord pulled me aside.  He used the time to reveal some areas of sin I was harboring.  Areas in my heart He exposed that needed purging.

We all struggle daily with sin issues, but the things that God fingered were sins that my pride refused to acknowledge.  Two mainly:

Grudges ~ towards certain people.  One by one, He brought their faces to my mind.  I would try to bring up the issues, but His response to each was for me to cut the cords of bitterness and forgive.  To set them free.

Disappointment ~ of allowing sorrow to accumulate in my soul.  Over prayer needs not working out how or when I wanted.  God’s way of exposing this one was by how poorly I handled a situation this weekend.  He then took me to that gentle woodshed of correction and showed me that I must avoid disappointment by clinging to His promises and running to Him at the first hint of it surfacing.

God worked in other ways during my brief time apart, and I am so grateful that He pulled me aside to hear His voice more clearly.  I wish that it didn’t take such extreme measures to grow me.  However, these times of separation and correction always end on an uplifting note.

God never corrects to condemn; rather, He convicts and cleanses to draw us closer.  The doorway in and out of His disciplining woodshed is framed with love.

For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:12

I look forward to hearing from you again and reading your wonderful posts!  Thanks for your patience in my absence.
Sue