…as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. –Psalm 103:12

Collections. Everyone has them. Children collect rocks, paper clips, and stuffed animals. Teens collect piles of dirty laundry and adults collect everything under the sun. One particular collection intrigues me. Maybe it’s not the actual collection that intrigues me, but the method of collection. Consider the metal detector. Originally constructed in 1881 by Alexander Graham Bell to locate the fatal bullet lodged in the body of President James Garfield, the metal detector has undergone many changes. Today, its most common use is for weekend treasure hunting with the operator hoping to find lost and valuable items. Most of the time, however, he finds rusty nails, soda tabs, old key rings, or dog nametags.

Like those who go searching for valuables hidden beneath the surface of the earth, many Christians also find themselves digging into the soil of the past, uprooting old sins, hurts, bitterness, and regret. And like the treasure hunters described above, the search rarely brings success. Instead of moving forward, they dwell on past mistakes, punish themselves repeatedly, and often feel guilty for moving forward.

However, the psalmist understood that when God forgives sin, he also completely removes the sin from us. Yes, we must deal with the consequences of our sin, but that does not negate the reality that our sins are forgiven. In his letter to the church in Philippi, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Today, instead of uprooting the past, try planting for the future. God’s forgiveness runs deeper than we can imagine and His desire for us is to move forward. Don’t you think it’s time?

If you need to seek God’s forgiveness, just ask. He’s ready and waiting to receive you with His grace.

Psalm 86:5; Psalm 130:1-8; Mark 2:7; 1 John 1:9

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Leslie Snyder

Leslie is a wife, mother, youth ministry veteran and long-time member of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Along with her family, she lives in Walla Walla, Washington where she is the owner and personal trainer at Redefine Fitness and Nutrition.

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