Sitting with the Shepherd
Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD. (Psalms 25:6-7 NKJV)
Did you ever wonder, when your life on earth is finished, what you will be remembered for? Perhaps there are things that you would like to forget and you are hoping others will also. I believe that holds true with all of us. There are other things that we have done or that have happened to us that bring joy to our hearts and we don't ever want to forget them. We refer to these as fond memories.
The psalmist uses the word "remember" three times in three different ways in just two verses here. The first time he uses it, it is to remind himself of the goodness of God. God's goodness is steadfast and can be relied upon because it has been consistent through the ages. Did you ever ponder over the fact that if God wasn't good the world would be far worse off than it is and there would be absolutely nothing that we could do about it. What if He wasn't merciful and gracious? There would be absolutely nothing that we could do to change it! There are times that we need to remind ourselves of this truth about Him in order to maintain an attitude of gratitude.
The next time that David uses the word remember it is in reference to himself and the realization that he has fallen far short of God's righteous standards. He knows it and he is reminded of his need for God's mercy and goodness. He knows that if God remembered all of his sins and held them against him, he could never stand. The truth is that God has removed our sins as far as the East is from the West. Without an appreciation of that fact we cannot accurately assess the depth of God's goodness toward us today.
And finally David prayed for God to apply His mercy to his account. He knew that God didn't love him for who he was, but because of Who God is. That means that we don't need to jump through hoops to earn God's approval. We already have it. And since it isn't dependent upon our performance, we don't need to doubt it or live in fear that we will lose it. God loves us in Christ because we are His children not because we earn it. Let me ask you a question, "Do your children need to earn your love?" We can rest assured that God loves us, not because of who we are but because of Who He is. Remember that!
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalms 103:10-12 NKJV)
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. Why is it important to understand the unchanging goodness of God?
2. How is it possible to remember our sin and not be overwhelmed by it?
3. What is God's love based on and why does that matter so much?
My Father in heaven, Almighty God, You are the embodiment of all that is good and I am truly grateful for that. I confess that my track record in this life has been far from stellar and yet You chose to pour out You great love and forgiveness on me in the person of Jesus Christ. Thank you that as I have confessed my sins You have been faithful and just to forgive me of them and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. May I never forget the magnitude of Your love for me based on Who are. Amen