I don’t know about you but there are some verses in God’s Word that grab my heart and Hebrews 8:12 is one of them.
Hebrews 8:12-13 NIV “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
And because God always completes that which He starts, we have His promise to Israel which states in Jeremiah 31:33-34 NIV
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbour,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
So Israel, God’s chosen people are provided for and the Gentiles, that’s the rest of us, are provided for, with a promise. There is, of course, a condition, a prerequisite, that puts these promises into effect for both Israel and for the Gentiles.
Acts 4:11-12 NIV “Jesus is“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
And, so that there is no confusion, specifically with regard to the promise to the Gentiles, there are other “conditions”. Following the commandments of Jesus, forgiving others, being made Holy while being sanctified, holding onto the Gospel of Jesus Christ right to the end, are all part of the requirements. I mention these “requirements” because it is important to understand that the benefits of God’s promises have qualifiers and it would be dishonest not to acknowledge them.
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
And what is the will of God? Romans 12 answers that question.
There are some things in my past, that I wish I didn’t remember. In fact, sometimes when they do infrequently reappear on the surface of my memory, I have to say a quick prayer and ask God to put them away. The beauty of it all is that God graciously does and I am so thankful for that. I hate some of the things that I have done, I so wish that they had never happened but they did and that is why I need Jesus as my Saviour.
And it’s not just the past, even today there are parts of my personality that can so quickly resurface without hardly any notice and then I remind myself that I don’t do those things anymore and I also don’t close that doors that God would have open and I don’t open the doors that God would have shut. And when I do fall short ….
1 John 1:9 NIV “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
I think one of the most beautiful things about being in God’s presence is the love and acceptance that you experience, that love which seemingly just covers over all that has transpired and fills us with the wonder of His being. It is over powering and the essence of why all that is, is. Sometimes God’s presence seems distant, sometimes His presence is near. There are, for most Christians that I am aware of, mountain tops and valleys. We experience and learn what God’s glory is on the mountain tops, we learn and experience the lessons of life in the valleys. When I read God’s Word, when I see God interacting with His people and the Prophets and His chosen leaders like David, that is exactly what I see, mountain tops and valleys. Read the Psalms.
The Bible makes clear that the presence of God is a central goal in God’s redemptive mission. All of God’s work ends with the Lord dwelling with man. And second, the presence of God is, not only an objective, it is also the means by which the redemptive mission is fulfilled. The presence of God is real and it is wonderful beyond words. The “apparent” absence of God is also real in the sense that you experience it but in reality He is never absent, it just sometimes “feels” that way. That is where our “faith” is exercised, stretched, strengthened. Where our reliance is made stronger, not weaker, where out dependency is rewarded and encouraged and proven. We have a lot to learn about our God.
I clearly don’t understand it all. I honestly don’t think there are many that do. But having tasted, having partially learned and experienced both, the path to Him draws me closer and I sense in my spirit that what He has planned for me will come to completion when I see Him face to face. In the interim I know I am forgiven, and I am joined to His Spirit and Jesus, the Son of the Living God, who made all this possible. I am satisfied now and I will be satisfied then.
Grace and blessings!