Monday, July 13, 2020

A Clean Record - Martin Wiles

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?  But you offer forgiveness. Psalm 130:3-4a NLT
As a schoolteacher, keeping records comprises a large part of my responsibility.
Our school requires students to participate in the Accelerated Reader program. Books read and tests taken translate into points that translate into a test grade. During the nine weeks, I regularly check their scores to see how many points they have earned and then enter it into the records as a test grade.
And papers. Students know having me as a teacher means they will need mounds of notebook paper. As one student—whose older sibling I had taught—said, “I have plenty of paper. My brother told me I would need it.” On this paper, they take quizzes and tests and write sentences, diagrams, paragraphs, essays, and short stories. When a student asks, “Is this going to be graded,” I respond, “Everything you do for me gets a grade.” Records.
But there are also behavior records. Students who fail to complete their homework or repeatedly talk during class receive lunch detentions. Too many of these—or other more severe infractions—gets them a discipline slip, which goes on their permanent record.
When applying for college—or even some jobs or other positions—having a clean school record means a lot. According to the psalmist, having a clean spiritual record rates high as well. Believing God didn’t keep a record of his sins must have meant he believed in the coming Messiah who would pay for his sins. He had enough sense to know animal sacrifices didn’t work.
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing—to give and to experience. Doing so enhances relationships and makes for peaceful and joyful living. God does this based on what Christ did on Calvary’s cross. On that rough piece of wood, He died for the sins of humanity. When we accept His sacrifice and invite Him into our lives, the record of our sins is wiped clean. Otherwise, God keeps the record and holds us accountable.
Through forgiveness, God releases us from condemnation. We can live with a clean conscience each day, knowing our forgiveness is complete and our eternity is secure. Fear and anxiety leave, and peace and joy move in.
Because God has done this for us, we should extend the same to others. Releasing them frees us to enjoy life at its best.
Is your record clean?
Prayer: Father, we thank You for cleaning our records by forgiving our sins. May we be as forgiving toward others as You are toward us.

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