For I will forgive their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.1
Before he became a Christian, Bob Sheffield played professional hockey in Canada. He, however, was hot-tempered and one night after a barroom brawl, landed himself in jail. Later, Bob and his wife became Christians. They grew in their newfound faith and became missionaries. Bob applied for immigrant status, which would allow him and his wife to continue their ministry in the United States and other countries. But because he had a criminal record, his request was denied. It was a troubling experience for the Sheffields. After much thought and prayer, they decided to apply in Canada for what is called the "Queen’s Pardon." A thorough investigation was conducted. The pardon was granted, and Bob Sheffield received the following notice in the mail:
"Whereas we have since been implored on behalf of the said Robert Jones Sheffield to extend a pardon to him in respect to the convictions against him…. having taken these things into consideration, we are willing to extend the royal clemency on him…. we have pardoned, remitted and released him of and from the said convictions, and of and from all and every penalty to which he was liable in pursuance thereof."
On any document from that time forward on which Bob was asked if he had a criminal record, he could honestly answer no. What the pardon meant was that he had been released from any possible punishment that could come from the crimes he had committed, and the record of the crimes themselves had been completely erased. When his fingerprints go to the Canadian Mounted Police and they run them through the computer, the printout comes back reading, "No record."
Author Tom L. Eisenman wrote: "This is the kind of pardon we have in Jesus Christ. When we have received forgiveness, we are set free from any penalty or possible punishment that was due us according to our crimes against God. When Satan requests from the heavenly computer our list of sins punishable by eternal death, it will always print out, "No record. Pardoned by the blood of Christ." Psalm 103:11-12 says, For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Sometimes we harbor those wrongs in our heart and even though we’ve confessed the sin, we allow the guilt of our wrong to consume us. Knowing that God’s compassion towards us has garnered the forgiveness of our sins makes it possible to forgive yourself. Since He has forgiven AND forgotten, so can we!
Suggested Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for erasing my sin and granting me a clean slate. Help me to forgive others, and myself, knowing that it was your death on the cross that cleansed my heart from sin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hebrews 8:12 (CSB).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.