Clean Slate

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Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18 

Insight 

I can recall the nervous feeling I always got when teachers would hand back assignments. You know the feeling. For me, it all depended on the subject. If it were a math assignment, I knew it was going to be good. But if the assignment had anything to do with writing, I knew what to expect; the sea of red. The infamous red pen and I became extremely close during school. Some days I just cringed when I looked at my paper. The red pen covered 60% of what used to be a white piece of paper.

The only purpose the red pen served was to highlight my mistakes. The red pen did not encourage me, it devastated me. It seemed no matter how much or how little I wrote, the red pen would simply have a field day on my work. It circled, it made “X” marks, it wrote corrections, and it left its signature with a letter or a number to determine how far I was from a perfect score.

The red pen reveals a similar pattern to how sin works. The Bible tells us that our, “sins are like scarlet…” Before sin, we were pure and perfect, which is often viewed as being white. All of a sudden sin enters in and operates just as the red pen in school does. It begins to highlight our mistakes, tells us what corrections to make, and tries to leave a signature to remind us and tell us just how far from perfection we are. We can all agree when sin does this, it leaves us quite devastated. The only reality worse than making a mistake is having to be reminded how far away from perfection we are because of it. 

But God did not ever desire us to be graded. He does not want sin to give us a grade based on our performance. Sin’s grade for us is always low because it just reminds us we will never reach perfection. In a way only God could orchestrate such a redemption story, the only thing which can rid us of our sin stains is the blood of Jesus.

Unlike the red pen on our assignments, sin does not stay on us. We are not prisoners to the red stain of our mistakes, God has sent a way to wash us back to the pure white He originally designed us to be. Jesus took all of our sin upon Him and willingly died on a cross in order to give us a clean slate. We do not walk around with all sorts of red markings to show others our mistakes, instead, we walk around blameless. I love blameless over perfect. Perfect brings unnecessary frustration and pressure. Blameless brings peace of mind knowing we are going to make mistakes, but we still stand right before God thanks to Jesus.

The world and the enemy will do their best to draw our attention to the red marks in our lives. It could be a sin pattern, an addiction, one bad choice, or impure thoughts. While these things need to be acknowledged, they do not have to serve as a reminder of how far from perfect we are. Rather, they should serve as a reminder to how great the blood of Jesus is. 

One promise we have is no matter how deep sin may go, the grace of Jesus will go deeper. There is no red stain that cannot be made as white as snow thanks to His blood. We are free from being graded based on our mistakes. We get to know without any doubts we stand before God as His child because of what Jesus has done, and this truth changes everything for us.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Reflection

  •  Are there any stains in your life you feel won’t go away? What is making them stick around? 

  •  Picture yourself standing before God without any stains. This is how He views you. Take the time to see yourself being made white as snow before God. How does this make you want to respond? With the specific response in mind, put it into action.

Prayer

Father, I am amazed at Your grace. I cannot fathom why Jesus would give His life to make us clean and blameless. I pray I no longer let my sin stain me and hold me back from experiencing You. I am not defined by my mistakes, I am defined by being Your child. I love You so much Father, and I pray this in Your name, Amen.  

PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.

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