Recently I was ministering in one of our prison churches when the thought came to me that these precious souls live in an
environment that constantly reminds them of their past. The clothes they wear identify them as inmates which speaks of a scarred past.
The bars and razor wire are constant reminders they are not free to come and go as they please because of their past. For many of
them their lives are lived solo because friends and family have rejected them. Why? The rejection happens because they have
committed crimes in the past. Everywhere they look are the reminders of their past. Actually this may not be so much different than
most of us outside of the prison walls. Our past tends to follow us to some degree or another and sometimes things remind of us past
failures and mistakes.
Driving home that evening after the worship service the evil one try to tempt me to re-visit my own past, a past that is clouded with
errors, mistakes, misjudgments, transgressions of almost every description, and outright sins. The truth then cascaded over me and it
buoyed me up above the temptation to consider my past. You see, the truth is I have no past. I myself know what I have done in my life
and what my memory records, and some others know of some of things I have done. But there is One who has told me the truth about
my past life, and the truth is this: Every infraction and every sin that I ever committed has been washed from my records! I am forgiven.
My slate is clean! Wow!
What does your past look like? Are you like me and like all those men in that prison chapel whose pasts are a roadway with bumps and
potholes and junk scattered over it? The Bible tells us that “all have sinned,” so that means you have some things in your past that you
are not too proud of either. The good news is that if you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, which has ushered you into the realm of God’s
grace, you stand before Him right now spotless, along with me and those inmates who have been born again. Isn’t that a wonderful
The psalmist tells us that the forgiveness of God is so complete that He literally separates us from our sins “as far as the east is from
the west.” That is a long, long way! Can you see that those feelings of regret and condemnation over your past mistakes that have
plagued you for years are unfounded? The guilt associated with each of your sins was nailed to an old rugged cross on a hill called
Calvary 2000 years. All your guilt was taken from you and placed upon the sacrificial Lamb – His name is Jesus – and when He was
crucified, all your guilt died with Him. He was offered up by God as your substitute and He was condemned for the sins of you, and me,
and every other person who has ever lived or ever shall live. This shows the great love God has for you!
Please understand that you have an enemy [his name is Satan] who is determined to destroy you and one of his weapons is to remind
you of your past, just as he tries to do with me. Keep in mind that he is masterful at deception and lies which is why it is very important
for you to know beyond any doubt and in full faith who you are [your are the redeemed] and what God has done for you. [you are
forgiven and stand in righteousness before God] Being established in these truths will go far in preparing you for victory whenever
thoughts of your past try to re-emerge. Learn to practice the admonition found in II Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down arguments and
every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Paul the apostle wrote to the Corinthian church (and to you) on this subject and he tells you that you are a “new creature.” (II
Corinthians 5:17-211) You got a new start the instant you gave your heart to Jesus and was born again. He removed all the guilt of your
past and set you on a wonderful course of life that is fulfilling and rewarding and joy-filled. Expect to experience the blessings of God
in your life day by day, and, never, ever look back. Amen.