— Jeremiah 33:6 A pastor friend told the story of a couple who had come to him for counseling.The couple had been married 40 or so years, and they were both plagued with guilt.The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death– Revelation 21:8 In our day, we have so minimized sin that we have become almost numb to its pervasive influence in our lives and in our society.Not believing Jesus Christ, worshiping material things, sexual sin, witchcraft, lying and deception…even murder — these have become so commonplace in our society that we run great risk of thinking that God is just as ambivalent toward our wickedness as we are.A week later the couple returned to the pastor’s office.They told him that they had felt foolish at first, but they had sung their favorite hymn together each night. Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Likewise, God does not want us to be forever burdened with our past sins.But we can do so in the joy of knowing that in Christ we can find forgiveness, restoration and a new start.—Nancy Kennedy Let’s Talk • What are some things from the past that each of us is still struggling with? • How can we talk about those struggles in a way that builds up our marriage?When the prophet received the prophecy recorded in chapter 33, Jerusalem was under siege from the invading Babylonians.Soon God would allow his people to be carried away from their land into captivity and their land to be destroyed. The prophet went on to say that because of God’s immense love, God would heal Israel’s pain, cleanse the people from their sin, and restore them to abundant peace and security.