Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NRSV)

31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband,  says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.   

Jeremiah 31:34 (NRSV)

34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.   

DEVOTION – Emily M. Akin (Tennessee)

The children leaned forward to see what the pastor was doing as he spoke of God’s forgiveness.  He wrote several words on a legal pad.  “Oops!” he said, “I’ve made a mistake.”  Then he turned the pencil over and erased the stray marks.  “That’s what God does when God forgives us,” he said.   “God erases our mistakes, our sins, completely, as if they had never happened.”

As I watched, I realized that God does more.  God forgives and does not remember our sins, as if the paper were restored to its original state.  No sign of pencil marks and eraser residue remain.  God gives us a clean slate.

In Jeremiah 31:31-34, the people of Israel were promised a New day, a new covenant even though they had disappointed God over and over again.  The promise now extended to all who believe in the new covenant established by Jesus Christ.  “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  We are forgiven.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God erases our sins and gives us a clean page to begin anew.

PRAYER: Dear God, teach us to forgive as you forgive and to pray as Jesus taught us, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.  And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:2-4, NIV).  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES

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