Bible Society of South Africa

A new beginning … without baggage – 17 January 2023

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.

1 John 1:9GNBOpen in Bible reader

12As far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our sins from us.

Psalms 103:12GNBOpen in Bible reader

A few weeks ago, I saw a video clip of the American actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, walking into a 7-Eleven store in Hawaii. He takes all the Snicker bars from the shelf and asks the shopkeeper to bring all the extra ones he has in stock. After paying for the bars, he leaves them at the till and walks out.

Johnson tells the story of how he, as a teenager, lived a couple of blocks from the 7-Eleven store. Every day, on his way to the gym, he stopped at the store and stole a Snicker bar for energy as he was too poor to pay for it. For years afterwards, he felt guilty every time he drove past a 7-Eleven store. That particular day, he decided to get rid of this guilt, face his past and enter the store.

Too many of us also walk around with a feeling of guilt about the past. Maybe we did something or said something that destroyed a relationship or alter the direction of our lives forever. Today is your opportunity to “enter the store and get rid of the past”.

God forgives us our sins if we repent of our sins. In 1 John 1:9 we read: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” Also in Psalm 103:12 it is written: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (NIV)

We need to also forgive ourselves in order to experience that new beginning – without baggage. May today be your day to “enter the store”.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for your forgiveness. Today I bring my situation to you (name the situation). Please forgive me and help me to forgive myself. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen

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