"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am making a new thing!" (Isaiah 43:18,19a); "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
God tells us, "I will cover your iniquity...I will blot out your transgressions...Go, and sin no more." He asks us to forget the things--the sins--that we committed yesterday, last month, and last year, and go on with His love and mercy. We would wonder about the man who drops a glass bottle on the sidewalk, then gets down and so carefully collects all the jagged little pieces and then hugs them to his bosom until he bleeds. This is what we do when we spurn God's forgiveness.
"Forgetting what lies behind" (Philippians 3:13): slanders; temptations; the little and large faults of others; provocations that sear our sensitive nature; quarrels that either they or we have started; and all the disagreeables of life. Let us reach forward, as Paul tells us in the same verse, to what lies ahead and enjoy the agreeables that God has in store for us this year. We have such a perverted and sinful tendency to zero in on the bone and forget the delicious meat of life: family, friends, co-workers with whom we can share a thought and a laugh. Let us blot out others' transgressions and our disagreeables right now.
Every day is another chance to become a new character, a new spirit, if you will. We have yet again another opportunity to change from Saul to Paul, from Jacob to Israel. Physically we do not change, of course, but it is our motives, our principles and our habits that change. Jesus gave us the pattern for our transfiguration in His Sermon on the Mount and in what He Himself was and is.
His Word is His promise, "And this is what He promised us--even eternal life" (1 John 2:25). Eternal life starts today.