Certainly, the memory of one’s past can haunt one in the present to cause a serious weakening of their self-confidence. However, those who have drawn near to God by putting their trust in Jesus have not only understood and rejoiced in the gift of new life in Christ, but have ceased to be haunted by the memory of their past. They are no longer enslaved to it. Their confidence is foremost, not on self, but in Jesus as Lord and Savior and their determination to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their daily lives.
Please note, this is not a erasure, as some foolishly believe, of their memory. It remains with them as a constant reminder of where they once were and from where the came when they committed their lives to Jesus.
As much as the saints are called to live in purity and to love what is pure, there is nothing uplifting about purity, or virginity, by ever more striving for the gutter low, shock-jock tactics that disgust. The preacher whose idea of having all attendees fill a cup with their spit and then asking if anyone would like to drink it makes him a cause for pause as to his love for the purity he professes. His message to shame a sinner as damaged goods was:
“you are asking your future husband or wife to drink this cup.”
It is as warped and asinine about purity by one who professes to be a teacher of Israel as it is about his understanding of grace and forgiveness in Jesus.
those whom Jesus never met
Someone once said Jesus never met a prostitute. I wondered if they had read the scriptures. Then, I reflected and understood their point. Jesus never met a prostitute, a drunkard, a leper or a thief. He met sinners. They are the ones whom he came to see, to meet and to eat with and lift up their faces to behold, rejoice and receive his love.
Some years ago a man visited the assembly of the saints where I was ministering at the time. It was not long before I discerned he was a brother in Christ. Soon his wife joined him in his fellowship with the saints. Shortly afterwards they invited me to visit their home.
It was then that he informed me they were not married. They also asked if I would consent to perform their marriage. I consented. They agreed and accepted to go through some counseling sessions with me. During the counseling I advised with great emphasis it was not a command, a condition or an order from me that they would do well to abstain from any sexual intercourse until after their wedding. They excitedly and eagerly expressed their total agreement and stated they had already mutually agreed to abstain from sex some time prior to our sessions. I told them in numerous and various ways throughout those sessions that God would bless their marriage.
The day of the wedding arrived. I presided at the solemn ceremony. The bride and groom were happy and the saints in Christ rejoiced with them. It was customary for me to do a follow-up counseling session six months after the wedding.
It was about two months after the wedding that they invited me over to their home. They wanted to talk with me. As soon as I arrived she quickly revealed they had not had sex since weeks before their wedding. She said they had been unable to have great sex as before let alone any sex. They were frustrated. She blamed me. I should say, as a testimony of their love towards me, that this was a friendly, cordial visit. There were no rants or outbursts.
a gift from God
I was stupefied. I sat silent for a what must have seemed an eternity. Then I reminded them of what I had told them. Their mouths dropped open in speechless silence.
I said, What did I tell you about how God would bless you? You have honored God and He has blessed you. You longed and eagerly desired to unite your bodies in sexual bliss just as you said you used to do. This was your own carnal mind thinking it could just move into your new marriage life as husband and wife with your old ways. You thought you knew each other’s bodies and desires and you would resume where you left off.
However, God has blessed you beyond your wildest imagination with a gift neither of you expected. It was God who brought you together on your wedding night in your wedding bed as two virgins. You were as uncomfortable, clumsy and excited as two virgins could be on seeing each other for the first time, and - - - you did not see and rejoice in this beautifully, wonderful, pure gift of love God has given you!
the gift of God
Jesus saw what many, like us, do not see. People then, like today, saw Zacchaeus as a corrupt tax collector. When I ask children, and adults, why did Zacchaeus see Jesus they (adults, especially) reply with wonder at the obvious that he saw Jesus because he climbed up on a sycamore tree. Really? Or, did Zacchaeus see Jesus as a fulfillment of prophecy? Could it be that as was the meaning of his name, “pure”,” so too was Zacchaeus in heart? Jesus said:
So too, are those blessed who have been made pure by the blood of the Lamb of God. Though you may remember the sins of your past, understand you have been freed from it. Rejoice in the confidence of life in Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the gift of God.
Now, rejoice in the gift God has given you.