Proverbs 4:23 – Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.
The Scriptures teach us that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Three words for us to consider that relate to the heart of God are covenant, relationship and forgiveness. God’s nature is rooted in covenant. Webster defines “covenant” as “a binding and solemn agreement to do or keep from doing a specified thing” (Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition.) “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips” (Psalm 89:34). When God forgives, He does so because of His covenant promise. His promises are certain. The Psalmist declares, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
The Holy Trinity is the greatest picture of relationship we can find. There is no contradiction with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God created Adam and Eve because He wanted a relationship with mankind. Even after they sinned and the human race was tossed into darkness, God, out of His loving-kindness made it possible for man to be restored to Himself. This is how we know the love of God. God the Father gave His best for us, His Only Begotten Son.
The forgiveness of our sins takes place through the Son. Forgiveness flows from God’s covenant nature. Forgiveness speaks of God’s great desire for relationship with mankind. Through His desire for relationship with mankind He draws close to His creation, man. Covenant and relationship lay the foundations for forgiveness.
Many Christians have a difficult time forgiving others because they have not connected God’s covenant nature with His desire for relationship. His covenant nature relates to His commitment to His creation man. He committed Himself to humanity and has never turned from that commitment. This requires His forgiveness again and again.
The Lord does not forgive us just because He wants to rescue us from hell and take us to heaven. That would be a very narrow understanding of His purposes. It also reveals how self-focused one might be. He forgives because that is His nature. He forgives because He wants to nurture and increase the relationship He began in the Garden and has restored us to Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ. He has given to us His Nature by giving us His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to forgive. “Let this mind (attitude) be in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
Father, thank You for Your forgiveness, Your covenant love, and Your desire for relationship with Your creation man. I pray that Your covenant nature will grow in me. Help me to forgive others, even as I am forgiven.