Where's My Eraser?


Where’s My Eraser?
I’ll never forget my first day of kindergarten. I was barely five years old, but I remember it as vividly as if it had happened yesterday.

Making new friends with all my classmates was exciting, the bright and cheery decorations in our homeroom were beautiful, and my teacher seemed very nice.

But the thing that caught my attention and completely fascinated me was...the blackboard.

Watching the teacher take chalk and draw simple pictures and write letters on the board was interesting. But then she took something in her hand, wiped it back and forth across the surface of the blackboard, and instantly every mark she had made disappeared! I watched in wide-eyed astonishment, absolutely intrigued.

Before my kindergarten year was over, I had the opportunity to try it for myself. I made some chalk marks on the board, then used the eraser to make them go away. I never tired of it. The eraser was my favorite discovery.

Although I’m normally not a person who dwells on the past a great deal, I do often reflect on the blessings and good things God has sent into my life. My husband, Jack, and I make it a point to recall and give thanks for the ministry opportunities, friends, and victories the Lord has given us-and continues to bestow upon us. Somehow it seems my mind is like a recorder.

Your life, the movie

An article from Smithsonian Magazine written by Dr. Wilbur Penfield, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, explains why I felt that way. He wrote: "Your brain contains a permanent record of your past that is like a single, continuous strip of movie film, complete with sound track. This film library records your whole waking life from childhood on."

Do you ever have "home movies" from your past running in your mind? Sometimes that’s a good thing, but it can also be painful to be reminded of events and people that have hurt us, or things we have done to injure others.

Perhaps there are incidents in our past that we hope nobody else knows about, and sometimes the devil will replay these hidden shames to torment us.

"Oh, you’re such a bad person," he says. "Just look at what you did. How can you pretend to be so good when you’re really so rotten?" Revelation 12:10 exposes the devil as the "accuser of our brethren" who accuses us before God day and night. But the good news is that we don’t have to worry about his accusations.

Jack refers to Dr. Penfield’s article in one of the devotionals in his Soul Food book. His comments there certainly helped me better understand the concept of the "book of remembrance" mentioned in the Bible. Truly God is the great Bookkeeper. He has a record of my life in a heavenly book that has my name on it-Rexella Shelton Van Impe. God has kept a record book on all of humanity-every single person who has ever lived.

But just as He has written everything down, good and bad-every failure, fault, and sin-He also has the ability and divine desire to erase everything bad on my record. Oh, praise God for a heavenly eraser that deletes every wrong word or thought or deed!

That eraser, of course, is the blood of Christ. And it washes us clean! It wipes everything off the blackboard!

God’s heavenly eraser leaves no trace behind. Isaiah 1:18 declares, Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. And Psalm 103:12 says, As far as the east is from the west-and they never meet-so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Forgiven and forgotten

When our sins are forgiven, they are forgotten. God promises in Hebrews 10:17-And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. In fact, the prophet Micah rejoiced that God will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). Then, according to D. L. Moody and Billy Sunday (I don’t know who said it first), He puts up a great-big sign that says, NO FISHING ALLOWED!

God doesn’t want us to go fishing there, looking for and finding the past. He wants us to forget it just as He has. Yet I think that sometimes after God has erased the blackboard of our lives, we keep bringing up events and things that

God doesn’t remember any more. Our human nature has a tendency to go back and keep rerunning the old mental home movies of what we were like before God saved us and made us new creatures through Christ Jesus.

We must learn how to forget the past and look to our future in Christ. The apostle Paul, acknowledging that he was not perfect, cried out, But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

Of course, the devil will try to remind us of our past. One of his tools of deception is to keep us looking back. He knows if he can make us feel that our past sins make us unworthy to do anything for God, we cannot be effective in the present.

But we can overcome the devil with our testimony of erased sins through the blood of Christ.

Then God can use our life story-our testimony-to reach other people who need to be set free from the shackles of sin. When others see us walking in victory, it gives them hope.

I heard a story about a little girl who said to her pastor, "I want you to know that I am saved."

"That’s wonderful, honey," he said. "Can you tell me which one of my sermons brought you to Christ?"

The little girl replied, "It wasn’t anybody’s preaching-it was my Aunt Mary’s practicing!"

Living the life of Christ day by day is not always easy, but there is such power in our testimony. In Romans 7:19, Paul talks about the struggle he faced every day in doing what was right. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Yet, just a few verses later, he declares, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (8:1).

What’s the secret? Being willing to say, "Where’s my eraser?" Jesus came into the world for a purpose-not only to set the example of a perfect life and to show us God on earth and what we can be though Him, but also to erase the blackboard of our lives again and again! I often find myself saying in my prayer, "Lord, thank You for that eraser."

Let me make it clear that I certainly am not suggesting that we nonchalantly fail more and sin more, expecting God to erase whatever we do. That’s not what I mean at all. The truth is that even when we do our best to live righteously, there are times when we will not make the right choices. And in those times we can and should say, "Where’s my eraser?"

God is much better at forgiving than we are at sinning!

Eugene Peterson, the pastor who produced The Message a contemporary language version of the Bible, observed that "God is much better at forgiving than we are at sinning."

Even when we think that we have absolutely gone too far, that we’ve really done it this time, or that what we have done is totally unforgivable, God stands waiting for us with open arms. No matter how "good" we have been at sinning, He is much better at forgiving. No matter what we’ve done (or failed to do), it’s never too bad to be forgiven...and to be erased!

Sin brings shame, but confession brings confidence. The Bible says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). We can be victorious in the Lord. We can live a life like Aunt Mary that draws others to Jesus. We may have failed yesterday. We may fail today. But we can ask Him to erase our failures and sins.

Then we can begin anew each day.

There’s a beautiful old hymn called, "An Evening Prayer," that captures the idea of asking God to erase the blackboard of our lives at the end of each day. It says:

If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive.
Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee,
Forgive the secret sins I do not see,
O guide me, love me, and my keeper be,
Dear Lord, Amen

Recently I was witnessing to an acquaintance about accepting God’s forgiveness and beginning a new life in Christ. Oh, how this person wanted to do it, but he kept struggling with some really bad sins-truly evil practices-that he feared had ruined his chance for redemption and taken him beyond forgiveness.

God hates sin...but loves sinners

I shared the amazing truth of Romans 5:6-that Christ died for the ungodly. "It’s true that God hates sin," I told this friend, "but that does not diminish His love for sinners. He died for the very sins that He hates.

"There is nothing in your life that cannot be forgiven-no stains that He cannot erase," I said. "When God erases your sins and you begin a new life, not only is your future clean, but your past is clean also. That means every mention of your past failure is erased in God’s book. It will never again be found in those heavenly pages where the greatest Bookkeeper of all records your deeds. "

So far the person I’ve been witnessing to has not given his heart to God and accepted Christ as his Savior. I am praying that the Lord will continue to deal with his troubled heart and love him into His kingdom.

The world we live in today is so troubled and filled with strife, so confused and far from God that many people are filled with fear and anxiety. From a natural standpoint, it would be easy to get our blackboard filled up with worry and dread.

If we as believers study and understand the Word, we see that prophecy is coming true. Every day the news points to the coming of the Lord. But those without the Lord-those who do not know that today’s news points to Christ’s coming-must get dreadfully discouraged. There is no hope outside of Christ.

But we do not have to be sad or fearful because Jesus said, Let not your heart be troubled...I will come again (John 14:1, 3). He also declared, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

If we take our eyes off the Lord and start looking at the world around us, then we’re going to falter. The Gospels tell how Peter started walking on the water to Jesus, and then was distracted by the stormy seas and began to sink. The same thing can happen to us. When we get that sinking feeling, like Peter, we need to cry out to the Lord for help. We need to ask him to erase the turmoil and lack of faith in our hearts. The only cure is to say, "Lord, I missed the mark again. Please erase it, forgive it, and help me start again."

No regrets! No fear!

You know, because of God’s heavenly eraser, we don’t have to regret the past or fear the future. God has forgiven our past, and He is already in our future. But the only way to get to the future is to live today.

We have absolutely no control over what happened yesterday-and to a large extent, we can’t determine what will come tomorrow. The only time we can really use is now, today, where we are living this minute. We wake up every morning to a clean, fresh page God has given us that is labeled TODAY. And, as I’m sure you’ve heard, it is a gift-that’s why it is called the present!

I challenge you to start living your life to the fullest. Because we know the Lord, this is the most exciting time to be alive since the dawn of creation. Give your best to the Lord. Do your best to make a difference in your family, your neighborhood...in your world. Who knows if God has brought you to the world for just such a time as this?

Yes, there will be challenges. There will be times when you don’t know which way to turn or exactly what you should do. But keep on going with your hand in His. Don’t look at the challenges-just keep your eyes and heart on the Lord. The Bible says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3).

That’s where I want to live from now on-how about you?

Remember; don’t be afraid to ask for the eraser when you need it!

You Are My King(Amazing Love)

-Candi Pearson

The Passion of the Christ - Mel Gibson

Today's Pixtal Peep

One Small Child


Andrea said...

You have an award on arise 2 write.

Crown of Beauty said...

I've been reading through your recent posts for the past 40 minutes or so. There is a lot of good material on your blog, Charlotte, but the best ones, in my opinion, are the posts where you share personal stories. Like the story of your first Christmas tree, and now this... your fascination with the eraser.

Thanks for taking time to do beautiful post entries!

I love your heart!


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