I loved Jesus since before I can remember. I asked Him into my heart over and over again as a wee one, not knowing, not understanding, that I could have assurance of His love and forgiveness. My conscious was overly sensitive and tender, so the slightest wayward thought in my little mind, and I would shut my eyes and ask Jesus to "forgive my sins, wash my heart". One of my first memories is of telling my mama an out and out lie, of making a deliberate choice to sin in this way, and the dirty feeling that it left inside of me.
That was me growing up. I wanted to please God. I didn't want to rebel against my parents. I strived to do well in school, and did. So when, as an adult, I would come across the passage in God's Word that says, "...there is no one good, no not one..." (Psalm 53:3), something inside my self-righteous soul would sub-consiously say, "...except for you Elizabeth. You've always loved God. You've always wanted to live for Him."
Until one night when God showed me the depravity of my own heart. I had been hurt by someone. Betrayed. I couldn't sleep. I took my Bible and crept quietly out of bed so as not to disturb sleeping hubby. As I sobbed out my hurt before God, searching in His Word for some comfort, I asked God to show me the truth about my own heart in the situation. Kneeling there in my dirty rags of self righteousness, God showed me my cold, unforgiving, bitter, angry heart. From the depths of my being groans of godly sorrow and repentance welled up as I saw the truth about me. No longer was I deceived by my own goody two shoes exterior. I saw the truth of my own depravity and capacity to sin. My heart was as contaminated as Ted Bundy's or Adolf Hitler's by it's horrid stains. But oh, the grace of God, the mercy of God. He doesn't just expose, He covers. He doesn't just cover, He removes. And that night He did, and daily He does. Blessed be His glorious, gracious Name.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.