E S P & A B C
According to the preacher, there is “a time to love” (Ecc. 3:8). In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Paul records a list of love’s characteristics:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I wrote a poem a few years ago that many married couples with a mate (husband or wife) who just cannot keep the checkbook balanced might relate to:
MY WIFE AND THE CHECKBOOK
My wife she kept the checkbook…one month when I was gone,
Each night I’d ask her about it…when I called her on the phone.
She’d say, “Now don’t you worry…everything’s exactly right.
I balance the stupid checkbook…each and every night.”
When I got home to see her…I was pleasantly surprised to see,
The checkbook was in balance…just like she had told me.
But then I happened to notice…it was as plain as it could be,
She had written all over the checkbook…the letters E S P.
When I finally asked her about it…a big smile came on her face,
“When the checkbook would not balance,” she said…”There must be an Error Some Place.”
In all our relationships there is always “Error Some Place.” But love does not keep a “record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5, NIV) and “covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). This is why married couples make it and friendships last and believers get along.
This statement about “love” can also remind us that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8) and because of the blood of Jesus our “sins are covered” (Rom. 4:7). When God takes a close look at the “checkbook” of our Christian lives He sees a lot of E S P (Error Some Place), but He also sees that Jesus has written “A B C” over each error (Already Been Covered).
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1-2, NIV).
David was a man who could make this statement from the arms of experience. He had felt the deep cleansing power of God’s forgiveness. Paul quotes this Psalm in Romans chapter 4 to show that in Christ, these words apply to us.
All who are in Christ, loving Him and trusting Him, should know the reality of the fact that our sins (past, present, and future) are covered by the blood of Jesus. The Christian is “blessed” by forgiveness and this should be “stressed” by us in order to help relieve some of the “stress” in us. Joy comes from accepting the forgiveness of the Lord. The sins “covered by the blood” will never be counted against the believer. The wonder working power in the blood of Jesus involves total and complete forgiveness of all sin.
What a powerful truth to know that no matter what our life has been like, God is always ready and willing to forgive. And the reason is because Christ died for us. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). Forgiveness is something we all need, and God’s grace has provided it. The throne of God is a fountain of forgiveness for the sin-stained soul (Zech. 13:1). We must believe that God’s grace is real, and we must take Him at His word when He says that He has forgiven us in Christ. “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).
David also says, “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin” (Rom. 4:8, ESV). All of us sin out of weakness, ignorance, and error (we all have a lot of ESP—Error Some Place) but if we are in Christ, those sins/errors are continually cleansed by His blood (1 John 1:7). In Christ we stand faultless—absolutely perfect—before God (Col. 1:28). As sanctified believers we are “perfected forever” because of God’s “covenant” with Christ and therefore with us, so He will not remember our sins, lawless acts, and spiritual errors (Heb. 10:14, 17).
Blessed is the one “in whose spirit is no deceit.” This too points to the working of God in us and what He has done for us. God’s forgiveness, leading to our faultlessness, should certainly lead to our faithfulness. Those who have been forgiven should be diligent to express appreciation to God by living lives that glorify Him. In view of God’s mercy toward us, we should offer our lives to God (Rom. 12:1-2).
Words cannot really describe the wonders of God’s amazing grace. He is always ready to forgive the one who will trust and obey His Son. According to James 3:2 all Christians have a lot of E S P (Error Some Place), but God’s message of mercy to us is as simple as A B C (Already Been Covered).
Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).