unconditional, blood-bought forgiveness
sometimes, i think i’m exempt from this grace. it’s not that i don’t accept that i am human, but it’s more that i don’t think that God would forgive me for the same thing more than once. sometimes i even count and make sure my sins haven’t equaled 70×7 yet so i’m still good. i still qualify.
here’s problem #1
you can’t qualify for grace.
there are no standards.
this is the part that really strikes me. when i look at the world, the message that is shoved down my throat is “earn it”. so naturally, i want to work for my place. for my position. my talents. my opportunities. i make the mistake of believing that it’s my work that helps me achieve these goals when in actuality, it’s God who orchestrates every moment, situation, and opportunity.
while hard work does give results, you can never earn anything God wants to give you.
ephesians 2:9 assures us “for by grace you have been saved through faith. it is not by your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works..”
how does that make you feel?
uneasy? nail-bitingly nervous? joyful?
for me, it’s relieving. there’s no way to count how many times i mess up a day.. much less a year.. decade.. you get it.
grace is not earned but bought by Jesus who freely gives it to us without any terms and agreements papers or contracts.
thank you, Jesus!!
the devil attacks hardest when you make yourself believe you are in control.
“the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events”
something everyone struggles with.
i’m guilty of believing that by controlling my environment, doing good deeds, or maybe even reading my bible more that i would forget about the guilt of my sins.
sin is shameful, yes. i might as well be best friends with shame.. but let me tell you this..
there is no room for shame where the blood of Jesus applied.
let me say that again..
there is no room for shame where the blood of jesus is applied.
you are set free! you are washed in the blood!
and let me tell you this…
shame comes from the same man who has come to steal, kill, and destroy. his name is satan and he wants nothing more than to bind you in shame, guilt, self-hatred, anxiety, depression, and anger.
it is integral that you know where these lies come from so you can combat them with truth!
okay.. with that being said,
I am not in any way perfect.
but (all of us) in every way “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)
when the Lord made us, He knew we wouldn’t be God. He didn’t make us to look at a replica of Himself, but to have a relationship with the ones He calls His children. He made us as He wanted us and gave us minds to decide on our own, so when we decide to pursue Him, it would be with our whole heart and purely our decision.
Ergo, He doesn’t expect us to be 24/7 sinless. We. are. human.
He expects us to be real, authentic, and vulnerable with him and everyone around us. That is what he meant when “He made us in His image” (genesis 1:27)
Here’s the main point you NEED to know.
Although we fall short of the glory of God, we are redeemed by grace.
aka: when we sin, God makes Himself forget the sin you have committed. When you harp on your past, He would say “what are you talking about, my Child?”
now, don’t twist this. this is not a get out of jail free card where we put the forgiveness ticket on the jail space and get out free every time we sin. the wages of sin is death, and there will be consequences to your sin. and you can’t continually pursue anything else that is not God and expect God to honor your lifestyle when you ask for forgiveness. God examines your heart. You cannot fool Him.
BUT, a sincere heart is honored by God.
I am not sin-free.
I have dirty rags I’ve kept locked in a closet deep in my heart where only God can see. So please understand.. I don’t condemn you. I’ve sinned. A lot more than I wish I could say.
I don’t deserve the grace the Father offers, and it’s hard to accept the fact that grace doesn’t deal with what we believe we deserve. Essentially, we don’t deserve to breathe, yet He breathed His breath into our lungs simply because He so desperately wanted to love us and be our refuge.
When I write my devotionals, in most cases, I am writing them for myself as well. Everything you’ve read has been personal to me and my walk with Him. Don’t confuse this to think that I say all of this with condemnation.
So please, friend, don’t turn away from God because you believe you don’t measure up. If you mess up, run to Him even harder! Don’t believe the lies of the enemy telling you that you are worthless, that you have no business even asking for forgiveness, or that your rags are too dirty for God to Oxiclean.
They are lies!!!!
And I know you’re tired of me saying the same thing, but I don’t think you understand.
Let me tell you why.
Think of the most precious thing in your possession or that you would love to have. Maybe it’s a brother or sister, a child of your own in the future or that you may have right now.. maybe it’s your parents, or a very dear friend, or your husband/wife.
Have you thought of someone yet?
Let’s just say that your precious companion is murdered by a mob. Torn to shreds. Thrown away.
Now you must look every last one of those members in the face and tell them that you forgive them, love them, and choose them over your dearest companion.
That’s what God did. Straight up.
Some of you may think, “yeah yeah yeah.. i know all of this already.”
I would too. I’ve been churched since I was in the womb, so I’ve heard everything. But have you ever thought of literally how much God loved us in order to give Jesus up?
He had to physically turn away from his Son when He was going through the absolute most painful and difficult time of His life. All because He wanted us more. He sacrificed. He gave up. He put His son through gruesome, flesh-tearing torture to have our hearts. To wash us clean. To permanently bleach our rags.
(romans 5:8, john 3:16)
ahh.. there it is. old john 3:16.
Are you understanding? God isn’t some Holy being that is watching our every move. He is the man who stood us and Jesus side-by-side and STILL when we were and are sinners, the ones who tore Jesus to shreds, he still chose us.
He is in holy love with us.
Weird phrase isn’t it..
in holy love..
maybe matrimony would sound better?
ring a bell?
That’s why His grace is so abundant.
That’s why it is free.
Because His love can’t even begin to amount to how far the east is from the west.
You are loved recklessly.
Take my hand, friend, and let’s run full speed into His grace! Follow me!