Have you ever failed God by sinning? Did you feel like you let Him and yourself down? If you’re human, then the answer is yes. When we sin, we feel that same shame that Adam and Eve felt in the Garden of Eden. We want to hide ourselves, and cut ourselves off from God for a while. We tend to punish ourselves and beat ourselves up when we mess up. I know that i do all of these things when I sin. Then, a voice reminds me about grace.
Grace is one of those things that the human brain has a hard time understanding. Our whole lives we’ve been conditioned to get punished when we do something wrong. When someone else doesn’t punish us for doing wrong, we tend to punish ourselves mentally. But grace doesn’t do that. It comes and offers God’s unmerited favor of salvation and the covering of sin for free. It’s foreign to how our mind works, but we are called to live by grace through faith.
When Paul was on one of his missionary journeys, a town asked him to speak in the synagogue. Some accepted this grace, and others rejected it. They were used to having to pay for their own sins, and couldn’t accept that someone else had. To those who did accept it, Paul encouraged them. In Acts 13:43 it says, “The apostles spoke to them and encouraged them to keep on living in the grace of God” (GNT). That’s a great word for you and I today too. Keep on living in the grace of God.
The next time you sin or fail God, thank God for His grace, seek forgiveness and ask Him to help you to turn from it. No matter how many times you fail God, His grace will always be sufficient. No matter how bad you sin, the blood of Jesus is strong enough to wash it white as snow. Quit beating yourself up and cutting yourself off from God. Accept what Jesus did for you and keep on living in the grace of God.
Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash
One of my favorite movies as a kid was The Goonies. There a scene when the kids are going down the fireplace to search for the treasure, and they send Chunk to get help. Chunk runs to the street to wave down a car, but he ends up waving down the Fratelli’s car. They take him back to their hideout and question him. “Tell us everything,” they demand. Chunk starts to cry and says, “In third grade, I…,” and he goes on for several to tell them every bad thing he ever did.
As a kid, he had a long list of all the things he did wrong. Can you imagine how long our lists would be as adults? If God said, “Tell me everything,” it would take days for some of us to list out all the bad things we’ve done in our lives. Part of our problem is that many of us think about that list too often and allow it to either keep us from accepting God’s forgiveness or we allow it to hold us back from ever doing anything from God.
I wonder if the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 130 was one who struggled with their past. I think they found their breakthrough though. In verses 3 and 4 they wrote, “If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned? But you forgive us, so that we can stand in awe of you” (GNT). God looks at those lists we create of all our wrongdoing, and He says, “I forgive you. Forgive yourself.” He doesn’t keep a record of it once and forgives it and neither should we.
We recently had a guest speaker at church who spoke on forgiving other people. He said, “Forgiveness takes one, but reconciliation takes two.” It’s a powerful statement and was directed towards us and others, but I think it works towards God too. He’s already forgiven us of our past. When we accept His forgiveness and what Jesus did on the cross, we can be reconciled and all those wrongs on that list are gone with one drop of Jesus’ blood.