My friend and I talked today. Her heart was heavy with burden over a loved one who has been lamenting past sins. The sins are quite old, and minor on a human scale, but the woman feels pain afresh. So, we talked of God’s precious grace and how my friend can remind this woman of the loving grace of The Father who forgives and casts our sin far away. We’re praying for the Lord to soften her heart and open her eyes to see His loving, forgiving, and gracious nature.
And then I remembered… we all need to be reminded of this at times.
“The meaning of life, the wasted years of life, the poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace.'”–Max Lucado
God Gives us a Clean Slate
Past sin can occasionally resurface. Sometimes, it’s just a simple memory than can be let go with a, “Thank you God for getting me through that mess!”, or a “Thanks to Jesus, now I know better!”. But when past, confessed, repented of sin rears its ugly head to hang over you and make you wallow in guilt or shame, that’s not the Holy Spirit convicting you… That’s good old fashioned condemnation, either from the flesh or from Satan. Either way, it needs to be chased away with truth and love! Don’t let it sit and take root. We must take our thoughts captive and evaluate them– keep the holy and evict the unholy!
“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psa 103:12, ESV)
“He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19, NASB)
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5, ESV)
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1, NLT)
Grace for the Sinner
God casts our sin away from us, and blots out our every stain because of amazing, sweet Grace. We don’t deserve any of this forgiveness– we can’t earn it or work to pay it off. It’s freely given from a loving God, purchased by a passionate Savior. It is undeserved love and favor.
Do you know this old hymn?
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
I think sometimes we earthly, fleshly humans can get grace a little twisted. (Or a lot twisted!) At times, we might think that if we feel deeply guilty it means we are more repentant. Or if we’re so sorry we can’t move forward then somehow we’ve paid a little for what we’ve done, thereby earning the grace. But, that’s not how it works. A truly repentant heart needs to learn to be thankful, every moment of every day, for God’s grace… and move on with life – not forgetting the grace God’s afforded, but also not living with one foot in yesterday and one in today.
God has new mercies every day for us, and spiritual blessings galore awaiting us, but we could miss them if we overly focus on the past. We must press on and continue running the race that God has for us, laying aside the sins that have entangled us.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Heb 12:1, NLT)
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:10a, ESV)
How has God reminded you lately to live in light of His grace? How has His undeserved, unconditional love changed your life?
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(Joining Fellowship Fridays link up here.)