God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace because more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Romans 5:20-21 – 6:1-4
I think a lot of times we take for granted God’s wonderful grace. We seek worldly solutions and worldly desires before seeking what will please God or what will bring glory to God. We want to keep our eyes turned to those things or people who have let us down rather than turning to the One who has lifted us up. We want to turn to those who have quick fix solutions that hint at something better than what we have now or have had in a long time. We want to hold on to the ugliness instead of trading it in for the blessings He is trying to hand us. We, as Christians, lose touch with the “born again” feeling we had when we were saved and then baptized. That rush of freedom and peace we felt when we KNEW we were accepted, forgiven, and loved by the King of Kings.
Something that I realized that I need to do better at, is asking for forgiveness daily. I’m not talking about the big ticket items like I usually bring before him. (To God, every sin is a big thing. It all costs the same to ship it, no matter what the weight or size. I just have to be willing and able to lift it up to him.) Most of the time I feel like He’s making a giant tally sheet each time I bring up the same things over and over, so I stop after a while.
I realized that’s not the case. God is love and he loves me. Love keeps no record of wrongs. However, he wants me to grow and in order to do so, I need to be willing to admit to my mistakes…no matter how big or how many times I make them. Eventually I will learn from them and will repent. Some sins we will probably never be able to repent of. For instance…thinking ugly things about others.
I know some really sweet hearted people! I also know that they too have their bad days and want to stick their tongues out at the world. Parents…we yell at our kids…sometimes a LOT. Yes, we are supposed to guide and teach our children but, let’s face it, there are days when we feel like pulling our hair out and our patience has taken a “sick day.” I had one of those days yesterday when our daughter went into psycho mode 10 minutes before school started because her socks didn’t feel right. Yeah…there was a lot of screaming. She threw things (including herself), babies were screaming, she was screaming….I screamed back to get her to stop screaming. It wasn’t pretty!
God’s grace is always given. However…. As a believer, as someone who has been saved by the grace of God and who believes in everything that Jesus was, is and will be, I am encouraged to constantly keep growing. Though I will never reach the perfection that Jesus was, I am encouraged to grow towards it. Not because I HAVE to. But because I want to. I want to feel more and more of God’s love for me. I want to feel more and more at peace with God’s design for my life. I want to show him my appreciation of his love and care for me and how much I love the way he loves me, despite of me.
My life has not been a fairy tail by any means. It has not turned out the way I dreamed it would. First off, when I was “planning my future,” I didn’t want kids. Now I have 5! (Each of them a blessing!) I scoffed at people who were anorexic and alcoholics….well…that made me feel like a hypocrite. You get the picture. HOWEVER, despite that things didn’t start out or happen in a Hallmark film-worthy fashion, doesn’t make it less beautiful.
Look at stories in the Bible. God didn’t include just lovely, pretty, stories because that’s what He wants our lives to look like. No. He knew that we as humans are prone to royally messing up his original design and so He uses that. He teaches us best when we muck our lives up. When things are anything BUT pretty or comfortable. THOSE are the lives that bring him the most glory because he was the only one who could “rescue” them. He is going to make us work for it because that is how he gets us to turn to Him for guidance.
Even the most stubborn person in the world who will never ask for directions when they’re lost. If they’re desperate enough, they’ll ask. When there’s no one around, they’ll turn to God finally and He’ll be there, waiting. As Christians, we are encouraged to turn to him with everything, no matter how many times we have already laid it before him. Eventually, He hopes, that we will learn how to deal with our situations so that we won’t need to keep asking for forgiveness. We’ll ask for directions first and we’ll reach our destination without a hitch.
Don’t allow anger or pride or shame dwell inside you for too long. It’s the perfect entrance for something so much worse to take hold of you. Like chipped paint on a car and the next thing you know, a month later you have a huge rust spot eating away at your back end. Forgive and ask for forgiveness, in that order. Then accept the forgiveness that is given because it will be a game changer. You will see the beauty in the mess and you will see how perfect his design and his timing really is. You will be thankful for his wonderful grace and will use it, display it even, instead of just digging for it in your crowded glove box.
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