For many years, I struggled with one of the most amazing and beautiful gifts of the gospel of Jesus: grace. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. The fact that no matter what I do, no matter what I have done, the Lord forgives, forgets, and loves me unconditionally. It boggled my brain, and honestly, it still does.
Grace is a word that we don’t think about too often.
Grace is the undeserved and unworked for love and forgiveness of Jesus to us.
I remember spending most of my life trying to deserve what I received because I felt like I didn’t deserve anything unless I put all my effort into it. I’ve always been really hard on myself. I have a hard time accepting help from others. And I have a really hard time letting myself off the hook when I mess up. Maybe you can relate.
Because of that lack of grace for myself, I always had the hardest time understanding God’s grace for me, which kept me from embracing one of the most beautiful gifts of the gospel. I think one of the biggest challenges in many young people’s walks with God is the acceptance of his grace.
Grace is a free, undeserved gift, just the way salvation is. So many of us can accept and believe that Jesus died for our sins and came to give us eternal life, but when it gets down to our day-to day mistakes, we hold ourselves enslaved. This, my friends, is not the way God intended it to be. If the almighty God himself can forgive us and offer us grace and mercy, who are we trying to punish ourselves for something Jesus came to make clean?
It is finished. Whatever mistake you have made or continue to make. No matter if you are a drug addict, a prostitute, a liar, a selfish angry person, a judgmental self-righteous person or anything else. God came to set you free. And not just in the far-off theory kind of way, but a tangible and very real way.
He came to cleanse you of every mistake you ever made and ever will make. Jesus came to give you a new life. We have the blessing of his mercies and grace anew every single morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Every single day is a new fresh start in the kingdom of God and that leaves me in awe. We never have to wallow in yesterday’s mistakes or punish ourselves for doing wrong.
God’s Love When You Mess Up
We are loved and cherished by a gracious and good God, and his grace and tenderness towards us is something we may never understand.
Because it doesn’t make sense. It’s crazy, illogical and downright nutso and that’s what makes it so amazing. Romans 5:8 says that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He loves those of us who don’t deserve it at all!
God doesn’t work the way we think things should work. God doesn’t love the way humans love. He loves with an unconditional love. Whether or not you love or accept him. His heart breaks when your heart breaks. He smiles when you are joyful, and he is compassionate about what you are going through.
We, of course, should never use the grace card to live life recklessly and just ask for forgiveness with every intention of doing that same thing again. I have seen many people over the years who get drunk out of their mind and sleep around on a Saturday night and then at church the next Sunday pray a blanket prayer to be washed clean only to blatantly and intentionally do it again the next day or weekend. That’s not what I am talking about here.
God sees the heart and knows the intention.
I believe when we accept the incredible gift of grace, we are able to see the freedom Christ came to give us. Our old ways of sin will no longer appeal to us because we will be filled with the only one who can fill that space in our hearts.
We need to truly let ourselves off the hook and accept what Jesus did for us. We aren’t mini God’s and cannot rightfully punish ourselves for our wrongs. If God forgave and wiped us clean, then we are clean! There is no more blemish, there is no more sin, and that mistake has been thrown as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
That is some good news!
I praise Jesus that he came to give us such an incredible gift. One so massive and amazing that we can’t even wrap our heads around it.
It says in Philippians “Forgetting what lies behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
So friend, no matter what you have done or what you struggle with, just know if you ask God with a pure heart to forgive you and wipe you clean, you are clean. You are a new creation. You can begin again. It’s time to move forward in faith towards what God has for you. It is the most freeing place to be.
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