Friday, August 31, 2012

Grace Is Greater


It’s not always easy to look up; guilt has the ability to weigh your heart.  It weigh’s the heart with questions, doubts of one’s worth, and shame.  As your mind re-plays the event over and over; it seems the guilt is permanent.  Although the day is filled with activities; no joy is present and peace seems to be a distant memory.  Although life is performing; living is dead.  Hope seems to be fading; as the hours pass until grace arrives. 
God's grace is GREATER than our sins even if we feel as Paul who claimed to be the “chief of sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15)  If Paul was the worst sinner; Christ still redeemed him to fulfill His purpose.  Grace redeemed the chief of sinners to display his unlimited patience to us. (1 Timothy 1:16)  Paul was an example of Christ’s redemption, His power displayed before the world. 
“We must allow sin to wound us; so we know the cut it loves.” David Arnold
 
Our lives don’t have to be filled with a track record of guilt; grace and mercy can wipe it clean.  Guilt is important; it causes to recognize our wrong.  Besides recognizing our wrong; we realize we offended God.  Guilt must be felt for repentance to occur but we must understand the difference between guilt and condemnation.  What is the definition of guilt?  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Guilt is defined as the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty; broadly.” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guilt)  Condemnation is defined as “the act of judicially condemning.” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/condemnation)

The mission of Christ wasn’t condemnation; it was redemption for all who believe.  Believing in Christ removes us from condemnation; it’s only those who don’t stands condemned.  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:17) 
So, we must understand we all have violated God’s law.  No one is exempt, we all have sinned.   (Romans 3:23) Besides recognizing our penatly, we need to be sorrowful. "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter." (2 Corinthians 7:10-11) Yet, we don’t have to live with guilt or shame.  If we truly want to be cleansed from our sins, we have to come to Christ.  Christ doesn’t want to condemn anyone; He took our penalty.  (Galatians 3:13) We can only be justified freely by His grace through the redemption of Christ. (Romans 3:24) 
Grace arrived at the cross; it paid the penalty for sin completely.  If we are truly sorrow for our sins; we must repent for them.  Repentance admits the wrong, admits their need of help, and turns from it.   Grace erases all sin, sees the need, and strengths the feeble one to stand.  So, guilt doesn’t have to be upon your heart; grace and mercy can cover it.
It’s just time to come to Christ who is willing to forgive us our sins; if we confess them.  “If we confess our sins, he is FAITHFUL and JUST and will FORGIVE us our sins and PURIFY us from all unrighteouness.” (I John 1:9)  Love covers a multitude of sin.  Regardless of your past mistakes; Christ will give you a future.  A heart truly repent will never be denied access to God.  God has never seen someone He didn’t love or desire a relationship with.  Our Father sent His Son to die for the WHOLE world, so that includes you. (John 3:16) It’s not impossible, He made it available.  So, it’s time to lay down the guilt for exchange of a new life.  Guilt doesn’t have to rob your life; grace wants to give a new one.