If you’re anything like me, struggling to believe that I am unconditionally loved, accepted, and forgiven as I am, right where I am is extremely difficult. The enemy gets into my head and tries to play games with the intent of taking over my entire thought process so that my eyes and my heart won’t be aimed towards The Cross. I heard Christine Caine say,“Satan is a liar, but he is loud.” Satan’s number one goal is to make you forget about what’s been done for you in the person of Jesus, and to make you forget about who you are because of Whose you are. The enemy throws lies at you such as,”You’re too far gone to come back now” Or, “You really think God is going to love you after what you just did?” Maybe even, “God is never going to forgive you of that.” All the enemy knows is death, and if you are in Christ the only thing he has access too is your past. But guess what? Jesus buried those mistakes, those sins, in the grave and then rose 3 days later so they have no hold over you anymore. Know what’s true and Who said it. Let me just tell you what’s true of you because of Jesus.
Right now, in this very moment, you are loved by God. You’re His child. He loves you. He likes you. Not only does He like you, a lot, but He tolerates you. Alex Early said it this way, “The God of heaven is a God who delights in forgiving your sins and burying them in the bottom of the sea, never to emerge again. God specializes in separating your sins from you as far as the east is from the west, never to be seen again. In love for you, God forgets your sins, forgives, pays your debts, and treats you as if you were blameless, spotless, and loved as Jesus. He stands, inviting you right now both to His present and future love.”
Let’s take off the mask for a few minutes and admit that the truth that you just read is one of the hardest things to grasp, and believe. Grace does not make sense, and that’s the beauty of it. The Gospel, is always true. He has set you free. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2) You can run to Him with all of your sin, pain, struggle, and He always says, “I know child. I hear you. I am here. I love you. Be with me. Trust me.” So when you go before The Father in prayer, you can do so in confidence, because Jesus as a man understands you, and Jesus as God can help.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but it’s never beyond the reach of The Cross. God forgave all of your sins, past, present, and future. He also gave you Christ’s righteousness. God is not mad at your, and He’s never going to be. He’s your loving Father and his arms are always open so keep running to Him.
You get to go before a perfect, holy, and righteous God with confidence. But it’s not a confidence of your own. The safest place we could ever go is before our Father who is in heaven and we can go without fear of rejection. He came to meet us where we are, and love us where we are. He came to give us hope. He came to give us life. He came to give us a reason to live. But above all, He came to give us himself and in doing so bring us back home. Jesus has given us His righteousness. he absorbed our sin, past present, and future, into Himself and He was presented on a cross in raw nakedness and vulnerability. He was presented before God and He rejected, cast out into utter darkness drowning in the sea of God’s wrath. But, He defeated sin and death and was resurrected to give us a solid hope that we can be secure in Him never to be abandoned as orphans. We have a home, and Father, a true elder brother because of Him, Jesus. Therefore, I can say with confidence that we can go before a loving and gentle God without fear or rejection. We can take off the masks, drop the crap of pretending like we can be good enough, and accept the fact that we are loved and accepted beyond reason. Nothing we ever do could increase or decrease it. Jesus is Lord so much so that He is even our sins and our brokenness, over our inability to stop the repetitive sins.
In your sensitivity to sin and your desire to be obedient, (even if you can’t pull it off) you “smell like Jesus.” This is the biblical way of saying, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…” (2 Corinthians 2:15)
“Grace turns the world upside down. It disrespects our values, pops the bubble of our self-righteousness, suspends reciprocity, and introduces chaos. It throws our to-do lists out the window. But perhaps the scariest most offensive part of all is the question it asks. It is a question we spend a good amount of time and energy running away from, one whose answer most of us have long since abdicated to our idols. Listen closely or you’ll miss it: Now that you don’t have to prove anything to anyone, now that you’re self-regarded and self-respected, now that your actions have been unhitched from their utility in the courtroom, and you have been justified in the sight of God… What do you want to do? What are you going to do now that you don’t have to do anything? I’m serious. Think about it. If only for that brief moment before the voices of responsibility kick in and dismiss your freedom as a flight of fancy or something too dangerous to be embraced. My suspicion is that once you realize you don’t have to do anything for God, you may mind you want to do everything for Him.” – Tullian Tchvidjian
This is the beauty of Jesus.
This is Grace.