I have made many mistakes. I have hurt people by my choices and I have been hurt by the choices of others. I am just like Paul when he said in Romans 7:1:
I want to do what is good, but I do not. I do not want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (NLT)
I have come up short many times. I have lied, cheated, gossiped, coveted, envied, judged, and was once divorced. The list could go on and on. But, again I have found comfort in Paul’s words:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–and I am the worst of them all. (1 Timothy 1:15 NLT)
Notice that Paul says that he is the worst of sinners?
Sounds pretty hopeless, right?
It was not for Paul. It was not for me. And, it is not for you.
Hopeless, if my story ended with a bountiful compilation of my injustices. I would be guilty as charged.
Instead, once more, grace finds me. The opportunity to begin with a perfectly clean slate is mine. Nothing will ever be written on that slate again. NEVER.
I am transformed; my heart is new. My stony heart has been replaced with a heart of flesh. I am completely covered and pardoned by grace….unmerited favor from the very hand of God. He sent His Son to die for me and His sacrifice on the cross set me free.
Regret and remorse are a part of my old person. As a new creature in Christ, I have joy.
Even after all of my failures, I can hold my head high and know that I am a child of God and a joint heir with King Jesus.
Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. (Galatians 4:7 NLT)
I am free from the mistakes I have made or those I may make in the future. I no longer have to hang my head in shame. I no longer have to worry whether I am good enough.
His righteousness is ALL I need. God knew everything I would ever do and he still chose to create and love me.
And, because He first loved me, I love Him.
I am much like Peter, redeemed from denying Jesus.
I am similar to David, redeemed from adultery and murder, but a man after God’s own heart.
I am just like Abraham, redeemed from lying. God called him friend. (James 2:23)
I am just like Noah, redeemed from drunkenness. His faith saved mankind. (Hebrews 11:7)
I share in the fellowship of the redeemed with Mary Magdalene, Rahab, Tamar, Thomas, Moses, Samson, and everyone else who was “found” by His amazing grace.
All of these people had faults seemingly too big for “Papa” to handle. They loved God but continued to make poor decisions and mistakes throughout their lives. God could have turned His back on them, on me, but He knew that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
So, he chose to redeem them. He gave them a heart like His, full of love, grace and forgiveness.
When they failed Him, He used it for their good and His glory.
So, my mistakes and my many imperfections were permanently erased.
Every choice does have consequences that may cause pain or other difficulties, but redemption allows God to use my life and my mess for His glory.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NLT)
After all, He is about restoration. He makes ALL THINGS new, including me.
Today, I am thankful for who I am, mistakes and all. Life’s trials and tribulations have broken me, but I have gained such a sweet relationship with my Heavenly Father, Papa, as I lovingly call Him.
However, as human beings we struggle both with forgiving others and ourselves.
It is challenging to forgive when we feel others have wronged us. We may continue to remind them of the wrongs they have done and the hurts they have caused. We want them to pay.
We tend to forget the redemption that we have been given. We sometimes think that these people do not deserve the same grace we have received.
Wounds do take time to heal but with God’s love living in and through us, indeed we are set free.
Yes, forgiveness releases others who may have wronged and hurt us, but it also frees us. Forgiveness is thus a vital part of redemption.
Likewise, we must forgive ourselves.
Why would we refuse the work that Jesus completed on the cross?
We are reminded in John 3:17:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (NLT)
And, there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NLT)
Since we are not condemned, but redeemed, why do we struggle with a tendency to condemn ourselves?
He promises that he casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
We have to stop beating ourselves up. We must forgive ourselves.
Discovering real freedom in Christ Jesus requires us to forgive others as we forgive ourselves.
Love others as I have loved you.
Redeemed and set free. Free, indeed…
I urge you to ponder these truths in your heart. No matter where you are or what you have done, He stands at the door and knocks. There is only one latch, and it is on the inside. Swing open the door and allow Him to come in and “sup with you.”
It is not too late to accept the newness that He offers. Redemption draweth nigh. His grace and mercy are for each of us. Absolutely NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.
Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39 NLT)
He desires a relationship with each of us. He loves us so completely.
He loves us so much he gave his only Son as the ultimate sacrifice.
There has never been a greater act of love. There never can be.
Please join me in the joyous fellowship of the redeemed.