For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one Man, Jesus Christ. — Romans 5:17 NLT
The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: grace.
We talk as though we understand the term. The bank gives us a grace period. The seedy politician falls from grace. Musicians speak of a grace note. At church grace graces the songs we sing and the Bible verses we read. Grace shares the church parsonage with its cousins: forgiveness, faith, and fellowship. Preachers explain it. Hymns proclaim it. Seminaries teach it.
But do we really understand it?
Here’s my hunch: we’ve settled for wimpy grace. It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign. Never causes trouble or demands a response. When asked, “Do you believe in grace?” who could say no?
Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Softened by grace? God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. From insecure to God secure. From regret-riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid-to-die to ready-to-fly. Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.1
The Final Word
“The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” — Mark 2:10
If you are in Christ, your sin is gone. It was last seen on the back of your Sin Bearer as He headed out to Death Valley. When Jesus cried on the cross,
My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me? — Matthew 27:46 NIV
He entered the wilderness on your behalf. He carried your sin away.
He has the final word on your life. And His word is grace. Jesus did His part. Now do yours. Give God your guilt. Tell Jesus what you did. Hold nothing back.
Be abundant in your confession, and… Be concrete in your confession. Go into as much detail as you can.
Healing happens when the wound is exposed to the atmosphere of grace.
Exactly what is it that you need forgiveness for? For being a bad person? That is too general. For losing your patience and calling your coworker a creep? There, you can confess that. Confession, you see, is not a punishment for sin; it is an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.
Be firm in this prayer. Satan traffics in guilt. So tell his guilt where to get off. Speak to it in the name of Jesus. “I left you at the foot of the Cross, you evil spirit. Stay there!”
And, for Heaven’s sake, stop tormenting yourself. Jesus is strong enough to carry your sin. Did He not say He would do so? Believe Him! He has the final word.
- My late friend Tim Hansel said something similar in his book You Gotta Keep Dancin’ (Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co., 1985),
Excerpted with permission from God Is With You Every Day by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.
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What does grace mean to you? Do you know that it’s yours and that you’re covered by grace? Today, let’s operate in the grace of Jesus, confess every sin we can think of in His presence, and believe that we are forgiven and free! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily
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