“This is God’s grace, and we have been given grace upon grace, not just when we are good.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 19, 2023
I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten. Joel 2:25
This week, during a moment of quiet reflection, I started feeling bad . . . bad about how I messed up and sinned in the past. Bad about how my sins robbed from me, and bad about how my life would have been totally different had I not blown it. In short, I experienced a bout of deep regret thinking about what I missed because of certain unwise choices.
But then, I started thinking about the abundant grace I have experienced all throughout my life, and I started thinking about God’s blessings that have been given to me despite my sins (and sometimes because of them). So, I wrote the following and posted it on Facebook.
“If I could go back and undo my biggest life mistakes and sins, the entire trajectory of my life would have been different.”
So many people I have had the honor and joy of knowing would have never been a part of my story.
So many of the lessons I learned that became encouragements for others would have never been a part of my story.
So much of the faith I learned would have never been a part of my story.
So much of the inner healing I so desperately needed would have never been a part of my story.
It’s futile to look back and ask, “What if?” “Why?” or beat myself up for those times when I blew it.
Instead, I choose to say, ‘Thank you Lord for redeeming my biggest failures. You have been so very gracious and kind to me, even when I wasn’t gracious and kind to myself.’”
I believe that because people everywhere often wrestle with regret and shame, the response to this post was resounding. One friend, writer Van S. Mabrito, even crafted the following beautiful words, reminding me of our position in Christ.
“In the New Covenant, God totally changed the dynamic from fear and punishment under the Mosaic law to a new motive: God’s goodness, grace, and love under Jesus. Per Paul in Galatians, Jesus took the curses upon Himself so we may freely receive the blessing of Abraham as a gift . . . Our God is so powerful, and His grace can transform the worst things into the tapestry of a masterpiece of our life, as the oyster transforms pain into a priceless pearl of great beauty and value. For example, a former addict or suicidal person transformed by Jesus often becomes His deliverer to others who are also bound up.”
This is God’s grace, and we have been given grace upon grace, not just when we are good. Not just when we do all things right, but even when we mess up, even when we sin. This is the essence of the beautiful heart of our loving Father.
“ . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).
Lord, I praise you that you have taken even my poor choices and sins and have made something beautiful out of them. When the Accuser comes knocking, causing me to look back at the past and languish in regret, help me to look at you and the grace you have shown me in my life. How I love you, Lord! Amen.
Thank the Lord for how He has blessed you despite your sin and count the blessings He has given you.
Hillsong United: Good Grace
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