My hope is that this blog will be a conduit for conversation between you and me, between you and others, and most importantly, between you and God. Experience has shown me that my best conversations with the Lord and with others come coupled with the stillness of morning and a cup of coffee. Whatever your experience has been, I hope you will join me as I share what God puts on my heart.

Friday, October 14, 2011

More than a pardon.

I will never wish the torment of sin on anybody.  It is certainly not God’s will for you. 
I will forever wish the delight of grace on everybody.  It is unlike anything you have ever known.
Through my stumbles, Christ showed me His grace in a deeper way.  I had recognized that I needed Christ’s forgiveness.  But, I did not need it—not in the way an individual constantly warring against a particular sin needs God's grace every moment.  But, we all need God's grace in that way, in every moment.

Even when I am not manifestly struggling with a particular sin, I need God's grace no less.

Just as God’s grace exists in its fullest form always, so does the depth of our need for God’s grace exist in its fullest form always.  It is the understanding of this need that is pivotal.
When you become repulsed by your sin, you realize you are not enough.  When you realize that you are not enough, you realize the depth of your need.  When you realize the depth of your need, you cling to God.  How many blessings I have missed when I enjoy God's grace, but fail to appreciate it. 
I cannot believe our Lord has shared His grace with a person like me and with people like us.  And I always want this mindset.  And I want it for you. 
It unquestionably does not take the experience of sin to know God’s grace—God certainly does not will for you to sin.  But, it does take comprehension of our filthiness to know God’s grace.  God did not need my sin to show me His grace.  Grace exists as God exists; it is God’s nature.  Yet, despite my sin and out of my sin, God graciously showed me my need, so that I may know Him more, so that I may praise Him more.

I pray we recognize the depth of our filth from which our Lord has cleansed us.  Each time we learn that our sin was sicker, bigger, and more repulsive than we thought, we learn that God's grace is far greater still.  And I am dumbfounded.  And we will never fully understand it.  But, with the increase in knowledge of our sin comes the increase in knowledge of God's grace. 
In those times of repugnance when we are soberly aware of our sick condition, we would be satisfied with a fragment of forgiveness, but God gives us a feast.  You are not only free, but God’s grace has filled you with speechless gratitude that bends your heart toward Christ.  God's grace is not solely about forgiveness; God's grace transforms us into being more like Christ.  
Then, grace is more than an undeserved pardon; grace is a revolution: God’s grace does not place you where you were before you fell; God’s grace propels you.  Our Lord does not just cleanse you; our Lord adorns you.  Our Lord Jesus does not just restore your heart; our Lord creates a new heart within you.     
I pray you experience the grace of God that is in Christ Jesus. 
Praise God for His kindness that despite the repugnance of our sin, God brings the sweetness of His grace.  Praise God that He is willing to use the depth of our sinfulness to demonstrate that His grace is deeper still. 
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people."  (2 Corinthians 1:2  NIV).
"As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain."  (2 Corinthians 6:1 NIV 1984).
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) (emphasis added).
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV 1984).
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of his darkness into his wonderful light."  (1 Peter 2:9 NIV 1984).

When this delectable duo merges, unicorns and butterflies pour out of my cup into my mouth. 

Much love to you, 

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