Do you ever wonder, even as a believer, whether God's grace is big enough for you, that God has truly forgiven you?
If your answer is "yes" Believe it or not, you are not alone, in fact many other believers often ask this same question!
Me, personally? I use to ALL the time!
You see we go through this christian walk trying to do the best that we can. We "strive" at times to be perfect, or "become"
perfect. If we "seem" to succeed we may even begin to think that we are "perfect" and over time we begin to believe
that our walk "justifies" (earns, etc.) our salvation. But you know what? It does not, not by a "long shot"! In fact
its only by God's grace that we are ever accepted into the kingdom to begin with:
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift
of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
(Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
But we as humans are so "programmed" to think that we must earn everything that we have. Well in many respects this is
true, but NOT when it comes to God's grace, i.e. His "favor". You see God loves us with a wonderful passsion that only He
can! Its hard for us to conceive this, but it is true! Afterall who would put there own Son on a cross to die for another
who was undeserving? But this is exactly what He did:
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for
(Romans 5:8 NKJV)
You see there is one thing I am convinced of, God's grace is big! Much bigger than we understand!! But we have such a
hard time just "getting it". We can be so hard on ourselves that we just give up following Him. Or we become so discouraged
in our walk that we daily struggle with His acceptance of us. But we must realize that God's grace does not end when we become
believers. It is just beginning! He is always there to "pick us up again". All that He requires is that we turn back to Him
when we fall (sin), that is we "repent":
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He
is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have
not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
(1 John 1:8-10 NKJV)
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also
for the whole world.
John 2:1-2 NKJV)
You see God is always there to forgive us and help us go on! His grace is B-I-G!!! You see though, part of our problem
is with "us". We think that we are so bad that there is not enough grace for us. Also, sometimes its those around us. You
see people will often remember the wrongs we do to them, and to others. In turn we are more "aware" of our shortcomings.
This affects how we view ourselves and we often end up being much harder on ourselves than we should be. You see God is not
like us. When people forgive they tend to "take note" of our wrongs. That is, "write our wrongs on a stone" and "put them
in a back pocket" (to throw back at us later). God, on the other hand, when He forgives us, its like taking that stone and
"throwing it into the ocean" and never seeing it again! When He forgives, He forgets:
"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and
their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
(Hebrews 8:12 NKJV)
God knows we are "inept", "childish" and sometimes we act foolishly. He also knows that without His Son's sacrifice,
we would have no hope! He did not save us only to "leave us behind", He constantly is working with us to help "mold" us, "build
us" into the people He would have us be:
"you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual
sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
(1 Peter 2:5 NKJV)
And there is one thing that we must always remember, we are His children:
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,"
(Romans 8:16 NKJV)
But a Father who loves His children will discipline His children, but He does it in love, not to harm them. Like a father
does his child when the child does something dangerous. Like playing in the road. A father may say to his child, 'stay out
of the street, or you'll get hurt'. The child may, or may not listen. If he listens to his father, he will not get hurt. If
he does not listen, he could get hurt, or worse get killed! You see God disciplines us for much the same reasons. We
could seriously hurt ourselves! He does this to help us, not harm us:
"And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons."
(Hebrews 12:5-8 NKJV)
This disciplining can seem discouraging to us, but its not to harm us, but to bring us back to where He would have
us be. You see God wants only the best for us and just because He may discipline us, it does not mean He has rejected
us. In fact He is always working through us "via" His Holy Spirit to "mold" us into what He would have us be (John 15:12).
You see His grace is big enough! He does not call us when we are perfect! He calls us when we are imperfect! All He asks of
us is to trust Him, "perservere", that is we keep getting up and following Him when we fall down! Well some might say, "well
how many times will He forgive me?" The answer to that? As many times as we sincerely
ask Him too!
Now there are those who will persist and say, that we "have" to be "perfect" to be accepted by God, but
we must remember that if we could be perfect, than Jesus died on the cross for nothing!
You see a "perfect" sacrifice was needed for us to be forgiven, but Jesus became that "perfect sacrifice". Jesus "perfected"
us on the cross, once and forever. He did for us, what we could not do for ourselves:
"But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand
of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has *perfected forever those
who are being sanctified."
(Hebrews 10:12-14 NKJV)
*perfected= Teleioo= tel-i-o'-o (strongs 5048)= to complete, accomplish,
consecrate, (make) perfect, finish, fulfil.
He has perfected us! That is the sacrifice for our sin is "completed",
i.e. "accomplished" as found in the Greek word Teleioo (tel-i-o'-o)
in the Greek New Testament. In other words Jesus has *perfected
us through His sacrifice on the cross. IT IS DONE!
We? well, we tend to be on the side of "doubt", but we have to take God on His word! Too many of us tend to "shudder"
and think that God will not accept us, but you know what? If you have given your heart to Christ (repented from your sin,
accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, i.e "put your trust in Him"), you have been accepted!! You see its not God that has
a hard time accepting us, its us accepting His grace! Our sin? He already took care of that, "via" Jesus' work on the
cross!! Its not Him that has the doubt, its us!!!
We need to really read and study His word! The more we study His word, the more we will be assured of
His love and grace for us:
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
(Romans 10:17 NKJV)
So before you question God's grace read His word and think about all those who have already received it! King David who
had a man murdered so he could take His wife and "hide" his sin (2 Samuel 11, 12:13). David repented and God took him back
(2 Samuel 12:13)! In fact God called David a "man after His own heart"! What about Peter the apostle who denied Jesus three
times at His most painful time (when He was arrested) and yet he was accepted back (John 18:17, 25-27, 21:15-17)!!
Or what about Paul, formerly known as "Saul" (Acts 9:1-18), persecutor of God's people? Who went on to preach salvation to
the gentiles, served God's people (the same people he persecuted!) and write most of the New Testament! And there
are many, many others!!!
So next time that you think that you are the "worst" sinner, and there is not "enough" grace for you!!!
Just read God's word and remember this, you're in good company!!!!