There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
– Romans 8:1
As a human being, I believe that one of the most difficult things for us to both give, and receive, is the gift of grace.
It is not our nature to comprehend that we could be loved so much that we are freely and fully forgiven, nor is it a cake walk to dole out a helping of forgiveness when we feel that we have been wronged in the worst way.
Through personal experience, I’ve come to realize that guilt and shame begin to loosen their death grip on your spirit when you relinquish yourself to the power of grace, and allow the all knowing Judge to handle the wrongs committed against you.
Ask and You Shall Receive
God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high are the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him (respect and honor) Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
– Psalm 103: 10-12 (added parenthesis)
It isn’t until you have reached the lowest of lows…the ultimate rock bottom…that you begin to realize that you are not doing this right, and you need some help. Life has kicked you while you are down, and it’s nearly impossible to get back up!
Thank goodness, all you have to do is turn around. There is no such thing as being “too lost”, “too far gone”, or “too far away”. It can’t happen. Period. God is always tailing you, beckoning for you to return to Him so that He can show you how wonderful it is to feel a love that is not framed in by conditions or circumstances.
If it sounds too good to be true…it IS too good, but not to be true. Grace is receiving something that you are undeserving of, and it’s there for you always. No matter what.
NOTHING can separate you from the love and grace of God.
In Luke 36, Jesus is invited to have dinner at the home of a Pharisee. A woman from the town who had committed many, many sins heard of Jesus’ arrival and came to the home of the Pharisee, bearing an alabaster jar of perfume. (keep in mind that this would have been EXTREMELY expensive in this day and age).
She stood behind Jesus, at his feet and began to weep (something I’m sure we would all do if we were at the feet of a Holy Savior, knowing how much wrong we had done.).
She felt so lowly and humbled that she began to wet his feet with her tears, wipe them with her hair, and poured the perfume on them.
When the Pharisee saw this, he thought to himself that if Jesus was a prophet, he would know what kind of sinful woman this was.
Jesus then answered him- and don’t miss this, because remember that the Pharisee didn’t voice his opinion, he merely thought it to himself but somehow Jesus heard him and addressed his thought.
He told the story of two people who owed money to a lender, and neither of them had the money to pay the lender back. One person owed him far more than the other. The lender forgave the debts of both.
Jesus asks Simon which of the two people will love the lender more?
Simon replies that he thinks it will be the one who has been forgiven of the larger debt, to which Jesus confirms that he is correct.
He goes on to explain that the woman has shown Him the utmost respect by showering his feet with tears of admiration sorrow for what she had done, by kissing his feet, and by pouring perfume on them, so overwhelmed by the love of Jesus, and that he could so easily forgive her for her sins.
Luke 7:47 states, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven- as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Jesus illustrated in this passage that it doesn’t matter at all what you have done!! You need only to acknowledge Him, and ask for forgiveness.
The woman in the story is showing great gratitude for Jesus because she knew she had not been living her life the right way, yet he completely wiped away every sin.
It is that simple. Really. There is no need to feel the guilt and shame that are so haunting and heavy, when there is a solution so close every day. God is ready to forgive us, no matter how many times it is necessary, no matter what we do. His love is so far-reaching and unconditional, we can’t humanly understand it- we simply have to have faith that we are saved by God’s saving grace.
Receive and Give. No Matter What.
Forgive as the Lord Forgave You
– Colossians 3:13
In Matthew 18, Peter comes to Jesus and asks, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
Jesus replies, “No, not seven times, but seventy-seven times!”
He then goes on to tell the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor, in which he compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process of this, he brought in a servant who owed him millions of dollars.
The man could not afford to pay the king, so the king ordered him and his family to be sold in order to pay the debt. The man begged and pleaded with the king for mercy, and the king felt pity for him and let him go, not requiring him to pay his debt.
However, when the man left the king, he went to a servant who owed him money and demanded that he immediately pay him the debt owed. When the servant could not pay, the lender threw him into prison until the debt was paid.
When this became public, the king called the servant to which he forgave the debt back to him, and was furious that he ha gone out and demanded money from someone after his debt had been forgiven. The king had the servant thrown to the tormentors until his debt could be paid.
The Bible says that this what the heavenly father will also do to you if you do not forgive your brother and sister from your heart.
It is crucial to understand that because we have received the gift of grace, we must also give it to our fellow brothers and sisters. Which can seemingly be the hardest thing required of us.
After several years in an abusive marriage, I was nearing the point that I could no longer stand it. I had a young child to think about, and I certainly didn’t want him growing up thinking that it was acceptable to treat anyone in such a way.
I ended up going through a very scary, equally abusive divorce, and after all was said and done, I was scornful, bitter, and resentful toward my ex-husband and his family. There were many times that my child was in danger because of drug and alcohol abuse on the part of my ex, and until things were proven I could do nothing to convince anyone of anything.
I had been treated extremely unfairly because I sought to exit the situation, and it was probably the most difficult time of my life.
After having a chance to come back up for air when everything was calming down a bit, I was able to clearly see that I was not entitled to hold on to any resentment. Not as a daughter of God. I had to trust that God would be the ultimate judge, and I was not doing that by trying to be vengeful and take care of matters on my own…and YES unforgiveness IS trying to handle matters on your own, because you are not handing things over to the only One who can truly set things right.
Ever since I began to forgive and let go, my heart has been much lighter, and I have been much more open to receiving the grace that God has for me.
I have married a man hand-crafted for me by God, and am enjoying a life that is lacking only in worry, because I have learned gradually to let God sit in the judge’s seat with the gavel. A job I don’t wish to assume again.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned.”
Wherever you see red letters in the Bible…that’s truth you can bet your eternity on. Jesus doesn’t lie.
I have experienced firsthand the true power of receiving and giving grace, and I would be doing everyone I meet a disservice by keeping it to myself. It’s life changing.
So, trust that you are redeemed, and give out the same grace that you have been given, and watch how much lighter your heart feels and how much love has been bestowed upon you.
Thank you for stopping by!
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Have a blessed and beautiful day!