Tuesday, May 16, 2006

CrossTies Devotional Article For May 14, 2006

There Is More Grace Than There Is Sin
By Bill Denton

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.  ( 1 Timothy 1:12-14, NASB95)

There is more grace in God's heart than there is sin in your past.
     Erwin Lutzer

How do you make up for things you do to hurt others, for words that bring pain and anguish, or for actions that betray the presence of evil in your heart?  If your conscience breaks through the hard shell you use to encase your heart, and you feel the grip of guilt on your soul, what do you do to absolve yourself of your sins?  You see, these are the misguided efforts of people who have missed the power of good news in Jesus Christ.  We keep trying to fix things, repair the wrongs done, and get ourselves out of trouble, and we keep wagging around a burden we can’t carry.

Don’t misunderstand.  Surely, it is good to repent of sins, to apologize for saying harsh words, and to make amends where possible.  But the truth is that none of these things erase the wrong done.  We fool only ourselves if we think we can undo our sins.

Others recognize the weight of their sins.  Their guilt is unbearable.  Once they realize the sins of their lives, they are crushed by guilt to the point that they can give up on life itself, and certainly they give up on relationships with people they have harmed.  They go through life with a soul-burden that could crush an elephant, suffocating under the weight of the burden.

This is why the message of Jesus is called “good news.”  It is why the term “grace” is applied so often to God’s actions on our behalf.  The fact is that you can’t do a thing about your sins beyond being sorry, and apologizing.  You can’t relieve the guilt, remove the burden, or change the consequences.  God can, and it is grace that makes it believable.

Sinners are an unworthy lot.  That’s an easy admission if we’re talking about all those other sinners, but it’s no less true when talking about ourselves.  People who have sinned don’t deserve anything good.  They only deserve to be judged, found guilty, and punished for their wrongs.  God sees a completely different way to deal with sinners.

There is ample grace in God’s heart.  Amazing as it sounds, there is no person so bad that God will not save them, if they will but believe in Jesus, and turn to him to find forgiveness.  But let‘s talk about you for a moment.  Do you know about God’s grace?  Are you aware that you can be forgiven?  Do you know about a cleansed heart and conscience and a new life?  Are you convinced that you’re beyond help?  Perhaps you need to know that there is more grace than there is sin.

© Copyright  2006, Dr. Bill DentonAll Rights Reserved.Articles may not be reprinted in any "for profit" publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.   http://www.crossties.org
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