Monday, October 5, 2015
Do yourself a favor? What is it? It may seem strange, but humor me. Get a piece of paper and write down all of your shortcomings. Shortcomings = sins. Sins? Yes, where you come up short in pleasing God. If you’re telling yourself you don’t have any, you’re a liar. Put that down first and then get started. I’ll wait. When you’re finished, come back to this article.
No, I don’t want to see your list. That’s between you and God. Now, get out another sheet of paper. On this sheet I want you to write down the name of every individual, including your own family, describing how their life is a mess, their lifestyle is grievous, they are an embarrassment, all the bad choices they have made, and how they are never there when you need them. Then, when you’re finished, put down the names of everyone you’ve ever disappointed, discouraged, irritated, or created resentment in. Remember, this list isn’t for me. So don’t cheat. Put it all down.
If you need another sheet of paper, get it. Now, I want you to write down whether or not you believe God loves any of those folks you’ve listed. Even if they are Christians, do you believe He will save them? In spite of their shortcomings . . . sins, do you believe God’s grace will cover them in their imperfections? If you don’t think He will then do this. . .
Find that list where you wrote down all your sins. Look at them. If you’ve been honest with yourself, there are more than one or two! In spite of those sins and you being a Christian, do you believe God still loves you? If so, then next question. In spite of those sins, do you believe you will still go to heaven because of God’s grace?
You are a sinner. No matter how hard you try, you will always be imperfect. You will always need Jesus. You will always need His grace, mercy, and love. If God will forgive your imperfections, and you know what they are, why will he not forgive the sins of those you have written about? Aren’t you and they Christians? Again, if God’s grace will save you in spite of your imperfections, why will that same grace not save those folks you have written about?
If you think God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness is reserved specifically for you and not them, aren’t you following the same path the individual in Luke 18:9-14 took? If so, is it possible that you could lose the very justification you thought you possessed? If you cannot forgive others how will God forgive you?
Who deserves grace? We all need it, but we don’t deserve it. That’s where God’s love came in (John 3:16)!