I remember a couple years ago a time when my middle daughter sobbed uncontrollably. "Mommy...I...am...so sorry!" Sommer's voice broke, cracked, and revealed such tender brokenness.
My heart ached for her. I knew the feeling of guilt and shame and true repentance. I scooped her up into my arms. "I forgive you baby girl." And in a moment, grace and mercy covered the offense. All was forgiven...and in that moment God revealed a glimpse of His love for me. I thought of the endless times I humbled myself before God, heaving, sobbing, and broken in genuine repentance. I thought of the endless times He scooped me up and whispered the same sweet words of affection, "I forgive you baby girl."
Ever experience moments where the reality of God's unconditional love and grace overtakes you? When the truth of His forgiveness overwhelms you? Where the certainty of His pardon (of your sins) captures your breath?
The older I get the more I recognize...that except for His grace I stand condemned by and convicted of my sins...destined and doomed to death...
But, as Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:3-9, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." (NIV)
Today, I want to share a song with you by Sidewalk Prophets. Their song, Lay Down My Life, reminds of the incredible love God has for us and the great sacrifice He paid for our salvation. (You can listen to it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YYfSJa_GC8)
As we start this week, let's offer a humble prayer of thanks to God for the hope we have in Him.
Freind, our hope is secure in His Love...our future is certain in the truth of His Grace..our sins of hatred, jealousy, anger, bitterness, adultery, idolatry, and every other guilt is blotted out by our confession of faith and our acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice.
So, in light of that truth let's live a life of joy, certain of His gift of salvation. Let's be expended for His purpose and rest in the reality of His great love. Let's remember to dream big...to laugh often...and know that God's got it all under control.