Throughout most of our lives, we have heard these words… “God loves you.” But how many of us truly understand or believe that? We know it in our head, but our heart tells us something so different. We talk about God’s grace, and how he paid the price for our sins… but what happens AFTER we ask for forgiveness and we still keep messing up? Do we keep asking for forgiveness 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 10,000 times? Of course our answer is yes… as Jesus said “not seven times but seventy times seven” (Mt. 18:22), and if Jesus said that, he must do it too. The question I have is… How to you FEEL after having to ask for forgiveness 150 times for the same thing? The truth is that most of us feel ashamed, embarrassed, and instead of feeling great and free in God’s forgiveness and love, we hide like Adam and Eve. We are always wanting to live up to God’s standard, and although we know that He forgives us, we want to please Him continually with our promises and actions.
The problem is that we can’t. We always mess up, and we continually break our promises to God. You do and I do, and even the best of the saints do too. We strive to be better, but do we ever really get there? I mean… has anyone other than Jesus reached the perfection in this life? God doesn’t expect perfection from us, and he isn’t disappointed when we don’t reach it. He isn’t looking for perfect people. He is looking for people who are willing to trust completely in Him.
Jesus didn’t just die on the cross to die. He took our place there. The Bible makes it clear that ALL who sin deserve to die (Romans 6:23), and we have ALL sinned (Romans 3:23). But since Christ already died in our place, those who put their faith and trust in Him can live in God’s freedom and forgiveness. The thing is that we must remain in Christ. John 15:1-5 says…
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5)
You can look at it like this. When God looks at me directly, I am full of sin. I am a sinner. I am doomed. There is no way that I can approach the father like this. He is holy, I am not. But when I am holding on to Jesus, and my full trust is put in Him, it’s different. The Father looks at me THROUGH Jesus. What does He see? Perfection. Holiness. He doesn’t see my sin, and my terrible condition, he sees Jesus. Jesus is like a pair of glasses for the Father. But those glasses ONLY work when my trust and walk is in Jesus. If I am not walking with Jesus… God doesn’t see me through Jesus… and I’m in trouble.
I’m not perfect, but I am Holy through Jesus’ sacrifice! We’ll talk more about walking with Jesus in the coming days. Feel free to leave commentaries and please share this with others! Blessings,