Depravity is never pretty. More often than not it’s ugly and dark, marked by scandal. We’ve all experienced depravity. But the Good News is we can come to Christ just as we are. Our depravity does not disqualify us from salvation.
The word forgiveness draws various reactions. If we’re talking about God’s forgiveness of us, it can be a soothing topic resulting in gratitude and peace. If we need to seek forgiveness from someone we’ve wronged, we might wrangle a bit with our pride before we finally approach that person in humility—but our resulting cleared conscience makes it well worth the effort.
Usually, however, the most uncomfortable kind of forgiveness is what we must extend to someone who has wronged us or hurt us deeply. The Bible says a lot about this kind of forgiveness—perhaps because our emotions arm wrestle with it and other lingering memories skirmish with it. It’s really hard to do.
Find out what God’s Word says about forgiveness, how essential it is to understand, and how to actually do it...if we want to grow in our walk with God.
We live in a time where wrongdoing is rationalized and excused. We’re quick to blame others...and slow to accept responsibility for our actions. However, the reality is no one else makes our choices for us. A sign of maturity is admitting our offences and making things right.
Jealousy is a sin, which cannot be hidden. It starts small but ultimately leads to envy, strife, and conflict. Whether it’s at home, at work, or on a team jealousy always promotes bitterness. The only cure is contentment. When you accept where you are and who you are, you’re able to contentedly live your life...and give others the freedom to do the same.
Too often, we end up saying “if only I had known then what I know now.” Since there’s no way to go back and relive our lives, we need to focus on the best way to respond to these painful memories. Otherwise, we will live under clouds of blame and shame and be paralyzed by fear.
When you don’t deal with the trash from your past, it can eat away at you like an army of locusts. God is not waiting to condemn you for past wrongs. He’s waiting to embrace and forgive you. He meets you where you’re at today.
Allowing grace to flow freely means we let others be. You look different? We let you look different. You don’t dress like others? That’s fine, dress like you want to. That’s what grace is all about. Here are some traps we can fall into if we’re not careful.
Grace is a foreign concept to us because the world doesn’t operate based on grace. It trends towards criticism and judgment. Grace says, “I forgive you...I accept you as you are...I value you.”
Have you ever seen a dog reach the end of his leash? Once he does he comes straight to a halt. We all reach the end of our own figurative leashes with each other and with God at one point or another. The good news is God will always forgive us and always extend His grace to us, no matter what. We just need to accept it. Now shouldn’t we do the same with others?
Grace is undeserved. You can’t earn it, it’s free, and you can never pay God back. All you have to do is admit your need and receive God’s grace. That’s how a gift works—you simply accept it.
Just before Christ died on the cross he said, “It is finished!” His death covered over our sins completely. There is nothing left that needs to be finished by man.