Monday, December 14, 2015

God's Unmerited Grace

O Israel, I will not forget you.  I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, 
your sins like the morning mist.  Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.  
~Isaiah 44:21

I have been struggling for the past few months with my sin.  The things I do, the things I think, the things I don't do.  All the things that add up to one big, fat, sinful person.  Of course I repent and ask God to forgive me.  But then I fall on my face the next day and do the same sinful thing over and over again.

A few weeks ago I asked my Hubby about habitual sins.  Because I needed someone to assure me that despite my sin, I was still loved and forgiven by God.  Even though I kept messing up.  Even though I felt like I was a horrible person because despite feeling like I was truly repenting, I obviously wasn't because I wasn't changing.  Basically, I was disgusted with myself and kind of afraid that God was going to wash His hands of me.  Maybe I'm the only person who's ever had that fear--that your sins were just too many or too habitual for God to wait around anymore for you to change.

I wrestled with this for quite a while, this fear that I would never be good enough.  That God must be pretty mad at me right about now.  That I was going to miss out on Heaven if I didn't get my life straightened out.  Because I'm a sinner who just keeps on sinning!  Despite going to church every Sunday, despite reading my Bible and praying every day, despite doing all the things, and repenting and asking God to help me to stop these stupid habitual sins that just keep tormenting me and making me feel unworthy and unsaved and like a total fraud!

My Hubby is such a wise man who just believes the Bible.  I asked him if we could ever repeat the same sin so many times that God would give up on us.  He gave me the "are you crazy" look and reminded me of this verse:

Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or 
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?...For 
I am convinced [and continue to be convinced--beyond any doubt] that neither 
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and 
threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, 
nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from the 
[unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
~Romans 8:35-39 AMP

God's love is unlimited.  UNLIMITED!!!!  Sin number 1,465 isn't going to be the sin that makes Him stop loving me.  Neither is sin number 1,466.  Because God's love is unlimited!  He forgives us every time we repent.  God's forgiveness doesn't run out.  

For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved 
(delivered from judgement and made partakers of Christ's salvation) 
through [your] faith.  And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own 
doing, it came not through your own striving], but is a gift of God; not 
because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law's demands], lest any 
man should boast.  [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, 
so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
~Ephesians 2:8-9

I cannot will myself to stop sinning, I cannot grit my teeth and just stop it,  My willpower is not enough and it never will be enough.  

Are you so foolish?  After beginning with the Spirit, are you now 
trying to attain your goal by human effort?  
~Galatians 3:3

Only God can break the bonds of sin.  Only God can cover my sin with His grace.  Only God, Who loved the world so much, sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life.   I am still a sinner and I will continue to be a sinner until the day I die.  But God's grace, His unmerited, unearnable, undeserved grace is free and mine.  

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