Romans 5:9 says, "And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation." NLT
After being in church for many years, and being in different types of churches, I have heard some things that really surprised me. Some people don't see or live out of God's grace. At one point, I even thought that working at a church would make God love me more. Not so.
Two of my devotionals made me want to share this with topic with you.
When I started back to church in 1996, I felt guilty most of the time I attended. I was not praying enough, not reading my Bible enough, and you better bet I should be in church on Sunday evening, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.
I wasn't hearing about God's grace. I was hearing that my relationship was based on my performance. That I need to do MORE, instead of just love and listen to God.
Here is a piece from the devotional I told you about:
"Have you ever made any of the following statements, even jokingly?
* You better not say that in church, or God will strike you down!
*I don't know what I did to deserve this, but the Lord's getting me back for something.
*God must think He's pretty funny since He keeps messing with me.
Although I try to cover it up with a joke, there's a very small part of me that believes God enjoys seeing me suffer and struggle. I know how much I've sinned against Him, so it only seems right that He would enjoy some sweet revenge, right?"
Can I say a big fat UM NO!
How about the King James Version of Romans 5:9? "Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
When Jesus died on the cross, He satisfied God's wrath. So, no matter how big you sin, God will not pour out His wrath on you. Now, this does NOT give you permission to go out and sin and live it up. If you are truly a Christ follower, you will live in a way to pleases God.
You will do your best to be obedient and live for Him. However, it should not be performanced based.
There is right and wrong in the world. There are consequences for our sin. But people's view of God has messed things up. We should show the world a loving, caring, Heavenly Father that isn't trying to strike them down.
In Christine Caine's devotional, Living Life Undaunted, she mentions people who just don't know right from wrong, and others who don't care about the consequences. This is the part I want to share with you:
"Some you may be thinking, "Can we really make a difference?" I believe the answer is yes, but that difference will never be made by judging others or condemning a broken world; it will be made by loving the lost and living out God's truth in our own lives. Let's ensure that people can see the difference Jesus makes in our lives."
If we live our lives in a way that people don't think God is ready to pour out His wrath on us, that He loves us unconditionally even when we mess up, that He provided a way to save us from hell and our sins, we might be able to help them come to know Him as their Lord and Savior too.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Please know this, God isn't sitting up in heaven waiting for us to screw up so He can "strike us down". He just doesn't work that way. Do you see His grace, love, mercy and forgiveness? Are you showing it to others? I hope so on both accounts.
God bless you today and always.