Once upon a time... Jesus was walking down the road and a man of many sins walked up to Him and cried out, "Son of David, HAVE MERCY ON ME!". And then Jesus said, "what are your sins?". The man began to confess His sins and Jesus was so shocked at the depth and amount of the man's sins, He responded with, "Wow, that's way more than I expected, let's go over here and pray, it's going to take a long while to forgive you of those". I think that passage was written somewhere in my head years ago right after I got saved. Ironically I never found something similar in the Bible. (yes major sarcasm) When I got saved I really saw how messed up I was. I saw my sin, I saw my thoughts, I saw my manipulation, I saw my motives. I felt as though I could never be pleasing to God, I would spend a life time trying to be a child He could be proud of.
Has anyone told you lately that God is not surprised by your sin? He isn't SHOCKED when you think that thought, when you believe that lie of the enemy, when you say what you shouldn't... He knew your sin before He sent Jesus to die for you, I still love the song, "I knew what I was getting into".
Let's take this a step farther, did you know that even though God sent Jesus to die for you, and yet you STILL mess up, did you know He's not mad at you? As a Christian your sins have been forgiven, no matter how atrocious or numerous they are, past, present, future, you have been set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 6:7, 8:2)
I'll briefly address the age old grace debate. You can say, Jessika, if that's true then I can just keep on sinning without a care? Well, first we know Paul addressed it because his preaching brought the same question. "What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" (Romans 6:1) I love what the KJV says, GOD FORBID!!! We have died to sin, how can we live in it any longer?.... But, here's what I'll say to you. Sin will hinder your relationship with God. Sin will cause shame, sin will cause guilt, it will pervert your thinking to where you believe lies rather than truth, it will cause you to question the voice of God, and let's be real honest as I've said before Jesus said, IF YOU LOVE ME, you will obey my commandments.
I have many "kids" that I have loved on, discipled, and called my own. Many from a youth group in Lubbock, several from the youth here in Liberty, some from the school here in Liberty, an entire youth group in VP. All of these young people that God asked me to love, care for, instruct, and pour into. Of all of these kids some I am closer to than others, my love for them is the same, but I am closer to some than others. Some I know more about them than I do the others, some of them know way more about me than others. Why? There are those who chose to know me more. They sought me out, invited me into their lives, asked for my accountability, asked for me to spend time with them, they asked me questions and they let me ask them questions. Their pursuit and desire to know me and for me to know them caused a deeper relationship. Now I also know that out of those kids it seems to be the ones that are HUNGRY for the things of God that seem to seek me out, and the ones that want nothing to do with Christianity pretty much try to avoid me LOL. Why? Sin causes shame, but also those who are hungry for God, know their desires are similar to mine! We HAVE SOME THINGS IN COMMON. Can you see the picture? Your sin will hold you back from pursuing after God whole heartedly, but oh how He wants to be involved in your life regardless of your sin.
God wants to be apart of every piece of your life. He wants His Truth to be your truth and not the lies of the enemy, our culture, society, man's way of thinking. He wants you to see that His love for you is not conditional on your sin, or your production, or your good deeds. He will love you all the days of eternity with a burning fiery passionate love, that will move you to give up your sin, just so that He can be closer to you.
Do not enter into shame or guilt when convicted of sin, but rather repent and then REJOICE because it's just more evidence that God WANTS YOU, He wants every piece, He wants more of you. He is so in love with you.
Be Blessed, J. Tate