The Benefit of Grace

A crowd level view of hands raised from the spectating crowd interspersed by colorful spotlights and a smokey atmosphere

Freedom came the day I fell to my knees broken, took responsibility for my own sin, and repented. Just like that the anger that held me hostage for years was gone.

God wasn’t repulsed by my sin. He didn’t back away. He drew near and poured out His saving grace over me. From that point on everything had changed.

Life became joyful. Peace flooded my heart. I had not only been lightened from the weight of sin, but I had been enlightened too. I could see and experience the miraculous benefits of God’s amazing grace.

If your desire is real life-change than you must see yourself as God sees you. He sees a sinner in need of divine grace AND He longs to give it to you! Yet, until we realize His grace is our greatest need, and until we become desperate for His salvation, change will only be a distant dream. This is the only way to freedom from addiction, resentment, bitterness, pride, wrong attitudes and emotions.

I realize this isn’t a feel-good topic and probably won’t win me a popularity contest, but someone has to talk about it. Heaven knows we don’t talk about sin enough. The truth is without the recognition and confession of sin, people perish. And without daily confession, we stunt our spiritual growth and bypass the freedom Jesus longs to give us from bad habits, hang-ups, and hurts. I tell you this because I don’t want  you to miss out on what God is offering here. Freedom!

We deceive ourselves when we try and cover up our words, attitudes, actions, and thoughts because they feel justified. Those who try to justify their sin don’t know the benefits of real grace, and they come short of experiencing it. What a tragedy!

A theologian from the 1800’s stated “that a person who is remote from her own guilt, failure, and sin is remote from God because she is remote from herself.”

We don’t need self-esteem. That’s what Satan is selling. What we need is self-accusation. We need to be rescued from ourselves not supported by other sinners.

Every saint I’ve ever read about has something in common. They all had a deep sense of sin combined with a deep understanding, and appreciation of God’s grace.

Because of their testimony, I’ve made it my prayer that God would bless me with despair and brokenness over my own sin that I might experience His divine grace and freedom. It’s hard. I don’t always succeed. But I pray each day,

“Search me, Oh, God! and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me(AP) in the way everlasting.” (Ps 139: 23-24).

Don’t be afraid to pray a similar prayer. Don’t be afraid to uncover your sinful condition. Like me, you may at times want to argue with God about what He is showing you. Instead, let Him have His way. Let God strip away every pretense until you get down to the real you. Then, change will come. Then, peace and joy will be yours. Then, you’ll know the benefit of His grace and the sweetness of His fellowship, and the victory of freedom!

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