[Cross posted at -April 9, 2007]
This past weekend was a holiday, as it would be difficult not to notice, with both religious and secular modes of celebration. I will be honest with you. I did not go to church. We did, however celebrate with a delightful brunch and lots of family.
Tonight, as I write this devotional, I do not feel worthy to share anything. You see, I messed up this weekend. Royally screwed up. I chose to overeat significantly even though it was what I knew I should not do. I sinned. I am not in question about that fact.
What I am struggling with now, is…what do I do now?
Sometimes, I immediately KNOW what to do. I say something in anger, my heart clenches up. I know I have sinned. I immediately regret the action. I pray for cleansing of the bad feeling, for forgiveness for my words, and I am forgiven. I don’t doubt the immediacy of God’s mercy and grace.
My tendency with this kind of sin, however, often termed a “stronghold”, is to beat myself up. To stay away from God. To hide in my shame. To wallow like the prodigal son with the pigs.
And that is pride. My big fat pride.
So tonight, as I study this topic to share with you, I have been overcome by God’s amazing grace.
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:7
Oh Father, forgive me first and foremost for my pride. For thinking that any sin I am overcome by is larger than you are. That my worth as your child can ever be lessened by any action of my own. I am so sorry that I allowed this gap to be created between us. It was a gap of my own making, and I hope I never make it again. The gap may have been started by my choosing to indulge my sinful nature, but was made wider and deeper by my pride.
…Even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) Ephesians
Thank you for making it clear to me that there is no “earning” I must do before you take me back. This remembrance of your sacrifice is also a celebration that the “work” has been done. The gift we receive is reconciliation.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16
Father, thank you for the gift of this group of women. If I were not involved with them, I might not have taken the time to explore your grace and receive it as I have this evening. The way you work is beyond my understanding. I am humbled and grateful, and amazingly, feel loved. I have had the knowledge of your love, but you have kindly allowed me to feel it tonight.
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews
Please, if there are any of you who read this devotional have something stuck between you and God…please, let him remove it! It is imperative that you receive the same grace that God has given me tonight. It does not matter how big or little your sin. None of it is bigger than the God we worship, the God we serve. The ultimate goal is that we are together with God — that we let nothing separate us from Him.