At church this past week, the worship team played the song, Reckless Loveby Cory Asbury. It is a great song talking about how God relentlessly pursues us. Imagine, if you can, that the creator of the universe cares so much for you that He continually pursues you. He invites you into His presence. I know it is hard for me to fathom this or even to comprehend the magnitude of what it means that God sent His Son to die for me and that by His death and resurrection, my sins are forgiven--that just blows my mind.
I was raised in a house where I would get punished for not doing what my dad told me, a house where “I’m sorry” would never be part of our vocabulary, where “quit your crying” or “get over it,” was commonly heard, and where the things we did and how we did it were incredibly important. Especially if we didn’t want to get into trouble and get yelled at or made fun of for making not-so-smart choices. Maybe you can relate to this and understand my struggle believing that my Heavenly Father wouldn’t treat me the same way. A line in Reckless Love speaks directly to this thought, and reminds me that it is a lie and there is no lie that God won’t tear down, coming after me.
Our world is a world full of lies, half-truths, and spiritual corruption. There are so many things that have the ability to grab our attention, divert our gaze and distract us from our walk with God. But over and over again the Bible shows us examples of what happens when we stick close to the throne of grace. It is also full of examples of what happens when we allow those things of the world to distract us or even pull us away from our relationship to God. But the great news is that God has always made provision for us sinners, which was solidified at the cross. Our God is love, mercy and grace. There will be times when we will stumble, there are times when we will fail and there could even be times when we will out right fall on our face, but we can never fall from grace, there will never be a time when God will stop loving you, stop inviting you into His presence, stop showing you mercy.
There was a time in my life that it was my deepest desire to return to God, I felt so lost. My daughter’s mom told me she wanted a divorce. I had screwed up. I had allowed work and wrong behaviors to get in the way of my relationship with God and my wife. I tell you the truth, when I tried to pray during that time in my life, the only words that would come out of my mouth were, “Thank you God for your mercy and grace.” It literally took months for my prayers to be more than that, but what else do we really need to say? God is for us. He loves us unconditionally. He sent His Son to take every screw up, mess up, wrong action, every wrong word spoken. He sent His Son to atone for every mistake you have made--intentional and unintentional. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, took the blame for you in the eyes of His Father, The Almighty God, Lord of Lord and King of Kings, Creator of the universe.
People may blame you, look down on you, mock you, shame you, criticize you for the way look, talk, and even what you believe. But God sees you as His righteousness, His glorious creation. He looks upon you with joy and happiness. We may want to hear “Well done” from this fallen world, but God already speaks those words over you.
It is by the grace that flows from His throne, a grace that pours over us, crimson red that makes us pure as snow, a grace that takes away the shame of this world, a grace that meets us where we are, right now, and calls us righteous. Jesus died for us when we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). God knew you weren’t going to get it right and even though we try our best we will never be perfect. Try to do better yes. Continue to renew your mind. Continue to chase after the goodness of God. Allow the grace of God to cover your shortfalls and blunders. Allow the grace of God to be your comfort and your place of healing and your sanctuary.
Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace. Thank you for your son Jesus Christ that takes away the sin and shame of the world and allows us to come into Your Presence this day and every moment of every day washed clean of our sins. We are found righteous in your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.