Not from Yourselves… (Forgiven series- Grace- Day 4)

Grace gives us the ability to walk in freedom. We often feel as though we must try to earn our salvation or work to remove our guilt.  We think if we do enough for God we will be justified by our works.  But the Bible makes is clear that salvation and forgiveness of sins does not come from us.  Clearly nothing we could do could ever make our relationship with God right without Jesus’ blood being shed on the cross.  Once we’ve accepted that, we are justified by our faith in Him.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  So cease striving and remember that He is God.  If you’ve accepted His grace, you are forgiven and free!

Read:  Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7; Psalm 46:10

I had written a different devotion for this series that was edited out for the week.  It’s not perfectly written, but still worth sharing.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.  All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Yet we become convinced we are the only one, or there’s no possible way God could really forgive us for the choices we’ve made.  Those are lies.  Satan would love for us to become paralyzed by guilt from our pasts.  He would also love to convince every nonbeliever that God wouldn’t possibly forgive them, so they might never accept His grace.  The enemy wants to lure us into this way of thinking to cripple us and make us ineffective for the kingdom of God.  The beauty is Jesus is always victorious over the enemy and his schemes.  As believers, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.  The truth is once we’ve turned away from that sin and trusted in Jesus as savior, the sin is erased and remembered no more by God.  Why must we wallow in guilt?  Our sins are covered by grace.  With Jesus, move forward in freedom.  He’s not dwelling on it, He died for it.  So why should we?

Read:  Romans 3:22-24; John 8:42-44; Ephesians 6:10-12; Isaiah 43:25

As I read this, I’m reminded of something I just read this past week in Steven Furtick’s book Sun Stand Still.  He echos what I had written and sums it up nicely,

“After you’ve come clean before God and authentically owned up to your sin, DON’T WALLOW IN IT! And don’t you dare try to make up for it. You can’t. That’s why Jesus died. That’s the whole point of the gospel. God sent His Son to redeem your life because you couldn’t redeem yourself. Believe that! Recieve it! And then let God begin to replace the pain of your past with hope for a new future.”

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