Thursday, January 24, 2013

Accepting the Grace and Forgiveness of Christ

By: Brittany Ann Alexander
Accepting the grace and forgiveness of Christ is a hard thing for some of us to grasp.  I for one have greatly struggled with this over the years.  After recently seeking to encourage a dear friend in this way, Mom asked me today to share how the Lord brought me to the point of being able to see more clearly why I was not willing to accept this precious gift and how He worked in me to finally be able to.  I pray it will be a blessing to those of you who read it.

The Lord brought me to the gracious point of salvation after many years of deep spiritual struggle.  But after that, I somewhat lapsed back into a few years of serious warfare.  God was definitely at work in my heart, but there was so much sin and self to be purged out, and I had some tough lessons to learn.

I was very discouraged by my continual falling back into old sinful habits.  I so did not want to be that person.  My tendency is to give in to the defeat of my failure.  Once, I had been extremely irresponsible and had fallen back into something yet again.  As a result of this sin, I was not going to have what we were suppose to have for dinner ready on time.  Mom had just recently given birth to one of my younger siblings, so some neighbors of ours had dropped in to see us and also brought a meal.  I refused to serve that for dinner, insisting on making something from scratch.  Why?  Because I felt that I had messed up so badly, I had to punish myself.  I knew I did not deserve the ‘night off’ from cooking that was provided.  No, that would have helped cover up my mistake, and I wouldn’t take any help.  This is something I had been characterized by my whole life.

The Lord used that particular circumstance to open my eyes to the truth.  I do fail.  I always will.  But I do not need to punish myself for it.  As a child of God, I have been forgiven and cleansed from my sin through Jesus Christ.  He has wiped my slate clean.  He took the punishment and guilt for me.  To deny His gift of grace and forgiveness is to deny the very cross work of Christ in my life.

I never deserved His grace in the first place.  As a now redeemed child of His, I still don’t deserve it.  But that’s not the point.  He gives it.  It is a gift intended to be paid for by Him.  But it takes humility to accept that grace, and the undeserved reconciliation and gifts that go along with it.  It is all there for us, if we will only accept.

Though I still struggle at times, the Lord has brought me to the point of being able to accept His wonderful gift through Jesus Christ.  I am beloved by God in Christ.  He has freely given me all things in Jesus.  There is indescribable joy and peace to be found here.  Praise the Lord for His wonderful mercy and grace.

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