Welcome to 2014 my friends. It’s a new year and a new chance at life!
After many weeks of praying over where God would have me to take this blog this year, He directed me to… you guessed it… talking about Grace! I will not be posting every week, unless I’m directed by the HS, and my topic will vary in length, but one thing you can be sure of is that somewhere in my blogs the Grace of God will be prevalent!
I know you are as excited as I am to discover the key to loving and forgiving others unconditionally so I won’t beat around the bush any longer… the key to unconditional love and forgiveness in life is the receiving and giving of God’s Grace, first receiving, then giving! You must first receive God’s unconditional Love and Grace and you will then in turn be able to give it to others!
Grace is defined as “undeserved, unmerited favor”, and according to John 1:17, it is the reason for Christ’s being, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In life we hear it preached, taught and exhorted around every corner, love, forgive, love, forgive, love & forgive, yet in spite of its consistent presence in our everyday lives its apparent from just living in this world that the awareness of its existence and its utilization aren’t synonymous. We don’t receive or give it as much as we preach or teach it.
Why? As much as we all know we should love & forgive others, (even anti-Christians) why don’t we do it, or unconditionally do it I should say? After many years of writing, researching, observing, praying, reading books and The Book (Bible) on love and forgiveness, I have come to believe the reason why most people can’t love and forgive unconditionally is because of how they view God’s love and forgiveness towards them.
I could really dig into this topic and show you evidence of my discoveries in everyday life and in the Bible, but seeing that this is a blog, and not an academic paper, I won’t bore you with the details. But what I will tell you is that Christ came to provide us with Truth and Grace as previously mentioned according to John 1:17 and that He died because He loved us, according to John 3:16, “For Christ so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…”, and that love is not based on works according to Ephesians 2:8-9, “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.”
And so what about our sins you may ask? Has God really forgiven us for our sins? Well according to 1 Peter 3:18, they have been forgiven, past, present and future, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit;” this scripture confirms that our sins have been paid for and that works, nor sin, can take away our right standing with God. How do I know this scripture isn’t just talking about past sins? What about future sins? Christ couldn’t have just died for our past sins, because ALL OF OUR SINS WERE FUTURE SINS TO HIM WHEN HE WAS CRUCIFIED.
So what about curses that go along with our sins you may ask? Well according to Galatians 3:13, Christ was made the ultimate curse for all of our sins! “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."
My question to you today is how to do view God’s love and forgiveness towards you? Do you see God as chastising you daily because of your sins, do you see him as keeping a score card for every time you come to church or pay your tithes, do you see Him as a only loving you when you do good in life? As I’ve said in previous blogs, all these things have their place in the kingdom of God, but God’s love towards you and His forgiveness of your sins are not conditional! When you make God’s love and forgiveness towards you conditional you in turn make the love and forgiveness you give to others conditional and God is not a conditional God!
According to Isaiah 55:8, God’s thoughts and ways are different from ours. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.” He desires to forgive and to love unconditionally. Many people quote this scripture in the wrong context, but what it is really talking about is how He loves and forgives us unconditionally, how He provides Grace liberally to one and all! He doesn’t hold grudges as we do and He doesn’t hold guilt and condemnation over people. He only loves and forgives, now that’s The GRACE of God!
Forever In His Grace!