Grace is everything.
Romans 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Dwight L. Moody once said, “I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I ever met.” Me too!
This week I read about a man who was filling out a job application when he came to the question “Have you ever been arrested?” He wrote, “No.” The next question, intended for people who answered “Yes” to the previous question, was “Why?” The applicant answered it anyway: “I never got caught.” He evidently knew he was guilty of plenty! Romans 3:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Paul also wrote in 1 Timothy 1:12-17, And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul knew he had personally done wrong and sinned against God. In 1 Timothy 1:13 he wrote, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
All that we were—our sins, our guilt,
Our death—was all our own;
All that we are we owe to Thee,
Thou God of grace, alone. –Bonar
We too were once separated from the Lord because of our sin and were considered His enemies. Romans 5:10, For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Colossians 1:12, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. But when we confessed our sin and acknowledged our need for forgiveness, He cleansed us and made us new. 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Let’s look at 1 Timothy 1:14-15 again, And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
The truth is we’ve all been guilty of plenty, and God deserves the glory for His mercy towards us. 1 Timothy 1:17, Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
I John 3:1-3, Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
I Peter 1:15-19, But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Peter is implying that holiness is something to be pursued in this lifetime, not simply in the life to come. Will we ever need Him more than we do right now? Let’s begin our quest for holiness by believing that God can deliver us from the bondage of sin. He can cleanse our hearts, minds, and mouths, and He will fill us with His Holy Presence…right now.
To those of us who have known the Lord for many years may have a tendency to forget what we’ve been rescued from and forgiven of. Sharing about our past and current failures and giving praise to God for forgiveness will help us not to come across as “holier-than-thou” to people who don’t yet know the Lord.
Purify my heart Lord! Make me more like You! This is my hope…Amen