(1) “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (2) because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
I have been writing devotionals for seventeen years now, and it is still so hard for me to understand the character of God. In a world of so many extremes, it is hard to understand that we serve a God who is perfectly balanced in everything. He is perfectly just and yet, will not let sin go unpunished…. However, He is abounding in love, and His mercy endures forever. He never takes lightly the sins we commit, but he never stops treating us as children when we commit them. God loves us enough to discipline us because He desires us to become more like Him. God knows that we can find joy in Him alone.
I sometimes forget that Gods discipline comes from a heart of grace, not from a heart of vengeance. God doesn’t punish us because He put the punishment on His son, and all of our sins are paid for. Yet, how often do we live lives of regret because of the sins of our past that we cannot change? Sin does have consequences, and we should be remorseful of our sins, but today is a brand new day. You don’t have to feel condemned for what happened yesterday.
Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous but to lead sinners to repentance. Don’t ever try to straighten your life out before coming to Jesus first. Commit your life to Him, and He will direct it. It will take time, and you will never be sinless because as long as we still have the flesh, we will remain sinful. Don’t be discouraged or overcome with guilt. Instead, take your sins to the Father and ask Him for help. God loves it when his children cry out for His aid and admit they can’t do it on their own. He never gets tired of hearing, “I need you. Please help me”. A lot of preachers say, “You need to have the right motives before you come to God in prayer,” but I say having impure motives is evidence that you need to spend more time in prayer.
If you want to have victory over sin then the best way is to spend time with God. Sometimes when I pray I start out with really selfish motives, but by the end, I realize it. God then begins to change my heart and even what I pray for. I also know many people who are convinced that they can’t be used by God because they still have serious struggles with certain sins. While some sins can keep you out of leadership roles for a time, you should never believe the lie that you are useless to God. As long as you still have pulse, God has a plan for you, and he will use you. The fathers of our faith are a litany of imperfect people who God chose to use despite how little they had to offer.
My friends, there is no freedom in living a life of regret nor will it bring you peace or make you have a closer walk with God. It is ok to accept the consequences of our sins, but it is sin to let it keep you from trusting that God will use it for His good. If you want to change then make a decision today that you are not going to live condemned but free in Christ. Spend time with God and seek His help; He will give it. He never turns his back on His children, nor does He forget them in their times of despair. A runner doesn’t quit the race because he has fallen into a pit. Rather, he asks for help and continues on. Everyone has scars, and we all fall short of the glory of God, but the people who change the world are the ones who keep running.
Maybe you are not as holy as you need to be or maybe you are inconsistent in your faith. If you believe you can’t change then you probably won’t. However, if you believe you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength, then you can overcome it by His grace. Don’t give up or be discouraged, but press on. God doesn’t hate you; God loves you and wants to bring back those who have went astray.
In closing, I will leave you with the immortal words of Winston Churchill. “Never, ever, ever, ever give up.” Remember that God is for you and never against you. Though, in this world, you will have trouble, in Christ you will have peace.
About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com.