Thursday, May 08, 2008

Enduring, abounding, all-satisfying grace!

You hear it all the time. People say, "I know that God has forgiven me, but I'm still having trouble forgiving myself."

I understand that people really do believe this when they say it. They believe they have diagnosed their problem sufficiently to explain their lack of joy, their depression, their inability simply to move on. They are trapped, they realize that much, and they sincerely believe they will break free once they learn to forgive themselves.

But they're wrong. However plausible it may seem, it's a dark and nasty lie. They're confused and deceived. The devil has kicked sand in their eyes. They're operating in a fog. They have added . . . listen to me . . . they have added to the grace of God.

In fact, they've created an idol of their own self-forgiveness. Something on which they place an even higher value than on what Christ has accomplished on their behalf. The thing is, that's a sin, and unless they understand it as such, repentance will remain far from them, which is a crying shame.

I speak for many. I speak out of experience. I speak with authority. I have said those things. I have operated in that fog. I have carved that idol and set it up in a special corner of my heart.

Listen. Here's how God smashed it to smithereens. He said, Son, listen to me carefully. I am your creator, God almighty. I don't mess with half-measures. My declarations are not ineffective. My works are not fruitless. Go back to the cross, son. Go ahead. Go back and hear the lacerated dying Jesus say, "Forgive them, Father. They don't know what they're doing." Wait, stay there longer and here him say with his dying breath, "It is finished." Then walk away from that place saying, "Yeah, okay, but I still have to learn to forgive myself..."

Listen! Don't you dare presume to add anything to what Jesus has called finished. Don't you dare! As if you needed something more than my forgiveness! As if my mercy were not sufficient! If you are not satisfied with what I give, you have no part in me! Turn again, and receive what I continue to offer, that for which the whole universe longs: enduring, abounding, all-satisfying grace!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good words