Sunday, February 20, 2011

No Grudges

"God, unlike us, holds no grudges when we fail to obey.  His only desire is to help us."                                           Catherine Marshall

I read this in a book recently and it ministered to me so much.  When we fail, when we ignore what our true heart, the Spirit deep within, is speaking, trying on our own instead of depending/trusting on His Spirit to work, does God sit up there on His throne and say, "I told you so!  I told you this disaster would happen if you didn't follow My nudging!  You made this mess, now you'll just have to fix it yourself - I sure won't help you.." ??

NO, NO, NO!

Perfect Love doesn't act like that!  Even a good earthly parent wouldn't act like that with a child!  Sure, my kids don't always listen to me.  They don't always do as is best.  But as a good parent I want to be there for them even in their failures.  I want to help them get up and regain their sense of dignity.  I want to help them recover, help them get back on track.  I want to encourage them and not kill their spirit.  Wouldn't God do the same?  Yes!

When I see, really see, my children, I don't see their failures, I see beautiful little people that I love and would do anything to help.  I know God, the infinitely better Parent, sees us the same way.  Well, come to think of it, actually He sees us in an even better way.  Christ took away our sins at the cross, so there's no sin there left to see!  He doesn't just look past our sin to the person inside, no, He has actually wiped away that sin on the cross and it is GONE!  God says He will remember them NO MORE!  When He looks at us, He sees His beautiful little children that He loves and would do anything to help.

So many times when I seem to go off into worry, irritation, a bad mood, selfishness (just naming my particular struggles), I feel just rotten that I've failed again.  Yet He is always right there accepting and helping!  He is there reassuring me, picking me up, loving me, letting me know His opinion of me hasn't changed one bit!  Not only does the Holy Spirit NOT convict us of sin, but He also DOES convict us of our righteousness (Christ's very righteousness given to us!), and He seems to do it so beautifully with me right when I need it most - right after I sin!  He is there for me, right after I fall on my face, DELIGHTING in me and singing over me with joy!

I think grace shines forth ever more brightly in the midst of our failures.  That's when we can see and understand His grace even more clearly, because if He accepts us after our worst failure, He REALLY DOES accept us totally!  

I love how we can go on with God even from failures because even when we fail, our relationship doesn't change one bit!  Our relationship is so solid, because it isn't built on our changing performance but on Christ's perfect performance and God's perfect heart of love!

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14