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Grace to Move Forward

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. -Romans 7:19-20 ESV

A pang of regret pulsed through me. The words left my mouth, and I could not pull them back. After being victim of so many who were kind to my face and spoke negatively behind my back, I had done the very thing I hated. In a moment of frustration, I let too much spill while speaking to a friend.

I spoke words that had the potential to cause division, break trust, sway perspective, and bring shame to my character as a Christian. This was not the kind of person I aimed to be. I immediately apologized to my friend for sharing what I did. She acknowledged that I had gone too far but was very understanding. 

Although my misdeed lasted only a second, I spent too many hours hating myself for allowing it. Maybe this is what Jesus meant in Luke 14 when he says that anyone who does not hate his own life cannot be His disciple. When we give our hearts fully to Christ, we do not become sinless. Our desires change from loving our sin and letting it rule us, to hating our sin and letting Christ rule us.

It is now easier for me to see the things that break the Lord’s heart and when I give way to those things, it breaks my heart too. Being led by the Spirit, I can see that everything I do has an effect leading to life or death. Some transgressions may have lesser consequences, but the Spirit behind them is the same. The heart of Christ builds up and does not break down.

Each decision we make is a stepping stone that couples with others to make a pathway leading to either the gate of destruction or life. It is easy to step off the path, there are many opportunities. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus explains, “For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Thank God for His Grace!

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. -Romans 8:1-2 ESV

There was solace in the promise that Christ was not condemning me. Consequently, I did not need to condemn myself. This one misdeed did not color the whole of my character.

This weak moment was now a lesson stamped in my memory reminding me of my dependence on Christ. Any good found in me is because of Christ and Christ alone. Through this experience, I was humbled with thankfulness for the chance to do good again through His power and grace. 

Each day is made new through Him, providing the opportunity to try again. When we are mourning over an act carried out in the flesh, we have a place to rest. Receiving the grace and forgiveness of Christ is not a one-time act of faith, The Lord provided sufficient grace for every moment moving forward in our walk.

Our God is not looking for perfection but a heart that yearns to please Him. Like a child learning to walk, our devotion is full of moments of stumbling. We are pleasing to the Lord though, when we reach out toward Him with all of our being, with the aim of intimacy with Him embracing all that is good.

I decided once again to have faith that Christ has paid it all. I chose to rest in Christ and not let this situation keep me from intimacy with God or from continuing to love and serve Him and His people. It is crucial to recognize and mourn our sins, but it is equally as important to allow the gospel to free us, to continue in a life that glorifies God. The promise of the gospel allows us to get right back up when we stumble and continue toward the arms of Jesus.

Remember to prioritize firsthand Bible reading every day, only the Word has the power to transform. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

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Thank you, just what I needed today!

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