By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
GROVE, OK (ANS – July 17, 2016) — “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” — 2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV).
Posting encouraging sayings and Bible verses on Facebook is part of my ministry. The responses I receive from others about my posts encourage and bless me too.
Recently, I posted the following: “God’s mercy is bigger than your mistakes.” I received the usual responses like “Amen” and “Praise God.” However, one response baffled me. The woman who responded is not a “friend” on Facebook but can still see my posts. She wrote, “I don’t know about that.”
When I answered with, “Yes, it’s true,” she replied with “I hope you’re right.”
I encouraged her to read the Bible. Later that day, I decided to search for scriptures to reassure her. After locating 37 different verses about God’s mercy, I posted several below her response in hopes it would help her. I wondered why she felt God’s mercy could not overcome her mistakes. I also wondered about the mistakes she had made.
We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. It’s how we learn, and if we are willing to admit we made wrong choices, we grow in wisdom.
Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23-24 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Former pastor and Christian blogger Lon Hetrick wrote, “In regard to our mistakes, we sometimes say that God is the God of second chances. But, I think it’s more correct to say that God is the God of zero chances. We learn from Scripture that favor with Him doesn’t depend on us and our wisdom, or goodness, or faithfulness. He isn’t waiting for you to get your act together, your head screwed on straight, to try again and get it right this time.
“He offers his favor freely because of Christ’s wisdom, goodness and faithfulness, not yours. It’s done. Finished. Sealed. If you belong to Christ, if you have come to Him, He will not turn you away, nor let you wander away. Ever. He is faithful to His people. No second chances offered. No second chances needed. He will not abandon you.”
I don’t know about you, but I find that very comforting. Numerous times in scripture, we read the words, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Does that mean He will only remain with us when we do everything right? Hardly. Remember the Israelites in the desert? They grumbled constantly. They ignored Moses’ directives from God. They doubted God.
Yet, we read in Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’”
Don’t let poor choices and sins define you. God’s grace is bigger than that. It’s amazing.
Photo captions: 1) God’s mercy is bigger than your mistakes. (https://prestonrentz.wordpress.com/). 2) Carol Round.
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