My sin seems so big to me right now. I look around and I see piles and mounds of sin. I see sin in how I relate to my friends, I see sin in how I work, I see sin and failures in how I approach God. Every relationship I have and everything I do is tainted by sin. Its very easy for that reality to quickly pervade every area of my life. Then I become fearful…
I’m afraid to be real with friends because I don’t want them to see my sin. I’m afraid also, because I don’t want to sin against and hurt them… so relationships are shallow. I’m afraid to mess up at work, so I give a half-hearted effort or go to the opposite extreme and worry about every detail. I’m afraid to approach God so, instead I just ignore Him.
This is a description of my life from the past few weeks. Sin and fear. Lack of performance to the level I think I should attain. Frustration and discouragement because I know my limitations and I know that I can never live the sinless life. Utter exhaustion from trying.
This is where its crucial for me to moment by moment remind myself of the Gospel, regardless of how I feel – Christ died for my sins. He died to redeem me from the curse of the law – this curse that right now to me seems so big. He died and justified me – declared me to be in right standing before Him based on the sinless sacrifice of Christ’s blood. Its not based on my merit, not my salvation… not my sanctification. Its all based on His work and His payment of my sin. Its all paid, completed, finished, absolved, and done. Those words uttered by Jesus on the cross apply for me, right here, right now when it doesn’t feel true. No matter how big my sins appear to me, God’s mercy is always bigger. It reminds me of a verse from one of my favorite songs…
When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there who made an end of all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the Just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me.
In the middle of writing this post, I received a “random” e-mail from a friend… containing verses reminding me of truths that are true when my soul feels busy, stressed and wants to crawl in a hole and ignore the problems of my world. Thanks Jess for obeying the Holy Spirit’s leading and for passing these on to me…
Dan. 4:35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
Isa. 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,and I will accomplish all my purpose,’…
Lam. 3:37-38 Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
Prov. 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Prov. 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
Psalm 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Psalm 8:3-4 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 9:9-12 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted