Mar
30

Sin is Costly — Devotional

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Grace and sin are not mutually exclusive. Paul clearly cautions us not to think that the life of grace is a license to do as one pleases. Obviously our fallen nature takes pleasure in sin. It pleases the fallen man to experience the depths of his falleness; yet the inevitable result is misery. Sad but true. It is like the animal eating the bait from the trail until the trap springs and finally it ends up as tablefare in the hunter’s kitchen.

Grace was created and is given because we do sin–because we are sinners. If we were not sinners, we would need no grace. If we had all the resources within ourselves to live for God, then His grace would be of little value to us. But such is not the case. We’re a mess. We all are. Yes, you too! I know, my mess is bigger than yours, right? I gladly announce–I need grace. I need as much right now as I ever have. I am doomed to hopelessness without the grace of God.

Grace is a rescuer of fallen souls who cry out to Jesus for help.

Grace runs to the desperate heart that calls out the Son of God’s name.

Grace will come and rescue from baited trails, hidden traps, and the enemy’s table.

In our stubbornness, we often refuse to stop on the trail and cry out.

We refuse to call out from inside the trap enclosing us.

But usually, somewhere before the butcher’s knife and the boiling pot, the hardness in our hearts begins to crumble and we scream the cry for deliverance.

Fortunately, grace has been waiting and springs to the scene.

God does not sweat and worry about the end of the things. He sees the beginning from the end. We have to draw the conclusion in our theology that God does allow what He did not design. He does use what He did not initiate–and–He uses it all for good in our lives–if we simply cry out in repentance and humility.

My sin has cost me greatly these past few months.

The truth is, sin is and has always been costly.

Look at the cross and see what my sin and your sin cost Jesus.

Think about what it cost the Father.

Think of the pain in Mary’s heart.

Imagine the grief of the disciples in those first few days following the cross. Sin is costly.

My sin has cost me time. Time now spent repairing that could have been used moving forward. Sin has cost me friendships. Some that my sin destroyed; others destroyed for other reasons.

But believing that God’s grace is truly greater than our sin, we, as Christians, must believe that God is at work even in the aftermath of our wrong choices. The cross is God’s answer to sin and its subsequent pain producing consequences.

I have learned so much in recent months through my moral failure.

I have discovered the love of God flowing through forgiving, grace-filled people.

I have been struck by the scorn of people who think grace and mercy are not meant for a man of God who knew better. This has caused me to ponder the meaning of all I have believed. There were days when my embattled mind could not handle the thought of ever teaching or preaching again.

Inevitably, God sent grace and mercy in human form to me.

A brother who just listened. Another recovered warrior who remembered his day of failure.

A saint that knew that it could have been them had it not been for grace.

A card with a scripture reminded me of my destiny. A letter telling about some way God has used me to help someone.

These became like little fans blowing just enough breeze to keep the coals in my heart from burning completely out.

There were other letters and words that had no grace but those had no breeze on them. They were written to be buckets of cold water to douse the flame for good. I have learned that it is those who are still bound themselves that struggle helping others to find freedom.   

If grace and mercy are not "gifts" then they are earned and received based on our own merit or performance. The church would quickly deny that such is the case–but, the way many believers respond to those who have fallen reveals that their religious infrastructure in the end seems to rest on their own works.

The "no second chance" mentality is absolutely foreign to what Jesus taught. He came with the message of hope for the ones that were ruled out of bounds for good.

He lifted the head of the immoral woman.

He reached out his hand to the greedy tax collector.

He sat at the table with the party crowd.

He bore the reproach of the religious because he chose to give grace.

That is the only way grace can come. It is the gift of God. It is given. When in humility we receive because we know that we cannot exist without it, it floods us and fills us.

Ah! Ah! Ah! That is the point isn’t it. We become filled with something other than ourselves. We become filled with grace. This is the point at which we become like Jesus. He was the one filled with grace and truth. Grace to do what God wanted him to do. Truth that allowed him to cut through the religion and offer people what they really needed. Forgiveness, hope, and healing.

Sin is costly. It really costs us when we choose to live without grace.

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Categories : Christian Living

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