Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Merciful Advocacy of Christ

     The fact that we need not fall into sin was so overemphasized in Diane's mind that she became blind to the merciful advocacy of Christ.  She lived in constant anxiety that her sins were greater than His grace.  On the other hand there are others who so over-emphasized the fact that God is quick to forgive that they cease to be diligent to partake of His power for victory.  They look lightly on sin and presume upon the mercy of God.
     Jesus didn't die to excuse sin, but He did die  to forgive sin.  His forgiveness is always extended with the higher purpose of total victory in view.  He does not intend that sinning and forgiveness would be a never ending cycle for His children.  He wants us free from sin:  As one dear sister said, "Yes, He loves us just the way we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us that way."
     Do you love Jesus, dear friend?  Do you long to please and honor Him in all things?  Do you hate sin and grieve over your failures?  If so, you are a truly born-again Christian and the Lord is at your right hand to empower and to pardon as you have need.  Lift you head and take up the warrior's chant penned by Micah:
     "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me"  Micah 7:8.
     What matters most is that your understanding of God's love allows you to get up and go forward when you have fallen.  The problem with the view Diane encountered is that it will hold you down under a burden of guilt.  We do not help people rise above the power of sin by telling them that if they fall, God disclaims them as His children.  Rather, victory comes as we believe that God is able to keep us from falling and that He is quick to lift us up out of our failures.  There is nothing so perfectly calculated to strengthen the heart to overcome sin as the abiding assurance of God's love and acceptance.
     Diane, wherever you are, I do hope the assuring light of God's love still shines in your heart.  I share these things with you and with others like you so that the power of sin may be broken in your life.  But remember if you do sin, you have a gracious Advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ the righteous One.

     Dear Father, thank You that You are powerful enough to keep me from sin and merciful enough to embrace me with pardon when I fall.  May I never abuse Your mercy, but ever respond with deepest desire to please You in all things.  I am Your child in Christ.  Amen

    (I'm so thankful for the merciful advocacy of Christ, aren't you?  He is so loving and kind, I don't want to abuse His love either.  How about you? Grandma Joan)

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