Grace. I feel grace is a touchy topic, one we believe or don’t believe in… one we kind of believe in… one we know to be true but we can’t emphasize on it or it will be taken advantage of… one we’re afraid to ignore because of all the hate and unfair judgement in the world… one we’re afraid to give because what if that person takes advantage of me?
As a mom, grace is specifically difficult to take. I believe in the grace of Jesus; I believe He offers it to everyone freely. I believe we are saved by grace alone. (Eph. 2v8) But when it comes to living under grace in my daily life, that is another story. Yes, because of His grace I can live with Him for eternity, but what about right now? How does it affect me now more than just assurance of my future existence?
One of my favorite bloggers and theologians, Phylicia Masonheimer, wrote an article* on grace that struck a deep chord with me. I believe it is true and it is for me, but I am still the one who made the mistake. “I guess I kind of thought of it as… still on my record, but with ‘Forgiven’ stamped over it… I’m afraid if I really accept total forgiveness - that it’s gone, washed away - I’ll take advantage of God’s grace and sin again. So if I remind myself of how I failed, I’ll be more careful of not committing the same sins.” I related SO MUCH! It’s forgiven, but still there. I thought about that in my life. Every time I raise my voice, act out of selfishness, every time I discipline out of anger, ignore my child’s need because of what I want, every time I begrudgingly serve my child or think of her as an inconvenience… God’s grace covers me. I can choose to confess and repent, and His forgiveness and love is there.
But… I still did it. It’s still there. There’s the memory.
Those verses, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us”(Ps103v12) and “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow”(Ps51v7)? Do I actually believe them? Phylicia’s friend’s response was this, “It’s not possible to ‘take advantage’ of God’s grace… That’s what it’s there for.” If so, I must step into that identity. I am forgiven. I am not that mom. I repent and am forgiven. I am literally. made. new.** This is our identity as moms, and as a parental figure, we are examples of what “new creations in Christ” look like. We do not live in failure and defeat. We live in victory. We step fully into our identity and come boldly before the throne of grace***! We see ourselves as God sees us when we submit our lives to Him, a new creation as white as snow, set apart for His purpose^ (this is what it means to be holy). Guilt and shame can easily and quickly seep into our every day lives, our intentions, our thoughts and decisions. “I did this again, I must be this type of person.” That is a lie straight from hell. Satan wants you to believe you are defeated by your sin and you have to live in the shame of it, doing it for the rest of your life, reminding yourself of it as a “motivation” not to do it again. But we are. set. free! For freedom Christ has set you free^^! Do you believe it?
A critical deception that has seeped into our church is that your freedom is from hell. While that is true, that is only part of the whole truth; our freedom begins the day you submit your life to Jesus. Your eternity starts now. The Greek word for eternity Jesus mentions in John 3v16-18 and 4v21-24 is not about the future per se, but the quality of a future reign. Jesus says that we have the quality of life the reign of His future Kingdom offers now. Those who trust Jesus begin to experience eternal life already in the present time. The character of the “future world” is available by Jesus to His disciples in their present lives. Do you think we will be walking around with sin floating over our heads in eternity? Of course not! That grace and freedom is for now, not just some time later. Can you imagine not remembering any of the sins you committed on earth?
Accept the grace of God. He has wiped you clean. He “no longer remembers” your sin.**** When you wake up in the morning to a crying baby, recite His truth over yourself. Say it out loud if you have to! Believe in Jesus. When you raise your voice or lock yourself in the bathroom to hide for just five minutes, don’t let shame cover you, let His grace cover you. Repent and rejoice! Jesus’ grace is for all, all the time. It is not true that if you repeat a sin so many times, He can’t handle you anymore. It is not true that your feelings of anger towards
your child is too much for Him to handle. He covers everything. Walk in your freedom and watch the affect it will have on yourself, your children, family, and people around you.
Again - For freedom Christ has set you free! Stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery and bondage to your old identity.^^ From His fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace.^^^
* ”Why Accepting Grace Is The Best Decision You Can Make” - https://phyliciamasonheimer.com/failing-god-why-accepting-grace-will-be-your-best-choice-this-christmas/
** 2 Corinthians 5v17
*** Hebrews 4v16
^ Deuteronomy 14v2, Ephesians 2v10
^^ Galatians 5v1
^^^ John 1v16