It’s Monday Grace!
We all know that the first thing Adam and Eve did after they sinned was to try to cover themselves with leaves. They felt exposed and naked before the Lord. But the second thing they did was hide. Their sin was plain to see, for some reason, and they tried to hide from the presence of the Lord.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Adam and Eve hid from God because they were ashamed of what they did—and of what had happened to them as a result.
In many churches, the message on Sunday was designed to make listeners feel ashamed. When the preacher focuses on sin and how it damages the lives of those who participate, without reminding people that those who are in Christ are no longer in sin and should no longer be ashamed, he/she does a disservice. Sin no longer defines us. We are righteous in Christ.
When we become ashamed, we want to hide. From others, but also from God. So, the presence of the Lord becomes a negative thing. Think about that. For many people, the presence of the Lord is something to be feared and avoided.
But not for you! For you, in Christ, the presence of the Lord brings confidence and strength. For you, the presence of the Lord brings comfort and peace.
Moses understood. He knew that being apart from the presence of God would be weakness and defeat. So when the Lord spoke to him, Moses replied:
If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.
In other words, “If you don’t go with me, I don’t want to go!” Believers live in the presence of the Lord. We find our strength and our hope in His presence. In His presence is our peace.
So, when Jesus said, “I will be with you always,” it was good news! He has washed away our sin, removed our shame, and promises to be with us always. Our strength, our hope, our goodness, our joy.
May you bask in the presence of the Lord who loves you this week!
Two New Books!
Believe it or not, I have two new books on Amazon! I find myself to be a better writer than marketer, but I want you to know about these two new books.
The first is a book that has been in the works for a long time. I call it “Practical Grace.” The idea is that such an important topic should be relevant to our daily lives. Not everything in life seems limited to the spiritual realm. We struggle in relationships, with our mortality, with getting through the day. Does grace matter day by day? Yes! God cares about your real-life struggle. His grace is for you.
The second book is meant to be for those who have understood the message of grace in the past, maybe you took a class or read something about God’s grace, but have found it hard to stay on track. It is so easy to slip back into a performance system. It is also easy to become discouraged. This book will give you five “touchpoints” to which you can return often as you walk your journey through life.