It’s Monday Grace!
When Bob won the lottery he instantly became a millionaire. Not sure what he should do next, Bob just kept working at his job, living in his house, and driving his old car. Not only did he not look like a millionaire, he didn’t feel like a millionaire. It was only when he began to spend some of that money that Bob began to realize how his life had changed.
In a similar way, it is common for people to continue to feel unforgiven after they come to Jesus. The fact of their forgiveness is not really the question; it’s the feeling of forgiveness.
When Bob drove his old car, the driver’s window still stuck, and Bob still had to struggle to get it to work. The house still had a lot of things to fix. His job still had its challenges. Life was about the same—until Bob realized that he didn’t need to fight that old car window, or fix the problems with the house, or even continue to work at his difficult job. Once Bob understood the meaning of the change in his life, he left those problems behind.
When we come to Jesus and learn that His forgiveness has covered all our sins, we may not understand the practical application of that truth in our lives. We continue to live with regret and defeat. We think of ourselves as defined by our failures and compromises. The stupid decisions we made, the foolish things we did, fill us with regret that doesn’t go away simply by the knowledge of our forgiveness.
It isn’t until we begin to walk in that forgiveness, incorporate the freedom and the victory into our lives, that we find the real meaning of being forgiven. When I can think of those old acts and struggles as part of the past, no longer part of who I am, then I become free.
When Bob began to understand how much money he had now and believed that no one was able to take it away, he got rid of his old car and bought a new one. It wasn’t long before Bob decided to buy a new house. In his job, he had new confidence and new enthusiasm. In fact, he did so well at work that he didn’t want to quit. But he knew he could if he wanted.
When you and I begin to understand that we are fully and freely forgiven by the love of God in Jesus, we will begin to put off the old ways. Worry about the future will fade. We will start to feel valued and loved, perhaps more than ever before. Each time we decide to walk in our forgiveness, to stop calling ourselves names and downgrading ourselves, we will find more victory and freedom. Even the old sins will start to go away.
You see, Bob always thought of himself as a lower class man. He never made much money and had to put up with a lot of struggles. His picture of himself didn’t change when he won the lottery. It changed when he began to live like a man who won the lottery.
You and I were taught to think of ourselves as broken and addicted sinners. We told ourselves that we were stupid and that sin had power over us. When Christ saved us and washed our sins away, that feeling didn’t really change. It only changes when we begin to live like people who have been forgiven.
Forgiven people are brand new beings. The Scripture tells us that the old has been washed away, the old man has died. You are no longer that person who did those things. You are not what you were. Now you are washed and sanctified because Jesus loved you enough to pay the price. Sin no longer has dominion over you. The evil one cannot make you do anything. You can walk in victory and freedom. You can know that you will be just as forgiven tomorrow as you are today. And even if you sin again, you can never be defined by that sin.
And, in that final day when you and I stand before the Lord, there will be no recital of our sins, because they are gone. There will be no listing of the things we have done, either before or after we were saved, because all has been washed in the blood of Jesus. There is no room for fear in the love of Jesus for you.
So, yes, you are forgiven. Fully and freely. That’s what the whole story is about. God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to the cross to wash away our sins and set us free forever. That’s the truth. Begin to live as though it is true, and you will begin to feel that it is true.