“Who [willingly] gave Himself [to be crucified] on our behalf to redeem us and purchase our freedom from all wickedness, and to purify for Himself a chosen and very special people to be His own possession, who are enthusiastic for doing what is good.”Titus 2:14, AMP
This morning I sat outside on the swing reading one of my “no deep-thinking required” books. I read a lot of books to help me grow closer to the Lord or develop skills, but I also enjoy reading stories that expand my imagination. This book was one of those, and as I got to the end, the author made some excellent and unexpected points about God’s grace and mercy overflowing even when we make the most horrific mistakes.
I’m not prone to tears, but I think I might have gotten a little dust in my eyes as I read the author’s closing revelation. She wrote, “God is more than just a salvager. He is a blessed redeemer. God not only forgives, He restores. God not only heals, He blesses” (Spredemann, 2013). While I had not related to many of the specific troubles of the heroine in the Amish story, the truth remains we all face difficult moments in life. Some of those are even of our own making. Regardless of the source of the mistake, God doesn’t just patch up our brokenness, He redeems us.
Titus 2:14 tells us that Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us. The Greek word for redeem means, “to cause to be released to one’s self by payment of a ransom” (G3084, n.d.). To be redeemed is to be so free that nothing hinders us from doing His will, from living a full, happy life. He paid the price; we just need to accept the gift of that freedom.
We all still mess up, saying or doing the wrong thing. When that happens, we decide our next steps. We can blame someone else. We can curl into a ball on the inside and watch the world move on as we harbor hurt, fear, or unforgiveness within us. A better choice is to get up, dust off, and see what God has for us next. But even when we do things our way instead of God’s way, He still has a plan to return us to Himself. He is always in the forgiving and redemption business. He wants us redeemed.
There is not one thing you could ever do that is so bad that God won’t forgive if you ask. This is part of the new covenant He made with us, when His Son died on the cross on our behalf. In Matthew 6:14, Jesus says, “For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (AMPC). He put no other stipulations on the gift of forgiveness, and once forgiven, He sets you free from it. There is no longer any need for guilt or shame. Jesus bore our shame for us on the cross.
“For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing and I will never again remember their sins.”Hebrews 8:12, HCSB
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”1 John 1:9, AMPC
Today my heart is heavy for the one who feels they have just messed up one too many times. I’m reaching out to the one who thinks what they did was too embarrassing or shameful to come to a holy God and say, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” yet again. I plead with you to forgive yourself, forgive others, and ask God to forgive you so you can be redeemed and walk toward His plan for your life with your head lifted.
“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory [and my honor], and the One who lifts my head.”Psalms 3:3, AMP
Free and Blessed
When we receive His forgiveness and the freedom that comes with that, we are redeemed and we begin to overflow with His blessings. Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control-all the fruits that come from letting Him prune off the weights that hinder and submitting to His instructions. Overflow always touches more than the one from whom it is flowing.
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”Galatians 5:22-23 , AMP
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard-things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”Galatians 5:22-23, MSG
Return to Him. He has a plan for you. God’s love is bigger than your worst mistake. It’s bigger than repeated mistakes! Our Father doesn’t sit in Heaven anticipating our mess-ups so He can punish us. He isn’t waiting for us to grovel for His mercy while holding our sins against us and reminding us of our unworthiness. He isn’t human. Live redeemed. His love and grace are greater than all our sins.
I thank you that You sent Jesus to redeem me. Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for me and purchasing my freedom. I choose to forgive every person, from my heart, who has ever done anything wrong toward me. Bless each one and draw them closer to You. I ask You, also, to forgive me for every sin that I knowingly or unknowingly committed. Because of Your love, I am free from all sin and You see me as pure. According to Your Word, You will no longer remember my sin! Sin has no hold on me any longer. I am free. I am Your daughter, and I receive Your love and forgiveness. Now there is nothing that can separate me from You. Thank You, God, for your unfailing love and mercy. I keep myself humble before You and know You are the lifter of my head. I thank You that Your presence in me will help me to overflow in Your blessings!
In Jesus’ Name,
What scripture is your go-to when you feel you’ve messed up or don’t know how to move forward? Leave it in the comments at the bottom of this post. I can’t wait to hear from you!
G3084 – lytroō – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3084&t=KJV
Johnston, J. (1911). Grace greater than our sin [Hymn]. Retrieved from https://hymnary.org/text/marvelous_grace_of_our_loving_lord
Spredemann, J.E.B. (2013). An unforgiveable secret. [Kindle Paperwhite version]. Retrieved from amazon.com
Free Printable Set: God’s Love is Bigger!
Enjoy this God’s Love is Bigger printable set as a free gift. Included in the download are eight colorful photos with “God’s Love is Bigger than Our Worst Mistake” printed on each. Choose your favorite to print or print them all! They are 8×10, perfect for framing!
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Enjoy this Redeemed printable, reminding you that you are released from guilt and shame and are truly free. You are worth the price Jesus paid, so remember to live like it! This prints as an 8×10, perfect for framing! File includes nineteen different prints from which to choose, but you get them all! Print as many as you’d like! *You will receive a digital copy (PDF) of 19 prints in size 8×10. Available for $2.99 to download. No physical item will be mailed.
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Today’s Must-Read Recommendation:
This Season of Freedom: 5-Minute Messages to Free Your Soul
Get Paula A. Lambert’s 31-Day devotional, This Season of Freedom for more ways to win the battle of discouragement every day.
You’ll find her books as well as books and journals by other authors online at Integrity Publishing. (Purchases also available directly through Amazon.)
Photo Credit: The Beautiful Mess