Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Grace

What Grace Is Not
A devotional by Allison M. Wilson

Key Scripture: Romans 6:23, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 27:17 (NASB)

There’s a movement in the world of believers, which is greatly troubling. It’s a passive acknowledgment that there is sin in our lives, but it’s not a “big” one, so it really doesn’t need to be addressed. As if there is some hierarchy to sin which makes one worse than another, we ignore the “little” sins. The “little white lie” to spare someone’s feelings, or the gossip which is couched as concern and prayer requests. Sometimes even the “big” ones are covered over in the name of grace.

God says sin, not based on the level in our human minds, is all bad. Take Romans 6:23, for example. Scripture says, “For the wages of sin is death…” which seems like pretty strong language. There isn’t anything here that says one sin is better or worse than another. Is there such a place in the Scriptures?

Well, we see in Proverbs 6:16-19, there are six things the Lord hates, and seven which are an abomination to Him. Perhaps these are the “biggies” we should avoid? But, what about the Ten Commandments? Those must be important since He gave them to Moses on tablets to keep with the Ark of the Covenant while they wandered around the wilderness for four decades.

What did Jesus say about those ten, though? He said things like, if you even hate your brother, it’s as if you have committed murder in your heart. Or, if you look lustfully at someone, it’s as if you have committed adultery. So, even those first ten He gave aren’t the full depths of what sin is. How are we supposed to know what is a “big” sin and what is a “little” sin? Where is the line?

The reality is that there is NO line. All sin is bad. Period. My little white lie put Jesus on the cross just as much as a serial killer’s murdering did. Jesus died for ALL sin. He didn’t die a smaller amount for what we humans want to trivialize. He died a horrible death, endured suffering of which we cannot even fathom, to take the sins of the world away. When we ignore sin in our own lives, we ignore what He did for us.

What is Jesus calling out in you today? Is there something in your life you know, in your Spirit, is not right, yet, you’ve allowed the enemy to deceive you into believing it’s not a huge deal? Is there something He’s asked you to speak up about in someone else’s life, yet you’ve avoided it, because it’s too uncomfortable a conversation? 

I’m not saying you are the Holy Spirit, and should be going around pointing out everyone’s wrongs. However, we, believers, have stayed silent about too many harmful behaviors within the body of Christ, and then we wonder why we’re the walking wounded. Too many are enslaved by behaviors that are killing their spirits, and we sit silent in fear. Has Christ called on you to be the iron to sharpen another’s iron? (Proverbs 27:17)

You’ve likely heard the following phrases. Hurting people hurt people. Damaged people do damage. Another phrase God’s been developing in me lately is that healed people heal people. If the enemy has you in bondage to a sin, you are less likely to be able to help someone else who needs freedom.

Grace doesn’t ignore sin. It says sin is there, but there’s a Savior Who has conquered the consequences of it for you…DEATH. Grace is Jesus taking on my sin, before I even knew what sin was, and putting it to death so I might live sin free. Oh, what amazing grace that is!

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, I do not want to make Your sacrifice less than it was. I want the sinless life You died to give me. Show me the places where sin still has a hold on me, and give me the strength, through the power of Your death and resurrection, to put it away from me. Thank You for loving me when I was so unlovable. In the holy name of Christ, I pray, Amen.

Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

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