I remember the first time I went to the marketplace in Nicaragua. It was fascinating! There was a sea of people as far as the eye could see! If you wanted fake Ray Bans… they had it! If you needed authentic Nicaraguan fruits and vegetables… they had them! Maracas…check! Whatever you needed, it was there, including figurines made out of palm leaves!
We were warned about the boys with the palm leaf art, though. We were told, “They’ll tell you it’s a gift, but it’s not a gift. Don’t accept it. If you do, they will follow you around the rest of the day until you pay them it.”
Boy, were they right! Those adorable little kids would insist…”Really, I promise, it’s a gift!” They were good. They would assure you that it was free with big smiles… then BAM, they had you. What appeared to be free, cost me dearly!
That’s life though, isn’t it? Experience tells us that nothing is free; there are always strings attached.
Maybe that’s why God’s grace and forgiveness is so hard for us to believe. Nothing in life is actually free, is it?
“And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.” Romans 5:16, NLT
You may not always feel forgiven, because we are guilty. But we don’t worship how we feel; we worship a perfect God. And when I feel the weight of my sin, I trust that God has fulfilled His promises and cancelled the debt that I owe. Check out what Paul says in Colossians 2 for more affirmation from the Bible.
As a redeemed bride, are you wasting this free gift and your life by holding on to your shame and guilt?
Why do we so often insist on trying to pay God back for the wrong we have done and the shame we feel, when he has already made it right? What guilt and shame do you need to truly lay at His feet today?
Let it go! Begin to live in the forgiveness that He intended when He sacrificed His life so that you could live. Understand the FREE gift you have been given and live in that freedom that allows you to become “the righteousness of God.” (Corinthians 5:21, NIV).
The debt has been paid! Now, go live in that freedom and allow “Christ in us” to make us into a new creation. (Galatians 2:20, NLT)
It’s a gift… truly a FREE gift! Take it. Live in it!
Miss service this past Sunday? Listen or watch the message here.