None of us can claim to be perfect; we all make our share of mistakes in life. We’re all familiar with the guilt and self-condemnation that come when we mess up, but how we handle our mistakes determines if we can recover and move forward. The world points the finger of blame and makes us feel guilty for what we did. At times like this, what we really need is mercy and forgiveness, which is what we find in Jesus Christ.
Christ, who is full of grace and truth, is the exact opposite of what we see around us. When He came to earth, He showed what the “Word made flesh” looks like, and offered mercy and forgiveness to those who needed it most. During Jesus’ ministry, people were accustomed to living according to the law given by Moses; what Jesus offered was radically different. We need Him just as much now as the people did then.
When we sin, religion tells us we must work hard to earn forgiveness. By contrast, grace is unearned, unmerited favor from God. Receiving something like this is hard for most people to comprehend because it’s so simple. We receive grace by God’s kindness, not by our good works; otherwise, His grace wouldn’t be what it really is—free and undeserved.
When we make Jesus our Lord and Savior, we receive God’s forgiveness not only for our past mistakes, but also for the ones we haven’t even made yet. Knowing God has already forgiven us makes it easier for us to forgive ourselves. Having faith in this truth saves us from getting bogged down in self-effort when we miss the mark; what we receive is a gift from God and isn’t from our own doing.
God sent us Jesus not to condemn us, but to save us; we’ll never be condemned when we believe in Him. When everyone else is struggling but too weak to do the right thing, we’re strengthened through the grace that God gives us through Christ Jesus. Our sins are no match for God’s favor.
Lord, when others are trapped in self-effort and suffering from self-condemnation for their mistakes, we find freedom through Your mercy and forgiveness. This is like a breath of fresh air in a suffocating world. Thank You for your undeserved favor. In Jesus’ name, amen.
John 1:14, 17
Romans 11:6, NLT
Ephesians 2:8, 9, AMPC
John 3:17, 18
2 Timothy 2:1
Romans 5:20For more on how God’s favor brings us mercy and forgiveness, click on the link to find the three-message series, From Condemnation to Grace, in our eStore