At some point in our Christian walk, each of us sins against God. When it happens, you may find yourself thinking: "I really have blown it this time." And under the weight of God's convicting hand, it may feel as though you have. However, hiding under a shadow of guilt and shame is not where God wants you to spend your Christian life, but living in the light of His forgiveness and love. Begin this study by listing the times you feel you have hurt your relationship with God. Ask yourself what stands out the most about these situations, then read 1 Peter 1:13-16 and Romans 8:1.
By grace God saves you.
It also is the nature of His grace to forgive every sin you have or will commit. The guilt that comes whenever you go against His will or Word is meant to be a pathfinder which helps you discern where you have gone wrong and how to correct the problem. Read Hebrews 7:25.
God's grace is available to you for all you are facing. There is no temptation that is stronger than the love of God. Regardless of how you feel, God wants you to know He has His best in mind for your life - beginning today.
False guilt is a factor that can hinder your spiritual growth. This has nothing to do with God's loving conviction. False guilt arises from feelings that are askew and not focused on Christ's forgiveness and love. The best way to avoid false guilt is to remember that once you have asked God to forgive you, the issue is settled. You are forgiven. His forgiveness is not conditional. It is not based on present or future performance. He loves you right now just the way you are. And it is His love that changes you and helps you grow into a person of holiness and righteousness.
God's grace is based on Christ's finished work at Calvary.
It is not something you can earn. Instead grace is God's free gift to all who come to him seeking salvation and hope. Read Titus 3:5-7 and describe how this Scripture changes the way you look at the subject of grace.
The story of the prodigal son tells of a young man growing up in his father's household, learning the ways of his father and enjoying his love and care. When rebellion (all sin is rebellion against God) touched this young man's heart, he took his inheritance and left his home and family. A short time later, however, he found that life lived apart from his father was not all he hoped it would be. In desperation, he returned home seeking his father's forgiveness.
Jesus told this story in Luke 15:11-24 so we would gain an accurate portrayal of God's personal love, forgiveness, and grace. It may well be His call to you to come home or come closer into the safety of His arms of love. Infinite grace awaits you there. Read Hebrews 4:16 and then practice letting go of any preconceived notions concerning grace, especially those that draw you into a works oriented lifestyle. Don't be afraid to entrust your life to God. He is able to carry you, and in doing so will meet all of your needs perfectly.
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