It concerns me when the Body of Christ wants messages of God’s wrath, judgment, and severity more than they want to hear about His mercy, kindness, compassion, and grace. Jesus fought against the religious leaders of His day who were invested in their belief system that God cares more about the law, formulas, structures and even belief systems more than the person standing in need of grace.
I’ve been posting messages of encouragement and hope each day because I know that it’s always been His kindness that’s led me to repentance. Hosting guilt, shame and fear has never done anything good for me. But feeling freely forgiven and unconditionally loved has set me free to be who God created me to be. Who am I kidding? I’m still learning who God created me to be. And I’m still in awe of the level of freedom God has endowed on His children.
Obviously, no single sentence meant to encourage embodies the full gospel or the fullness of living and growing in the Lord. But we all need the courage to face what life brings us. We all need constant hope. We all need to remember that it is God’s grace that sustains us. We will never be sustained by fear and anxiety and condemnation. We will never thrive under criticism and constant correction. God did not wire us to. Basic studies in human psychology and neurology show us this truth. God’s kindness has a way of convicting us into a correction. We cannot find a better way than God to bring genuine transformation.
The new covenant believer is now filled with the “Comforter, Counselor, Healer.” These are all descriptions of the Holy Spirit. He is not described as the stern, lecturing, scolding judgment-giver who is always keeping track of our sins. Under the New Covenant of Grace, sin has been completely paid for. We are a new creation filled with the Comforter who wants to cheer us on to do the right thing, remind us of grace when we mess up, give us hope when life is hard. I do not apologize for being a voice of hope that reveals the God who’s taken residence in me. And I will not answer combative voices no matter what kind of bible verses are quoted. I will answer those who are genuinely asking and engaging. And I will continue to be an ambassador of reconciliation for the Lord as He commanded us to be.
Reconciliation with a perfect God and a horribly messed up humanity requires constant reminders that God has already forgiven all sins. He paid the price for our sins so that we don’t have to. Being an ambassador means I am fully equipped and resourced by the Kingdom I represent. Being a baptized, born-again Believer means I step into all the authority and power Jesus won at the cross for me. This is the good news! We are not sin conscious. We are the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Once we believe that, we will live out our beliefs. My God is always for me. He does not authorize or take delight in any attacks against me. He came to set me free from the wages of sin and I can live knowing that I am the Beloved. This is the gospel that saved my sanity and healed my broken heart. This is the gospel I will continue to proclaim. We have been set free.