This saying is trustworthy:
If we died with him, we will also live with him.
If we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we deny him, he will also deny us.
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself. -2 Timothy 2:11-13
Have you ever turned down and denied a friend who was offering to buy you lunch?
I am definitely guilty of responding with a quick, “No, no way! Seriously, you don’t even have to do that! I’ve got it, I’m fine.” Then comes the infamous debit card fight between you, your friend, and the employee behind the counter.
There was one particular incident where this happened between a friend who wanted to cover the cost of my lunch and me. As I began to shoot down her idea she replied, “Don’t rob me the opportunity to bless you.”
Her response stopped me in my tracks. There was no arguing with that beautifully spoken response.
Why do we have such a hard time receiving?
I see this struggle to receive play out as we attempt to wrap our minds around the greatest debt that was ever paid on our behalf: the forgiveness of our sins. The forgiveness of our past sins as well as the sins we have yet to commit.
We’ve messed up. We continue to sin. We make mistakes. God paid the price for us and He looks at us and says, “Not guilty!”
The moment we surrender our life to the Lord we become a daughter of the King. We are His. His forgiveness is ours as we repent and receive it.
No matter how we may feel, when we refuse to accept Christ’s forgiveness for us we deny that His work on the cross was enough payment for our sins. Feelings can absolutely serve us well, especially that gut feeling we get in a bad situation. However, allowing our emotions to dictate who we are can be very dangerous.
This got me thinking that refusing a gift is not necessarily a humble posture. My friend was right in saying my refusal to allow her to bless me was actually robbing her of something she was walking out in obedience. To not accept the Lord’s forgiveness may have more to do with our feelings. Maybe it’s rooted in thoughts and feelings of being unlovable, unworthy, or even feeling what we have done is unforgivable.
This is why it is so important to fill our minds with truth. We can train our unaccepting hearts to become softer as we acknowledge our sin and ask for forgives and believe we are forgiven. Life is too short to lug around unnecessary baggage. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy by not letting go of what the Lord already paid for.
Even Peter, who denied the Lord as He stood trial, was forgiven. Not only that, Peter was welcomed by Jesus and restored to Him. Jesus did not allow Peter to linger and wallow in his shame or despair. He knew Peter had much to accomplish (and suffer) for His name. If Peter had spent too much time stuck in his shame, who knows how many would have missed hearing the gospel!
No matter what we do, God will never disown us. He has set us free and He longs to restore us to Himself, no matter what we’ve done. My prayer is that we all repent and truly accept the forgiveness and grace that has been gifted to us. This is where we will find freedom and live differently because of it. God doesn’t want us to sit in that place of shame. He wants us to come to Him and ask for forgiveness. This was never about us forgiving ourselves, but His gift of forgiveness to us. The price has been paid. We have been set free!
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Entrepreneur, photographer, writer, worship leader and single mother of two Kelli Trontel has proven that while life can bring grief upon grief, difficult days did not take her out. Her passion is to share how the Lord has been faithful even when life and others aren’t, how worship is our weapon and that the Lord truly fights our battles.