I ended my blog posting yesterday by describing how I use to lavish my food before I went on my current diet. Here is what I said:
When I would have ice cream, which used to be a nightly routine (right after my bowl of popcorn), I would lavish my ice cream with chocolate syrup. And when I had a baked potato I would lavish that baked potato with mounds of butter and sour cream. And I love mashed potatoes but I like gravy with them. When I order mashed potatoes at a restaurant I usually want there to be so much gravy that the waitress is struggling to keep the potatoes from swimming right off of the tray. I don’t just want a little gravy. I don’t just want some extra gravy. I want my potatoes lavished with gravy.
Now how does this apply to God’s forgiveness? Listen, in a very real way that is how God forgave us. He didn’t just give us a little forgiveness. He didn’t just give us extra forgiveness. He lavished us with forgiveness. Every sin that we have or will ever commit is covered by his lavishing of forgiveness through His grace.
I’m not much on labels. I don’t even really like saying I’m a Christian because in today’s culture most people don’t understand what that means. To most of the world, if you’re not Jewish or Muslim, you’re a Christian. I don’t really like being called an evangelical because in today’s culture it seems that evangelicals are more known for what they are against rather than what they are for. I don’t even like going by any denominational label because with each one, Baptist, Charismatic, even Grace Brethren, there are all kinds of misconceptions and strains involved. But there is one label I love to wear. It is the simple label…FORGIVEN! .
My guess is that everyone who has put their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus is in the same boat that I am in. I have skeletons in my closet. I imagine all of you do as well. I can look back over my life and see some shortcomings, mistakes and sins that I am in no way proud of and would rather that most people never found out about. Can’t you? My guess is that this is true of most everyone reading this who has trusted Jesus.
For some, the past is littered with sexual immorality. For some, the past includes cheating on a spouse. For some, the past includes having an abortion. For some, the past includes involvement in homosexuality. For some, the past includes drunkenness. For some, the past includes divorce. For some, the past includes incarceration. But if you have put your faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, in God’s eyes you’re not seen as an adulterer…you are forgiven. In God’s eyes you are not seen as an alcoholic…you are forgiven. In God’s eyes you are not seen as a convict…you are forgiven.
Redemption means that God has forgiven us through the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Folks, let me say it again. Let me say it loud and let me say it clear. Grace matters!