One of the lessons I continually learn is that consequences are usually not fixed instantaneously. The weight I put on over the course of years comes off pound by pound with better diet choices and regular exercise. The clutter my husband and I have accumulated over 21 years of marriage goes away bag by bag. And when my husband and I cringe over something our children do, I’m reminded it’s our habit to break; no one will parent our children for us.
You’ve heard it before:
“You’ve made your bed; now lie in it.”
“You play; you pay.”
“You got yourself into this mess; now get yourself out of it.”
Thank God we aren’t dependent on ourselves for salvation. The law is clear:
“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
“Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
I am utterly helpless to remedy my spiritual condition. I can’t do enough to earn my salvation.
Thankfully I don’t have to.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
The arms of our Savior are open. He will not turn away a repentant heart. The forgiveness I can’t earn is mine, and not after so many good works or prayers but instantaneously through faith.
That’s good news.
Amber Albee Swenson has authored four books, writes an occasional devotional blog, and is a regular contributor to several Christian organizations. In 2011 she started speaking to women with the intent of bringing the Bible to life in tangible, applicable ways.
For more encouragement from Amber and other Time of Grace writers, sign up here to receive daily Grace Moments devotions in your inbox each day.