forgiveness

All Things Work Together For Good

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1 John 4 says, “God IS love.” It’s a very important verb choice. He didn't say God HAS love. If He HAD love, He might NOT have love. Instead, he uses the verb "is," the state of "is-ness," this is one's state of being,  the part of you that cannot be changed. God IS love, and He made us a promise in Romans 8:28 that “All things will work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purposes.” This is true even for the worst choice ever made by a man in all of history. A choice that's even worse than the one Adam made two-thousand years ago. 

My friends, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He had healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the poor, heralded the Kingdom of God and proclaimed that in Him there would be forgiveness of sins and life eternal. The people hailed Him as the Messiah, but at that point, the Jewish leadership got a little envious. John 11 reveals that they knew this man did miracles. Did you hear that? Unbelieving, rebellious men, admitted that miracles were being done. These were not Jesus’ followers; these were people who hated Him, and they acknowledged that miracles were being done. The problem for them was that if they let Him keep doing what He was doing, all of Israel would believe in Him, and the key is in their next phrase, “We’ll be out of a job.” 

My friends, do you know what really killed Jesus? It was job security. And so they held an illegal trial, trumped up false charges against Him that He was inciting rebellion against Rome and turned Him over to Rome for permission to have Him crucified. The problem was, the Roman Governor found Him innocent of all charges, but the Roman Sanhedrin continued to stir up the people. Pilot was afraid of a riot. If he could not govern well, he'd be out of a job. He realized there was a custom in Israel where they would release one prisoner every year. Coming up with an idea, he made a choice, and the choice was offered to the crowd: Jesus or Barabbas. 

Barabbas, the text says, was an insurrectionist, a murderer and a thief. The choice before them, my friends, was simple; you can have the righteous and innocent Son of God, OR you can have the murderer. What will you do with Jesus? And they chose Barabbas. They chose a murderer over the Messiah, and they screamed for Pilot to have Jesus, who had been declared innocent, crucified. 

I don't know if you've ever thought about the fact that Pilot had already declared Jesus innocent. Jesus not only could have been set free, but He should have been set free. The people CHOSE to have Jesus crucified, and Pilot CHOSE to let it happen. There were so many poor choices made, and those choices had horrible, horrible consequences. 

Pilot washed his hands to try and declare himself innocent; that it was not his choice to crucify Jesus. At that point, the people cried out, “His blood be on us and our children.” They made the most horrible choice that man has ever made, to crucify the Lord of Glory... But God! But God! See my friends; it was a true statement; His blood was on them, it was their choice. But because of God, his blood was FOR them. 

In Matthew 20:28, Jesus said, “I'm coming to give my life as a ransom.” In Matthew 26:28, He said, “This is my blood which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Do you realize my friends, that our incredible God used their choice against Jesus, as a consequence, but not as a consequence against them, but as a consequence for them. It is the greatest fulfillment of Romans 8:28 in all of history, “That all things will work together for good.” The one they killed shed His blood for them that they might be offered a second chance choice to place their faith in Him and secure life eternal and forgiveness.

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Saved From Our Sins

Our gracious, forgiving, merciful God, will overrule the bad choices that can bring bad consequences. 

Our gracious, forgiving, merciful God, will overrule the bad choices that can bring bad consequences. 

I raised my kids on a mantra; life is all about choices and choices have consequences, so make good choices. Why did I drum that into my kids? Because I wanted them to experience Life. I wanted them to have joy and peace and rest. I didn't want them making choices that would leave a trail of guilt and shame and loss. The same is true for you and me as adults. This mantra is not just for kids. Every one of us in this room is confronted daily, on a moment by moment basis with the need to make good choices and avoid bad choices. 

We were all placed into this predicament by Adam who made a very, very bad choice. He could have chosen God, but instead, he chose the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He could have done what God said, but instead, he chose to do what Satan said. He could have believed what God said, “You shall surely die" but instead he chose to believe what Satan said, “You shall surely NOT die.” That terrible choice, my friends, had very horrible consequences. 

It says in Romans 5 that death spread to all men. To personalize that, death spread to you and I. The world became under a curse, and thus every one of us experiences things now that we were never designed to experience. Having left our state of innocence, we're now confronted daily with the potential to make a wrong choice that will lead us to experience a harmful consequence. Scripture is filled with people who've done this; Cain murdered his brother, a terrible choice that caused him to suffer being cursed from the earth. Hagar gave her handmaid to Abraham and caused family division AND national division, a consequence we still face today; Arab and Jew to this day because of that choice. Noah chose to get drunk and caused his sons to be judged and disciplined. And of course, David chose to have an affair with Bathsheba and brought chaos not only to his family but to the entire nation. 

Galatians 6 says, “Whatever a man sows that shall he reap. Sow to the flesh; you'll reap corruption, sow to the Spirit you'll reap Life everlasting.” What I want to share with you friends is this; that law is NOT a universal law because there is a God who has revealed a place in His New Testament that says, “But God.” 

Ephesians 2 says, “Even though we were dead in our trespasses and sins, and by nature, children of wrath, BUT GOD who is rich in His mercy and His great love with which He loved us, saved us from our sins.” 

God proclaimed His name to Moses in Exodus 34 when Moses said, “What is your name?” God says, “My name is God, the Lord God. Merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” That's a whale of a name, isn't it?! This gracious, forgiving, merciful God, my friends, will overrule the bad choices that can bring bad consequences. 

I think of Jacob; he made a choice to wrestle with God. That's not a good choice! He ended up with a limp for the rest of his life, BUT he also ended up with a changed life. I think of David and his sin with Bathsheba; it had horrible consequences, BUT that union later brought a great gift named Solomon who brought great wonder and mercy to the world because God is who He is. Don't you just love Him?!

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Jesus Did Not Atone For Our Sins

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One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they view the Bible as a cohesive whole. I will explain. Though it is one book, written by one supreme author, the Holy Spirit, and it does have one central theme, the fall and restoration of man, it is one book made up of two books. There is an Old Covenant and there is a New Covenant.

The Old Covenant focuses on the law, and the emphasis is on what man must do. The goal, of course, is to reveal to man that he cannot do as he needs to do and transform his thinking from the lie that he can be like God so that he instead will cry out in his need for God to save him and make him whole again.

The New Covenant emphasis is on grace, with the glory that man receives instead of achieves and the focus is on what God has done and longs to do in and through man as man now chooses to live by faith.  I would be so bold as to say that people are NEVER going to understand the Bible until they realize that God works in covenants.

There was an Old and it is distinct from the New, and the two should NEVER be mixed. When we mix the law with grace, the law loses its holy terror, and grace loses its freeing power! They are separate and distinct and must be kept so when we translate and interpret the Bible. 

The reason I state this, is that I hear a lot of people who fail to make this distinction of books or covenants within the one book, and interchange the terms of the old covenant with the new. For example - take the word "atonement" - so many Christians use that term to refer to the death of Christ for our sins and this is NOT the word to use when we herald the glory of what Jesus has done for us! JESUS DID NOT ATONE FOR OUR SINS! Atonement is an Old Covenant word. The Hebrew word is kopher and it means to cover. In the Old Covenant the sacrifice of lambs "covered" the sins of the people when those lambs were offered in faith that God would "cover" their sins. The book of Hebrews tells us though, that those lambs could never remove people's sins. They were only "covered" until the real Lamb of God could come and remove those sins from them.

Let me state it simply, that word "cover" or atonement is NOT to be
used of Jesus because He did something much better than "cover" our sins,
HE REMOVED THEM!

Remember the glory of the statement that John the Baptist made, "Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the earth!" Now, that is glorious and it is a major error to say that Jesus atoned for our sins - HE DID NO SUCH THING! HE REMOVED THEM --- Hallelujah!

Unfortunately, many translations put that Old Covenant word into the New Testament. PLEASE hear me on this. That word "atonement" is never used in the New Testament, It is only found in the Old Testament. The word used in the New Testament is katalaggo, the root meaning of which is to reconcile. Jesus reconciled us to God by removing our sins, not covering our sins. Why the New Testament translators put the Old Covenant word into their New Testament translations I do not know, but they should not have done so because they are robbing Jesus of the fulness of the glory of what He did for us at the cross! 

Take great care my friends to interpret the Bible in light of the two covenants. The glory of the New Covenant will shine brighter in your heart and mind. Better yet, the glory of our Lord Jesus Who established that covenant, will shine even brighter in your hearts, ushering in greater praise to Him for the greater work that He has accomplished, and you will walk confidently, KNOWING that your sins are forgiven completely and you do not have to worry that you are ever out of fellowship with God! IT IS FINISHED! That is what Jesus said on the cross. And do you know what that means in Greek? It means, "IT IS FINISHED!"

Isn't that exciting? 

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Never Going To Leave You

Jesus says, if that is what you are going to do, I am going to be right there with you the whole time.

Jesus says, if that is what you are going to do, I am going to be right there with you the whole time.

One of the most common fears I hear voiced is that "this time I have really done it!" The dear one making that statement has made a choice, a really bad choice and entered into such poor behavior that they are sure God is going to abandon them, and deservedly turn His back on them.

In I Corinthians 6, Paul addresses such a poor choice with a response that has scandalized the religious world for centuries.  If ever there was an occasion where God would, dare we say "must" reject His sinning child, it would be this one! BUT HE DOES NOT DO SO!

What did they do? They had sex with a prostitute. Now, finally, we are going to see it said! Right? Surely for this sin, God is going to separate Himself from the sinning one, at the very least for the time that this sin is occurring. Right? Jesus is going to say, "If that is what you are going to do, I will wait for you outside. Right? NO! DEAD WRONG!

Jesus says, if that is what you are going to do, I am going to be right there with you the whole time. When you unite yourself to that prostitute, you are going to be uniting Me to that prostitute.

Oh my friend, Jesus said He is never, NEVER going to leave you or forsake you. NEVER!

A friend of mine says it this way, "When you backslide,
He is going to backslide with you."

When you became His child, nothing can ever separate you from the love of Christ! NOTHING!

Now, grow up in this love, rest in this love, embrace this love, affirm how secure and significant you are in Him. You have not, nor can you ever separate yourself from His love.

And by the way, as you learn of this love, I believe you will find that your pursuits of other counterfeit life and love, will dissipate and you will not be making those poor choices, because they really do not satisfy the desperate need of your soul to find life and love, for you will have found it in Him!

Love Keeps No Lists

But what happens when we keep lists?  Those lists minister tremendous emotional power to our lives and they are not healthy emotional powers

But what happens when we keep lists? Those lists minister tremendous emotional power to our lives and they are not healthy emotional powers

I Cor. 13:5 - "Love thinks no evil" KJV

The word is "logizomai" = an accounting term

It would be used in the keeping of a perfect record for financial purposes (very necessary for us in terms of the IRS, but very damaging for a walk with God).

Let's be honest, it hurts when someone hurts us. And we don't want to get hurt again because after all, it hurts!

But what happens when we keep lists? Those lists minister tremendous emotional power to our lives and they are not healthy emotional powers! Hurt! Anger! Fear! Which in turn lead to anxiety and bitterness.

These "emotions" trigger us to build walls around ourselves in order to protect us from others. We say things like, "I will never let anyone get close to me again. I will never give my heart away again!"

Case in point:

Proverbs 18
"It is easier to win a fortified city than it is to win a wounded brother."

Put simply, the walls we build work. They keep people out!

Let's put this verse into history. Alexander the Great decided to conquer a greatly walled city named Tyre and it took 10 years to build it. And what did the Proverb say? It is easier to win the city of Tyre, than it is to win a wounded brother.

THE WALLS WE BUILD TO PROTECT OURSELVES WORK! They keep people out.

The verse has a final phrase though:
"and his contentions are like bars"

Did you see it?

When we build our walls to protect ourselves, our walls, our fortresses that we build to keep people out, morphs into a prison. This prison locks us in, and this beautiful creation that God made, CANNOT GET OUT OF THIS PRISON OF HIS OWN MAKING! Why would we want to do that to ourselves? Why would we want to put ourselves in prison?

Love keeps no lists.

If we keep a list and refuse to forgive, not only are we most likely going to fail in loving the one who hurt us, but we will also fail to be loving ourselves.

Forgiveness

...responsibility to forgive comes with an  entirely different motivation in the New Covenant.

...responsibility to forgive comes with an entirely different motivation in the New Covenant.

I was listening to the Christian radio station, and the announcer said that he was going to share the memory verse for the week. It was Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” After reading the passage, the announcer said, “Isn’t that a wonderful verse to live by?” I about came out of my skin as I screamed at the radio, “NO! THAT IS A HORRIBLE VERSE TO LIVE BY! WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT TO LIVE UNDER THAT VERSE?”

Fortunately, we do not have to live under that verse, isn’t that great news? Now, someone might say, “But Jesus taught that verse, so isn’t it binding on us today?” Yes, Jesus did teach it but he taught it pre-cross, before He died and was resurrected. In other words, He taught that verse under the Old Covenant economy! That means of course, that we are no longer under that economy because Jesus has instituted a new and better covenant!

I am so thankful that because of the New Covenant, I do not have to rack my brain every night trying to see if there is someone I have failed to forgive. That I can get some semblance of sleep without being terrified by the fear that there might be someone I have failed to forgive.

Now again, someone might ask, “But aren’t we supposed to forgive?” Yes, we are, but our responsibility to forgive comes with an entirely different motivation in the New Covenant.

In Ephesians 4:32, Paul states that we are to “Forgive one another, even as God for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us.” Did you see it? In the New Covenant economy, we are not forgiving others so that we will be forgiven, we are forgiving others BECAUSE we have already been forgiven. Now, that is a verse to live by!

It Can Be Hard to Wait...

I am so excited to share with you today.

In the book of Genesis, it records how God came to Abraham, and promised him an heir through his own seed with his bride Sarah, and through that seed would come descendants numbering like the stars in the heavens. In addition, God promised that through his seed ALL the families of the earth would be blessed! Abraham was 75 years old when God made that amazing promise to him. Even more amazing, Sarah was 65 years old. What an exciting promise to an old, childless couple!

As the years went by, though, no child arrived, and God continued through those years to reaffirm His promise. Abraham and Sarah had to wait and wait and wait! "WAIT" is for me one of the worst four-letter words found among humanity! It is hard to wait, especially when the promise of something so good and wonderful is delayed. 

As time progressed, Abraham and Sarah decided to take matters into their own hands. First, they offered to God that their servant Eleazer might be considered the heir. Then, at Sarah's request, Abraham had sexual relations with Hagar to produce Ishmael, whom they offered to God to be the heir. God, of course, said "No" to their suggestions of help and continued throughout the years to affirm His promise that He would provide an heir through them, until one day He did provide when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, and way past the onset of menopause! 

The amazing thing I find in this account is the commentary found on it in Romans 4:18-20, where God says of Abraham, that "against hope believed; he was not weak in faith; and never doubted but was strong in faith!" Are you kidding me? He NEVER doubted? What about Eleazer? What about Hagar and Ishmael? Makes me question, "God, do you even read the Bible that you wrote?" How are we to explain this, that God says Abraham never doubted, when clearly he did?

The answer I believe is very simple. The Bible tells us that whatever is not of faith, is sin. So Abraham's lapses in faith were sin. However, through his seed that was going to be born, Jesus, God removed all of Abraham's sins and cast them as far as the east is from the west, to be remembered by God no more... in other words, when God looks at Abraham He truly does not see ANY lapses of faith; nor ANY sinful choices, He sees only righteousness, for God has chosen to not remember such failures. 

And now the glory... It is the same for you and me. We have had many lapses of faith, many sinful choices that we regret and find hard to forget. The glory is that God has taken those things infinitely away from us, and chooses to remember them no more... So completely has He done this, that when He looks at us today, He sees only righteousness. WOW! Glory to God!

Forgiveness and The Prodigal Son

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One of the most difficult tasks we have as human beings is forgiving those who betray our trust. What is even more difficult, is that after we have forgiven them, we find it hard to trust them again. Perhaps that is why we very often feel that way with God. We think to ourselves, oh He has forgiven me, but He will NEVER trust me again, of that I am sure. NOT TRUE!

Do you remember the story of the Prodigal Son? He took one third of the family fortune in an early inheritance. He was so selfish that he could not even wait for his father to die! Then, he spent that fortune on an incredibly sinful lifestyle. Finally, destitute, he came home to his father with his tail between his legs, wondering if his father would receive him back. At that point, the father put his own robe on the boy, shoes on his feet (so no one would know he had been a slave), and then he gave the boy his ring. This my friend, was no simple ring. It was the family signet ring, the credit cart of the ancient world. 

Think about that! He took one third of the family fortune and wasted it, and the father provides him the rest of the family fortune at his fingertips. In essence, the father was saying, “Son, I want you to know, that in spite of what you have done, I believe in you and I trust you!” Amazing? 

Yes, but let’s go even more outlandish! Consider the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul. He was the great arch enemy of the church. He hunted down and killed Christians! Do not read that lightly! He killed our heavenly Father’s kids! Then, he comes to faith, and what does our heavenly Father do? He makes this man an apostle, the supreme caretaker of the rest of His kids! Paul, not only do I believe in you, I trust you with my other children. 

Dear Child of God, you may have sinned horribly, but know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the mercy and grace of God is so great, that He not only forgives you, He believes in you, and He trusts you. He is truly a great, great God!

Go. Be an apostle.

If ever there was a man who LOVED to herald his role in life, it was the Apostle Paul. Dare we say that he "boasted" in doing so? I am comfortable with that because I believe he also proclaimed just as loudly why he boasted so in his role.

Allow me to explain.

In I Timothy, even to a letter that was NOT written to the church, but to a close friend, he stated loudly that He was an apostle of Jesus Christ. Hmmmm.... Strange! I would have expected him to so identify himself as Timothy's friend...

But if you read on, we learn why he was so amazed to be an apostle. After what he had done in life, persecuted the church, sought out and murdered Christians, he found that God could so deal with his sin, remove it so far from him, transform him, crucify, bury, and resurrect him so brand new, that even this kind of man could be put into the service of God. When Paul boasted that he was an apostle, he was really boasting in how great the grace of God was.

Oh my friend, have you committed "that sin" that the enemy has you thinking that you could never, ever again be used of God? Please know, that the grace of God is bigger than your sin. Though you and I can never be an Apostle, we can be an apostle. 
What?

The technical form of the word 'apostle' means one of the original followers of Jesus, a man who was personally trained and commissioned by Jesus Himself. Paul is included in this of course, because of His Damascus road calling and training from the Holy Spirit during his three year hiatus from public life.

So, we can never be an APOSTLE, but we can however, be an apostle. The basic root of the word meaning one sent to equip. I believe every one of us should boast in that calling. Just like Paul, we may have sinned horribly, but even if we sinned horribly after becoming a Christian, there is not a man nor a woman that has ever sinned bigger than the grace of God! God can take you and make you so brand new that He will consider you worthy to be used in His service. Why? To tell others of His marvelous grace! I found this poem I would like to share with you:

"Life can never be dull again... 
When once we've thrown our windows open wide...
And seen the mighty world that lies outside,
And whispered to ourselves this wondrous thing,
We are wanted, for the business of the King!

Go! Be one "sent to the world', share your story of how the grace of God has touched your life so that others can be equipped to face this world with His grace too!"

'Your failure has done nothing to change my mind about you.' - Jesus

We as believers have all taken our turn at making great boasts for God. Lord, I will follow you no matter what! Lord, I will go through whatever you have for me, trusting you all the way! Lord, I will do whatever you call me to! And... we have all failed so often in our boast! When that has occurred, the enemy of course has been right there to whisper in our ears, perhaps even shout into them, that God could never use us again. Perhaps he has even slandered us by calling into question if we are even the children of God. After all, how could we be people of faith and yet live so faithlessly?

Well, to all of us who have been so boastful and failed, to all of us who have been slandered by the accuser, take comfort from the life of a man named Peter. Peter had made great boast before God, only to have denied Jesus three times. How does that bring comfort you might ask?

In John 21, sitting around a campfire, Jesus asks Peter, whether or not Peter loves Him. The kicker in this passage is that Jesus asked this question three times... THREE TIMES! Obviously, Jesus was reminding Peter of his failure (as if he needed reminding)...

No, my friends, that is not really the issue. The key is that each time Peter answered the question, that yes, he did love Jesus, Jesus responded by saying, "Feed my lambs!" Why is that significant? Because that is exactly what Jesus had commissioned Peter to do before he failed so miserably. In other words, Peter, even though you were so boastful and prideful, and even though you failed so miserably, you are still my guy that I have chosen to use in my kingdom work. Your failed boast has done nothing to change my mind about you! One thing we must once and for all lay hold of if we are to stand against our accuser,is that there is no one who can "outsin" the grace and calling of our Lord Jesus. NO ONE!

'It Is Finished' Means Exactly That!

One of the most glorious verses in the entire Bible is the verse that records the final words of Jesus before He died on the cross...

IT IS FINISHED! It is over! It has been accomplished! There is nothing more to do and nothing more to be added!

Isn't that absolutely wonderful? Our sins are forgiven! They are cast as far as the east is from the west to be remembered no more. OUR SINS HAVE BEEN INFINITELY SEPARATED FROM US! Heaven is opened to us! We have been made righteous! We are now saints! We are the sons of God! We are blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. We have been made partakers of the Divine Nature! WOW!

We could go on and and on with all that is ours in Christ and say WOW and WOW over and over again... Why? Because as Jesus said, "It is finished!"

Now, the marvel of this, that really makes us WOW, is when we look at that phrase in the original Koine Greek. Do you know what it means in the Greek?

It means, "IT IS FINISHED!"

How do you value yourself?

In the realm of humanity, we most often define ourselves and other men by what we/they do. He is a doctor. I am an attorney. I am just a housewife. HE is just a janitor. It seems that in the realm of humanity, not only do we define ourselves by what we do, but we also establish value based on what we do. The more important our "doing" the more important we are, and the less important our "doing" is, the less important we are. What a tragedy!

God makes it very clear that identity is found in our birth, and there are in fact only two identities in the world. Those who have been born in Adam, and those who have been born again in Christ. If you have been born again, you are a child of God. That is your true identity. Hence, I am a child of God who "does doctoring"... I am a child of God who "does housewifing"... get the idea?

And what about the value? Value is determined by the price one is willing to pay for something. If I value a pen at a million dollars, and try to sell the pen for that sum, but it never sells, it in actuality is not worth a million dollars because no one was willing to pay that price. Finally, I find a buyer who determines he will pay $5.00 for the pen. Now its value has been determined. Well my friends, God determined that He would pay the blood of His own Son for you, blood that is defined in the Scriptures as inestimable, immeasurable value.... He has determined that you are of infinite value.

A CHILD OF GOD WITH INFINITE VALUE --- that is how you should define yourself because that is how God defines you...

FASCINATING --- but these two ways of thinking are found in the Scriptures. When the other Gospel writers told the story of Matthew (Levi), they defined him as a "tax collector"... they defined him according to what he did.

When Matthew wrote his own Gospel, having met and embraced Jesus as His Lord, Savior, and Life, Matthew told the story very differently. He wrote, "and Jesus saw a man!" He refused to identify himself according to what he did, but according to who he was. Jesus did not see a tax collector, he saw a man who did not yet know who he was, but he was going to find out, and finding out who he really was radically altered his life. WOW!!!

Why sin grieves God's heart

When Adam ate from the tree, he sinned. No buts about it, he sinned. He "missed the mark" and this has been the proclamation of the church ever since. HE SINNED!

Though that is true, I do not believe that is the supreme issue when it comes to our Father's heart! May I illustrate.

I also play the role of father, a role given to me from God Himself. When my children sin, when they miss the mark, that bothers me as a father. Of course it does! They sinned. They missed the mark.

But hear me please, that thought is not what dominates my heart. My heart is consumed with a much greater thought --- and that is not so much that they did wrong, but that they are going to have to suffer some ominous consequences because they did wrong. That is what grieves me... I NEVER want my children to experience what they were never designed to experience. Does that make sense?

Let's run with this then. When Adam sinned, of course that grieved the heart of God. But what grieved the heart of God even more is what man would have to experience because he did wrong. Now man is going to experience death. Now man is going to experience loss. Now he is going to experience fear, grief, sorrow, anxiety, guilt, shame, isolation, independence, and on an on we could go. All of these are going to occur because man was now divorced from God and now married to the law. A system of performing right and avoiding wrong in an effort to make himself "like God"... in an attempt to be "right" independent of God. Now man is going to experience guilt and shame when he does wrong, and he is going to experience pride when he does right.

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong. That mindset, that economy, only came in to the experience of man because Adam sinned by eating from that tree of right and wrong. Before this event, (this sin) man had no idea of right and wrong, good and evil was. All he knew was God, and that was enough. Sadly, ever since that fateful day, this has been the struggle of man. Not trusting that God is enough. Always laboring instead to do right and not do wrong in a feeble attempt to make himself "ok" independent of God.

Do you see why the sin of Adam (and any sin of man) grieves the heart of God so? It is not just that man has chosen wrong that sorrows God, but the fact that man is going to now experience the consequence of other than God. As a Father He wants so much for us as His children. He does not want us pursuing the "doing" of right and the "avoiding" of wrong. That economy is an economy that only came into our experience as a consequence of Adam's sin.... He wants us to experience Him as the only One Who can make us right, and express right, through us as we trust Him by faith. That is why throughout the New Testament He heralds loudly how He rescued us from the law through the Person and Work of Christ, so that we could once again be married to God!

What a Father we have. His great concern is not just that we have sinned, but that we have to experience consequences from that sin. And know this, His concern is so great that it led Him to send His Son, not only so that He could remove our sin, but also remove the consequences of sin. He delivered us from the code of ethics, the system of right and wrong, THE LAW, so that we could be restored to Him... WOW INDEED!