If You Abide in Me 

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (Psalm 51:3)

By grace we have been saved, and that grace is offered to us because Jesus shed His precious blood on the cross.  When we accept Jesus into our hearts, our sins are forgiven. We are born anew into a new man or woman in Christ.  The scriptures state: “Abide in Me and I in you.” (John 15:4) That’s all well and good but God’s intentions do not always fit perfectly with what we are thinking in our minds.

Moreover, the problem I have is that sometimes I feel like I haven’t suffered enough for my transgressions.  That perhaps, I have just not endured ‘enough’ guilt to really feel forgiven.  I was feeling this way the other night, when finally, I prayed and asked my Lord God and Saviour to convict me.  That’s right. I told Him that I couldn’t believe I was truly forgiven unless He would first convict me of sin.  In other words, I didn’t feel that I was ‘free’ until I could feel forgiven. For some reason, I believed in my heart that I couldn’t possibly have endured enough guilt to truly be forgiven.

So this is what God did.  I sat there in prayer and repeatedly told Him that I felt stuck in my relationship with Him.  His response was to tell me He loved me.  I told Him that he couldn’t love me because I was not worthy of all the wonderful things He has been doing in my life.  He has done so much in the past few months for me and has provided in so many ways that I felt I didn’t deserve it.  Here, He responded by telling me that I didn’t deserve it.  Well, now, at least for me, we were getting somewhere!  Finally He was going to let me have it.  So then I asked God to convict me so I would no longer feel I had gotten off “easy.”

A few images played repeatedly in my mind.  They broke my heart of things I had said in the past or done that were wrong.  We all have them.  The words we spoke that cut through the heart of a loved one, or actions that were simply wrong.  I cried as my mind dwelled on these things. This is why I asked for forgiveness.  Then they stopped.  I told God that I could do this.  I could endure His conviction that I so rightly deserved.  I stood a little straighter and told Him to continue.

He didn’t though.  I asked again.  He said no.  I didn’t understand.  I cried out begging Him to show me the rest of my sins.  Much like the ghost of Christmas Past that reveals Scrooge’s indiscretions, I waited for God to show me mine.  After a pause, still with tears streaming down my face, I asked Him why?

Why wouldn’t He – the Lord of all creation — show me the rest of my wayward sins?  His response stopped my breath.  He said, “My beloved, I have no more sins to show.”

WHAT!?  God you have made a mistake.  My sins are wide and my list of transgressions longer than LONG!  “Why won’t You show me the rest? I can take it,” I said.  “I DESERVE IT!”

The Lord said, “Because you have already asked for forgiveness … and by the stripes of Jesus Christ who died on the cross, they have been paid for and forgotten once and for all.”

Wow! So what happened? Instead of conviction, I received an abundance of His grace.  Instead of punishment, I received His mighty love.  Instead of guilt, I received His wonderful redemption.  Because of Jesus and His love for me, I will not look back again. I know that all my sins have been forgiven.  I am not worthy but He has given me more worth than I could ever imagine.  I am not enough, but my weakness becomes perfect in His strength.  I am a daughter of the one True King and there is nothing even I in my weakest moments can do to change His love for me.

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