BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US
Last weekend I visited my parents, and while I was there, I went to see my dad’s sisters. I hadn’t seen them in a while, and it had been forever since I was at their house. Even though I was happy to see them, I couldn’t help but be a little sad at the same time. My grandfather passed away in early January of 2021, and he used to live with one of my aunts. Memories came flooding back to me of the time when my mom and I used to stay with my grandparents through the week because my dad was working out of town.
I was young, so I probably got many of the stories wrong, but one story has stuck with me over the years. My uncle is around five years older than me, so we used to play together all the time. One afternoon, we were in the back bedroom playing. I’m sure we were loud because grandpa kept coming in the room telling us to be quiet. At some point, he must have also told us not to jump on the bed, but I didn’t get that memo.
I was happily jumping on one of the beds when I heard grandpa come storming down the hall. I quickly hopped down and sat real still on the bed as he opened the door. You could tell that he was not happy by the look on his face. He walked straight over to my uncle, yanked him up, and gave him a spanking. Then he said, “I told you not to be jumping on the bed!”
I felt so bad that I had gotten my uncle in trouble, but I was terrified that I would also get a spanking. Finally, I am sure I sounded like a mouse when I said, “Pa, it was me jumping on the bed.” Pa looked at my uncle and me, then he said, “I’m sure he needed a spanking for something,” and walked out of the room.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Looking back over this event, I see repentance, grace, mercy, and sacrifice for others. It isn’t easy to own up to our mistakes and be ready to take the consequences. I’m sure that there have been plenty of times when I kept quiet instead of confessing my transgression. I’m not sure why I told grandpa that it had been me jumping on the bed. Maybe it was my conscience or the fear of what my uncle would say once grandpa left the room. Either way, I felt much better after I confessed, and I was glad to have it off my chest.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
Grandpa should have beat my butt for disobeying him and getting my uncle into trouble. Instead, he showed grace and mercy toward me and let me off the hook. I deserved to be punished since I had done the offense, but my grandpa forgave me instead.
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
My uncle didn’t deserve to be punished; he hadn’t done anything wrong. A misunderstanding led to a hasty judgment, and punishment was given to the wrong individual. Even after evidence showed my uncle was innocent, he was still not let off of the hook because of perceived offenses that “might” have happened.
My uncle taking a spanking for my offense is not on the same level as Christ dying on the cross for my sins. Christ willingly went to the cross, even though he was blameless. I am sure all the pain and suffering He went through was not what He wanted to do, but He knew it was something He needed to do. Without Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, we would have no hope of a heavenly life. We are sinners, and Christ’s blood is what saved us.
Ash Wednesday was this past week, and I wanted to “sacrifice” something for Lent. In the past, I’ve given up shopping, drinking sodas, and Oreo cookies. All of those were tough for me to give up, but this year, I wanted to do something different. I decided to give up one of my most precious commodities, my time. Each morning, I refuse to open my phone or computer until I’ve spent time with the Lord. It has only been a few days, and this may be even harder for me to do than giving up shopping.
I am hoping that by Easter Sunday, I’ll no longer consider it a sacrifice when I don’t reach for my phone the first thing each morning. Instead, I hope it is a habit that I will come to look forward to each morning.
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!
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