December 1, 2019
Dear Grace Family and Friends,
I trust you enjoyed Thanksgiving and didn’t eat too much. It’s amazing how many of us diet leading up to the holidays in anticipation of the few pounds we’ll likely gain. As I confessed last Sunday night, I’m in that category. I knew I was going to be guilty of overeating so I had to make room for the “indulgence.” It reminds me of stories I’ve heard about the Roman Catholic Church issuing “plenary indulgences” in exchange for donations to build St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. In a general sense, they were offering the good deeds of departed Saints to serve as “penance” for the sin the donor was planning to commit. It caused a huge uproar among Roman Catholics and is no longer practiced. Yet it’s easy to see why that would be an attractive option. It’d be like an “advance confession” so we wouldn’t forfeit fellowship with God by willfully sinning. Sadly, unlike with dieting, “sin” doesn’t work that way. The confession of sin implies “agreeing with God” about our sin. God hates sin; all sin. So if I agree with Him about it, I will abstain. That’s His expectation of every Born Again Believer. And we have that potential in Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It’s just a question of whether or not I trust Him sufficiently to release that power in any given situation. That’s what it takes to live in victory. We have to know that our God is able to meet our need. That level of trust allows us to live by faith. Doing so releases the power of God continually such that we truly become the “overcomers” He made us to be in the resurrection. Does that describe us? If not, that needs to change. It can today. Our God is entirely faithful. He has promised to meet every need and He cannot lie. Why not trust Him? He loves us unconditionally. I love you too. God bless you!