Easy to Start, Hard to Keep Up

It’s really easy to start stuff. Once I decided I was going to start waking up before 8 AM everyday. Now, that’s fine, except Jesus doesn’t even wake up that early. Don’t act like you know when Jesus wakes up. It was really easy to start waking up before 8 AM for the first day, but after that first day, it sucked. It got harder and harder to keep waking up before 8 AM, especially beings it’s some type of unforgivable sin.

We all struggle with this. It’s easy to start working out, it’s hard to keep working out. It’s easy to start reading a book, it’s hard to keep reading the book. It’s easy to stop drinking 12 cups of coffee a day, it’s hard to keep drinking one cup a day. It’s easy to accept the grace and forgiveness of Jesus at the time of salvation, it’s harder to keep accepting his grace and forgiveness throughout life. 

The more I grow in my relationship with God, the more I see my sins for what they are. Tim Keller describes the gospel in this way, “We are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope — at the very same time.” We don’t see our sin as true as it is until we see our sin as God does. It’s dirty. It’s nasty. It sucks. But as we grow in our relationship with Christ we see how amazing his grace and forgiveness truly is.

It’s easy to accept grace and forgiveness when we see our sin from our own eyes, but it’s harder to accept grace and forgiveness when we see it through the eyes of a holy God. This sounds bad. I know. Especially if Jesus doesn’t wake up until after 8 AM.

Here’s the good news, “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,  so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21)

As we grow in our relationship with Christ, not only does our view of sin deepen, our view of God’s grace deepens more and more. Yes, it seems easier to accept grace and forgiveness at that first point of salvation, and it’s harder to accept it as we grow. Here’s the reason: Our view of sin grows. Sin seems to get bigger as we view it like God does. But here’s the reason that this is okay: Our view of grace grows. As our view of sin gets bigger, so does God’s grace.

The more shame you have, the more Jesus can take it away. The more guilt you have the more Jesus can take it away. The more unforgiveness you harbor, the more Jesus can take it away. The more sin you have, the more Jesus can take it away.

Regardless of your view of sin and grace. Jesus is still enough. On the cross, Jesus destroyed shame and guilt, lies and idolatry. Jesus gives grace and forgiveness freely to any who will accept it. As we start seeing our sin as more and more ugly, we also start seeing the grace of Christ as more and more beautiful.

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