I have been reading "The Christian Theist" and it has really got me thinking about all sorts of soul related stuff..... Well what I just read clearly has opened my eyes once again. I am reminding that I am a guilty and am so thankful that the Lord does not give me what I deserve. Thank you, Lord.
This is what I just read.... (Craig Groeschel got a ticket for an expired tag and he is telling the story of his court experience)
"The judge looked at me for a moment, then asked loudly, "So what's your story?" I looked down at my feet, ashamed. I muttered quietly, barely above a whisper, "I was driving without a current tag."
The judge sat up straight in his throne. He looked at me sternly and asked, more enthusiastically, "What did you just say?!"
I glanced up to meet his eyes and realized that he had a pleasant expression, his eyebrows raised, his mouth slightly opened. The look on his face seemed to be saying, Work with me on this.
I locked my eyes with his, straightened my back, and boldly raised my head. "Yes, Your Honor. You heard me correctly. I.. am...guilty."
Tell me your story, he said simply. I explained, clearly, succinctly. "I'm very sorry, Your Honor, but I'm an idiot. I don't have any excuses. I simply forgot to renew my tag."
He had exactly what he needed, Excuse me. Did you say you're an idot? I responded in the affirmative.
"Are you a guilty idot?" he asked, shooting me a look that clearly said, Keep playing along. I couldn't help smiling. It was funny. He nodded exaggeratedly as he said, "I'll bet you're very sorry for what you did wrong."
I mirrored his exaggerated nod. "Yes, sir. What I did was wrong. Very wrong. And I am sorry. Very sorry. I am guilty."
Again, he had what he needed. The judge announced mockingly, loud enough for everyone to hear, "We've got this guilty person standing in a room full of innocent people. I've got to quickly get this guilty idiot out of here before he corrupts the rest of you innocent people. Craig Groeschel, you are free to go. You don't have to pay your fine. It's all forgiven."
Let's review. Was I guilty? Of course I was. Did I deserve punishment? Again, yes. But did I have to pay for my crime? No! Why? Because the judge gave me grace. I didn't get what I deserved. I was forgiven. And this is exactly what God does for us. If we are "In Christ," he doesn't treat us as our sins deserve. God says in Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he who blots our your transgressions, for my own sake, and rememebers your sins no more."
I know that's real long, but it just got me thinking about how grateful I am for His amazing GRACE. I am so thankful I don't have all this junk to carry around with me all the time... if I did, I don't know how I would make it through the day.