Once upon a time I was entrusted with a call to preach the good news of God’s boundless love to a broken world and although the way I dispense the Good News has evolved over the years, there was also a season where I blew it big time. I really had everything: a good marriage, influence, multiple talents in the workforce. gifts, charisma, enthusiasm, and the abilities to teach and lead worship. But what I apparently did not have was the character to handle it all.
In a season of sin and self-destruction, egotistical pride and selfish ambition, unfaithfulness to my wife and unfaithfulness to Christ’s Bride, I lost everything and hurt many people in the process. In 2013, at 48 years old, My life was broken, my body was physically and mentally broken. That in turn broke my family and the hearts of those who trusted me, those who looked to me for leadership, and those closest to me
Regardless of how I live my life from now until the day I die, my season of pride and sinful self-destruction it seems will always be remembered by those around me. The hurt I caused myself, and countless others will linger in many hearts and cause some people to doubt me, disparage me, and distrust me for the rest of my days. I’ve accepted that my blemished reputation is here to stay. There is no going back however unfortunate and contrary to what we understand about the Gospel of Grace.
The provisions of Christ on the Cross that have provided that righteousness, that gift of God, speaks louder than any voice of accusation. I may have a blemished reputation, but not in the eyes of God. When my Father sees me—and when he sees you—he sees someone who looks just like Jesus, the unblemished Lamb of God.
Thankfully, God is not simply the God of second chances. Because, I don’t know about you (actually, I do) but I need a lot more than a second chance. Rather, He is the God of one chance and a second Adam who provides a perpetual chance for the past, present, and future failures.
So, for me, for you, for each of us, there is no going back to a past that we have lost or spoiled or outright destroyed. There is no going back and expunging our blemished record or deleting our history. But there is a going to the God who has forgiven and forgotten the sins of our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. The God who continues to liberate us from ourselves and who reminds us that despite our past, he has promised us a future; the God who won’t stop pursuing us, no matter how far or how fast we run; the God who has already welcomed us, accepted us, and given us a new record and a new name: Beloved. This is the new man who has put on Christ! This is the person who the Father remembers because of Christ, and it this way that we should live and walk with one another according to the Gospel of Grace!
In the grip of grace!