We’ve all seen the catchy TV commercials about “Accident Forgiveness” insurance plans. You know, those amazing plans where if you have an accident, the insurance company will “PRE” forgive you … and not jack up your rates! Well, most of us scoff at that pre-forgive idea … and with pretty good reason. Why? There are always pesky terms and conditions, not all applicants for the plan are eligible, and it isn’t even available in all 50 states. What’s worse, is we KNOW we are really paying for it in OUR higher premiums! Look, from the “get go” we all know that this plan is too good to be true!
Only the good people get the plan. Only those the company deems low risk gets the plan. Only those who live in the right state can gain the company’s favor. Only those worthy of being forgiven in advance of their mistakes can get the “cool club” plan. Only those who meet all the pre-set terms and conditions (i.e. laws as dictated by the insurer) can get the fancy plan. Only those who have a certain insurance agent can get PRE-FORGIVEN!
This is sort of like the whole idea of grace … that Jesus pre-forgave at the cross. It is just too good to be true. There has to be a catch, there must be terms and conditions. No way His grace is that good. Jesus must make me pay for accidents in my holy premiums or tithes! Jesus must take my accidents out of my flesh with punishment, hurt, and sickness … or maybe even with canceling my entire plan!?!?!?!
His grace is that good … how else could witches, satanists, murderers, and the Jeffrey Dahmers of the world gain entrance into heaven? His love is that deep, high, and wide … and His love is that unconditional. His grace is that awesome … or for me to stay clean I’d have to repent for my sins each and every second of my entire life until I die! His grace IS that amazing, otherwise our freedom from the bondage of sin would be up to US and not up to Him! And, that would be … well, works.
Here is what I find funny. Every time I post something on the blog page about repentance … bunches of people “unlike” the page … STAT! It seems to me that repentance has got to be the holy third rail of Christianity. Nobody wants to touch it, nobody wants to step on it, and some people truly seem to believe that the “electrified third rail of repentance” is what powers the kingdom. Like, somehow our repentance is what keeps us clean. As if continued begging for His love, favor, and forgiveness is going to set us free from darknesss, despair, our past, ourselves, and the enemy’s mental ping pong tricks.
No, His blood that was spilled 2,000 years ago powers me, sets me free, and keeps me clean. Knowing how much He loves me and being in a love affair with Him … powers my feet to move. If we keep God to a “human” level of forgiveness … oh my word are we ALL in trouble. Look, there are people I’ve made mad or even hurt over the years … I’ve apologized repeatedly … and gotten nowhere with them. Zippo. If God holds us to that kind of flimsy standard … oh my!
I’ve been thinking about this, and I’ve been wondering why people can’t believe in HIS pre-approved accident forgiveness. I think it is simple, really.
- If we don’t know how to forgive, we assume God doesn’t either.
- If we can’t forgive without being asked, then God can’t either.
- If we have a hard time forgiving, then God must also.
- If we can’t get others to forgive, then God must not forgive so easily.
- If we force people to work off their junk tossed at us, then God must also.
- If we want payback, then God must also.
- If we want people to feel bad about their mistakes, then God must also.
- If we crave for people to repent of the dumb things done to us, then God must also.
- If we stay mad until the offender apologizes, then God must also.
It’s not about you. It’s not about how you would do things. It’s not about what you can or can’t do in your own flesh … it’s about what was placed upon Jesus’ flesh! Look, you didn’t love your own creation enough to shed your blood for it. It’s about Him, and will always be about Him. He does loves us that much!
Honestly, as for those who reject the “pre-approved accident forgiveness” plan. Maybe they don’t know His heart well enough to think … if He.
Thank goodness His ways are higher than our ways. Thank goodness His love is unconditional – there is nothing I can possibly do to lose His love or to make Him love me any more than He already does. Thank goodness it isn’t up to me, it’s up to what was already done on the cross. Thank goodness my forgiveness isn’t based on my own “repentance performance” … yes, it’s only based on His finished performance!
Yep, my agent with the Father is Jesus … and I’m 100% pre-approved for club membership!
The best part, and so are you!
Ephesians 3:19-21 (MSG)
14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!