I should work in the yard this week. I should make that phone call I have been dreading so much to make that I have put it off for 3 months. I should write that letter to my friend who I haven’t seen in 20 years. I should quit eating so many sweets and watch my diet.
“I shoulds” and “I shouldn’ts” keep many people from either becoming a Christian or living a victorious Christian life. People think, “I should quit drinking and smoking. I should start going to church. I should start giving more money to the church. I should do this and I should do that.”
Yes, you should, but think about this: our Lord forgave the thief on the cross and promised him a home in heaven. That thief was guilty, but he never had an opportunity to repay what he stole, or go to the synagogue, or give his tithes and offerings before he died.
Jesus forgives us and accepts just as we are, because His grace takes care of all those sins. His sacrifice on Calvary paid the cost of all my sins-past, present, future. There is no sin I could ever commit that will not be paid for. It is His righteousness, not mine, which is the basis for my salvation. Any other way implies that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was not enough.
However, as Paul said in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (or as the King James Version says, “God forbid!”) The same grace that took care of my sins when I was born again also enables me to live a victorious Christian life. Thank God, He accepts us just as we are, but He doesn’t leave us there. God’s plan includes more than an eternal home in heaven. He loves us too much to leave us in our sorry state.
Lord, give me grace to live for you. I put it all in your hands-my life, my money, my habits. Enable me to be the person You have planned for me to be.