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Guilty as Charged - A Devotion

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I John 3:19-21 (NLT)
Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence.

Just to let a whole lot of people off the hook (including myself), God does not expect you to be perfect. Otherwise, there would be no need for Him to perfect you or your way. There are many people today living in perpetual sin, covered in iniquity and actively rebelling against God because they cannot make their way to the Lord for His Forgiveness. There is truth in this statement as there is no possible way to access the Grace of God outside of an active relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. We have all sinned and come short of God’s Glory. (Romans 3:23) We are guilty from the time that we are born so no wonder the enemy tries to wrap us up in it and keep us from accessing the Presence of God to experience His Loving Kindness and Graciousness overflowing from His Unfailing Love. Why do you think so many people think God is mad at them, ready to punish them, or that He is the one producing hardship in their life? Guilt is for the guilty NOT the forgiven. By accepting God’s Grace, you are now free from the guilt of sin, iniquity and rebellion. You are now empowered by God through the Blood of Jesus Christ and Holy Inhabitation of the Spirit to make better choices and remain free of the guilt and shame of sin even when you make a mistake. Our actions will show that we belong to the Truth. The Truth is that we are saved by the Grace of God produced by His Unfailing Love and Mercy which are clearly not the traits or characteristics of a harsh overseer but loving father. (Ephesians 2:4-6) He has made us Sons and Daughters to rule and reign with Jesus Christ which requires that we live where He lives. We walk by faith and not by sight meaning that we are saved by His Grace to come boldly into His Presence and remain there. Such faith allows us bold confidence that His Word is true and His Grace is sufficient. However, when we live in guilt after experiencing the Grace of God – it is like holding on the chains that bound us even though we are now free to experience the Plan and Purpose of God and prospering as our soul does.

Exodus 34:6-8 (NLT)
The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.” Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped.

Oh, we are all guilty alright. God will forgive our iniquity, rebellion and sin but He will not excuse the guilty. Hold on! Having just said that “God will forgive our iniquity, rebellion and sin…” doesn’t that mean the guilty? Here is the giant disconnect in the world today when it comes to guilt and grace. Grace is not an excuse to sin but rather the opportunity to be forgiven or pardoned of guilt so we can live apart from these three detrimental things. You are going to sin, but those who love the Lord will do everything to avoid it. You are going to experience iniquity which is all those times we still mess up despite our desperate attempts to live in total agreement with the Lord. We will rebel because our sinful nature is on the inside fighting for control. You will mess up. It is a common problems from the New Testament to now. The difference is those who have experienced God’s Grace and accepted His Forgiveness want to live in His Presence. Sin, iniquity and rebellion keep us from such a life so we are desperate to remain in His Grace rather than covered by guilt. When Moses asked the Lord to show Him His Glory, His Glory is His Unfailing Love, Mercy and Compassion for His People that produced enough Grace to cover every single sin completely. His Grace is sufficient for me!

Romans 7:20-22 (NLT)
But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart.

If God’s Grace is sufficient for me and covers all my sins, then why can’t I seem to get it together? You aren’t the one who is supposed to make things right! You have assumed responsibility for your life again and all the guilt and shame associated with your inability to remain separated from sin. God knows that you didn’t want to do that but did it anyway. He knows the culprit is sin that was produced in the bloodline from Adam to now. I completely know and understand the principle of life that is wanting to do right but inevitably doing wrong. Grace does not mean that you will never sin again…it just gives us the opportunity to be saved from our guiltiness of sin. It begins by loving God’s Law with all our heart and a deep desire to do the Will of God to please Him. Do you want to please God today…then stop beating yourself up when you don’t or locking yourself back in the cell of guilt and shame. His Grace was enough. His Grace is enough. His Grace will always be enough for you and me.

Romans 5:15-17 (NLT)
But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

The world is destined for the death penalty as a result of its sin, iniquity and rebellion against God. It lives in total desperation and devastation. It has tried to reshape, restructure and restrict the Gospel of Jesus Christ by convoluting His Gift of Grace. Grace is mercy, pardon or clemency from the guilt of sin so we no longer must pay the penalty for our inability not to sin. Again, it is not an excuse to sin again and again. That would be like a prisoner sent to jail for murder given a pardon from the governor who goes on a killing spree after leaving the prison. He’s going right back into that jail and will more than likely die for his atrocities. Sin is that bad. It demands a death penalty on every level because God is that good. He is that just. There is no sin in Him at all. Grace is the end of guilt so if you are experiencing guilt you have not fully accepted His Grace, Mercy and Love! Jesus Christ triumphed over sin and death! You can too if you will accept His Grace and live apart from guilt. Godly people live daily in repentance acknowledging guilt to seek and accept more and more of His Grace. (Proverbs 14:9) The Law of God demonstrates our need for the Lord, not to make us feel guilty but produce revelation that we need our Savior every day all day without exception. It means that we cannot live apart from Him so we separate ourselves from those things that keep us from Him. “And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:21-23)

Psalm 19:12-14 (NLT)
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

What is it that you hold tightly without wavering? Is it God’s Grace? Or is it ongoing guilt and shame? God’s Grace is sufficient for you in every situation. There is no sin too big or too heinous for God’s Unfailing Love and Mercy. (2 Corinthians 12:9) If we didn’t need God’s Mercy every single day than why would He provide it to us that way? It comes to us fresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:23) A life filled with guilt is a life filled with sin, iniquity and rebellion. It has decided that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was not enough to cover their sins and that they must do something more to assist in the process which is a pride response not a godly one. We must learn to live free of guilt to fully accept the Gift of God’s Grace in our life. Guilt is spiritual blindness to the Light of the world and His Significance as a sacrifice that was more than enough. (John 9:40-41) If you have asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead making Him victor the sin that kept us bound to the grave – then by grace you have been saved and set free from guilt. So let it go today in the Name of Jesus and learn to live in the fathomless billows of His Love, Mercy and Grace!

2 Corinthians 4:14-17 (NLT)
We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

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