"I choose Jesus, I choose Jeeeesus...the One who first chose me..." the voice of my six year old warbled from the living room.
"Mom," he said, "I am going to try not to be a sinner anymore."
"Wow, ok buddy, that's great." Knowing his bent towards perfection, I wanted him to understand grace as well. "But, just so you know, Jesus loves you so much either way. He wants us to try not to sin because we love Him, but He still loves us."
There, I thought to myself. Let's start avoiding the ditch of legalism early. My next thought came quickly after...why am I not teaching him to live in victory, to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit? Why am I not encouraging his desire to avoid sin?
These are really deep thoughts for 8:00 in the morning I realize.
Romans 1:28 says that when the people stopped putting God and His statutes first, and insisted on following the lust in their hearts, He gave them over to their depraved minds, to do things that ought not be done. The converse of that is clear. When we acknowledge God and seek after His ways, He keeps us from falling into sin, so that we can be presented to Him without fault and with great joy (Jude 1:24).
I know, firsthand, that I serve a merciful God, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, but why do we focus more on that than on the rest...that He is able to keep us from sin when we follow Him? Why do we spend more time pleading for mercy instead of pleading for the strength and guidance that only He can provide?
Let's decide, today, for today, to live in the victory that is already ours through our rights as children of God. Sin only has the hold on us that we allow it to have; Jesus came to set us free. Galatians 5:1 says that "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, so stand firm and submit no more to a yoke of slavery." Submitting implies choice. I am making the choice not to submit to the yoke of sin today. I want the faith of a six year old who believes that he isn't going to be a sinner because he is chosen by Jesus.
And once again, to Him who is able to do more than we can ask or imagine, to Him be the glory. Amen.